Monday, November 03, 2008

Deregulation Isn’t Done

In all the hoopla over the election, you may have missed this important piece from R. Jeffery Smith in the Washington Post.

A Last Push To Deregulate
White House to Ease Many Rules

”The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms. “

I worry that voters may have this vision of a remorseful Republican Party -- realizing that their deregulation agenda caused a world-wide economic crisis -- that has learned its lesson, seen the light and has recommitted itself to improving its citizens lives by focusing on making the government work well.

It hasn’t. And it won’t.

”"They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration's penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge "a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts."“

It is a difficult task to convince the average American citizen, who is detached from day-to-day government, that their government can take on human-like qualities. It’s hard to believe that your government can be petty and vindictive. Until you realize that this Administration does things like imposing a “contract” upon air traffic controllers on Labor Day. I mean really, if you were looking at that as an Administrator would you have done it ? Or would you have said, “This looks bad, we’ll wait a couple of more days just to avoid the appearance of being vindictive.” And that is the precisely the point. They are smart people and they knew what it would look like. They wanted it to look that way.

The Bush Administration was sending a message. It is a message that they believe in -- right down to their very core -- and nothing like a little world-wide economic crisis is going to change their minds. They are ideologues.

When I started writing this blog entry, I intended to make the case that the Republican Party will not change their ideology. If they lose this election -- and I believe they will -- they still won’t change. It turns out that I don’t have to make that case. Paul Krugman does it for me. And for you.

”You might think, perhaps hope, that Republicans will engage in some soul-searching, that they’ll ask themselves whether and how they lost touch with the national mainstream. But my prediction is that this won’t happen any time soon.

Instead, the Republican rump, the party that’s left after the election, will be the party that attends Sarah Palin’s rallies, where crowds chant “Vote McCain, not Hussein!” It will be the party of Saxby Chambliss, the senator from Georgia, who, observing large-scale early voting by African-Americans, warns his supporters that “the other folks are voting.” It will be the party that harbors menacing fantasies about Barack Obama’s Marxist — or was that Islamic? — roots. “

I recommend you read the whole editorial -- The Republican Rump.

After you read it, be sure to go vote.

Don Brown
November 3, 2008

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