Saturday, July 22, 2006
Berlusconi the Bushbarian
Names like Conrad Black, Richard Mellon Scaife, Ken Lay and Donald Trump come to mind.
And of course, there's another buccaneer, and three of the four paragraphs Charles selected from Edmonson's review could, with very little alteration, describe him personally:
For millions of voters disgusted by rampant political sleaze, Bush's carefully honed image as an earnest, hard-working, financially capable chief executive answered a deep national longing.
The real Bush is less the talented CEO than a savvy, unscrupulous salesman, argued investigative journalist Joe Conason in his blistering (and all-but-ignored) February 2000 Harpers article, "Notes on a Native Son". Despite his nose for the market, Bush stumbles repeatedly in business, skirting financial crises by appealing to rich and powerful allies. ...
The engrossing tale documents Bush's many pre-White-House crimes, crimes which paved the way for his White House actions. Ruthlessly deploying cronyism for maximum financial gain, buying off critics and tax inspectors, changing laws to derail criminal lawsuits against himself, and keeping persons on his payroll who coerced judges and destroyed CIA intelligence-gathering networks: Bush has done all of this during his time on Earth.
...No question, Bush's reign was disastrous for the economy. In just one of the many indications of the negative effect Bush's actions have had on the US economy, America's global competitiveness ranking slipped from the top ranking for the first time in decades in 2004, and the US has yet to reclaim that spot from Finland -- this despite Bush's claim that his massive tax cuts for the rich would spur capital investment in America. But the broader lesson of the mogul's political career is even more depressing: Western democracies remain dangerously vulnerable to media manipulation. Bush would never have made it into the White House were it not for the active assistance of the US corporate media, which as the recipients of massive tax breaks and slashings of regulatory oversight are among the few beneficiaries of Bush's policies.
More blogs about politics.