On The AIG Fiasco by George Drake

Well, I’m not ready to leave the “Capitalism is a Ponzi Scheme on the Environment” theme yet, but the rigamarole around the AIG “bonuses” forces me to preempt that discussion to deal with the current popular obsession.
I’ve got to share my first reaction to this for, even though it has fatal flaws, I’m really tickled by the idea: Obama should “declare war on greed” and imprison the executives who show such excesses as “enemy combatants.” Send them to Guantanamo before it’s too late. Surely it wouldn’t be too bad to apply a little torture where it might at least have some deterrent effect.
But then again, no. That’s too much like the administration we just kicked out. Abuse of power on that order would deserve the kind of disarray amongst the Democratic ranks the AIG fiasco has fostered.
That disarray isn’t justified and it plays into Cheney-Bush-Rove-Limbaugh (CBRL)’s hands. Let me explain.
When I was in college I served on the Student Council at San Jose State College (as it was named then). It was my first experience with real political organization. The student party (there was only one) I joined was SPUR, which was an acronym for something. The surprising thing was how clearly SPUR was a training ground for future politicians. Many of my colleagues went on to major political office. SPUR gave me a novel insight into how the actual political world operates.
First of all, almost nothing is as it appears to the casual observer. There is always an agenda, and it’s not often apparent what it is. Secondly, the planning is years in advance. I was, at one time, on track to be Student Body President three years down the line. But I lost an election. “I could’ah been a contendah.” But, instead, I just got enough of a taste for it to follow politics closely ever since.
One of the things I’ve learned is that politicians have no compunction whatsoever about forcing their own solutions on the people. Another is that, although it’s not always the case, it’s certainly most often about the money. And it is always the case that money has to be contended with, whether it seems to be on your side or against it. It’s never either, actually, as money always has its own side.
The plans implemented under CBRL will take a long time to untangle. These things are the consequence of years of following strategies laid out carefully by the numerous Think Tanks financed by a relatively few, very, very rich people. Obama is smart, and it’s entirely possible he may truly be in control in a year or so. But to think the policies running out now, so shortly into his term, are his, is naive on the face of it.
That a lot of the theft of the Treasury initiated by CBRL is being blamed on Obama now is no accident. That’s why they decided to suddenly wax “bail out-ish” in the first place. That and the money, of course. Has everyone forgotten that this whole thing started when Paulson declared, essentially out of the blue, so far as timing was concerned, that the sky was falling in and our world would self-destruct over the weekend if we didn’t bail out–who was it-Bear Sterns-Wacovia-B of A-Merrill Lynch-Monsanto–who knows? But I mean, “DO IT NOW.” That’s what triggered the panic in the markets that brought this whole house of cards down. Oh, it would have crumbled eventually, for sure, but that’s when it started. One day, everyone’s swimming in sync; next day, chaos.
It took the Republicans a while to get all their ducks in a row, but they’re all pulling together now that the public has forgotten whose crisis we’re dealing with here. This is all a part of a long term master plan to disable government. Starting with Reagan’s successful “government is the problem” and “regulation is B.S.” B.S., Republican administrations have routinely bankrupt government, specifically-although not admittedly-with the goal of disabling its ability to do social functions. The CBRL crowd always talks about tax cuts (for the rich, mostly) while driving up deficit spending on the war machine. (An army to keep the poor down is, by their reckoning, almost the only legitimate function of government)
As a final coup before turning things over to Obama, they robbed the Treasury. Then they turned the mess over to Obama. Having set things up carefully, they knew Obama had no choice but to continue striving to keep the economy afloat (unless he was willing to see it collapse unassisted on his watch). As expected, blaming the smartest populist President since FDR is easy. And, best of all, Democrats can be counted on to join the fray of the attack on the President as soon as the blood hits the water.
Do you think it accidental that so much of the conversation is about the busting of the union contracts while the bonuses can’t be touched? Both bailouts were initiated by the CBRL people. Do you think those people had any wish to protect the unions? To get Bush’s money companies “had” to agree to break the union contracts. Do you think they had any wish to hurt the executives? To get Bush’s money no agreement in that arena was needed. None other than that the bonuses would be paid under Obama, not under Bush. Agreement to break the contracts up front in the one case, no agreement at all in the other. Obama can’t force such agreement in arrears now that it’s done–not short of the “declaration of war on greed.” And that, even I thank god, is beyond what Obama would do.
The predictability of Democrats dissolving into a mass of frenzied piranhas eating their own is too easy. If Democrats don’t learn , and learn fast, to stick behind their leaders we’ll be back in the right wing’s grip in a matter of two years. Close ranks, you idiots. We have one leader. Support him or embrace these guys again. Is that what you want?

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