SCARE TACTICS: THEY'RE NOT JUST FOR REPUBLICANS ANYMORE
And so far it looks as though he'll do much of what I hoped and assumed he'd do: not be Bush in the foreign policy & civil liberties arenas. You know, basically not be a Constitution-destroying, executive-overreaching, gutter patriot. Conversely, I had little hope for him in the economic arena (nor did I with McCain) and so far he's lived up to that expectation as well.
What I did not expect, however, and what I'm very disappointed to see, is the sort of "Do This NOW Or The World Will End" demogoguery that marred the Bush administration and led us not only to the Iraq War, but last Autumn's abomination, the
You know what I mean, as to both shameful episodes, as well as the passage of the so-called Patriot Act and other anti-democratic measures. A rush to ram through generally complex bits of legislation or executive action . . . without time for debate, analysis, national pulse-taking, or reasoned thought. No, just a barrage of "Do This NOW Or The World Will End" demogoguery.
Colin Powell at the U.N. telling the world that Saddam's WMDs were poised to burn civilization to chalk. Ashcroft explaining that without grossly expanded police powers "the terrorists" would bring down western civilization as we know it. Hank "Goldman Sachs Is My Middle Name" Paulson telling frightened Americans that if they didn't hand $700 billion of their hard-earned tax dollars to a cadre of rich, corrupt bankers the economy would collapse.
And now, with a president -- an intelligent, thoughtful, charismatic man from all I can tell -- who promised a return to reason, to courage, to democratic processes, we get this beauty as he excoriates America to pass a $900 billion "Stimulus Bill" that includes tax rebates for car buyers, research grants for NIH doctors, yet only $25 billion for the "infrastructure" rebuilding he's been promising since the election (from The Official White House Release):
A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future. Millions more jobs will be lost. More businesses will be shuttered. More dreams will be deferred.That's an appeal to fear. Pass this bill now. Not tomorrow, not next week, not following a debate, not after a two week recess to allow legislators to speak to the American people and discover what they think about the bill's particulars, but now.
Because if you don't pass it now, you will lose your job, your business will go under, and all your dreams of retirement, of college for your kids, of owning a house without a zero-down mortgage will die. You will have guaranteed the recession that will break you!
I have my own opinions about this stimulus plan as I'm sure you can tell. But that's not even what bothers me, and that's why I waited until today to write about it. I didn't vote for Obama's policies, I voted for a return to the American process, after Bush & Cheney derailed it for nearly a decade.
But this -- this "Do This NOW Or The World Will End" demogoguery -- is not what I voted for, and it pisses me off. And regardless of what you think of the substance of the stimulus bill or the modified version that will surely pass, this should piss you off too.