Thursday, January 20, 2005

A New Deal to scupper a presidency

A New Deal to scupper a presidency
Bush is taking a huge gamble with his assault on the social contract
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday January 20, 2005
The Guardian
In his second term, President Bush is determined on regime change. The country whose order he seeks to overthrow is not ruled by mullahs or Ba'athists. But members of his administration have compared its system to communism. The battle will be "one of the most important conservative undertakings of modern times", the deputy to White House political director Karl Rove wrote in a confidential memo. Since the election, the president has spoken often of the "coming crisis" and he has mobilised the government to begin a propaganda campaign to prepare public opinion for the conflict ahead. The nation whose regime he is set on toppling is the United States.
Since the New Deal, the American social contract has been built upon acceptance of its reforms. When Dwight Eisenhower became the first Republican president after Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, he never challenged the New Deal, solidifying the political consensus that had prevailed for decades. But now Bush has launched an assault on the social contract in earnest, seeking to blast away at its cornerstone, social security, which disburses pensions to the elderly and payments to the disabled.....