|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Friday, October 8th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Let us judge President Bush not by his friends, but by his enemies:
“Dear Mr. President,
U.S. economic policy has taken a dangerous turn under your stewardship. Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated…. Real GDP growth… is the lowest of any presidential term in recent memory …employment has contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are lower… The percentage of Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined, and income inequality has grown.”1
What wild-eyed radical liberals wrote that? A group of one hundred and fifty business school professors, including two Nobel laureates and two Pulitzer Prize winners, in an open letter to Mr. Bush on October 3rd. Not generally viewed as hotbeds of radicalism, business schools are conservative havens in liberal academe. The curriculum is heavy on free markets, capital accumulation, marketing, and accounting. Many of the professors who teach it lead double-lives as high-priced consultants to big business, making them businesspeople themselves. But such is the havoc wrought by the Bush administration’s economic policies that these conservative B school professors are mad as hell and won’t take it any more.
The business school group attacks the “socially corrosive and economically dysfunctional” income inequality attributable to the President’s tax policies. The view of these sober signatories: more of the same economic policies will be “disastrous”.
What other fringe groups of similar caliber have publicly denounced the Bush administration’s policies? There are the Scientists and Engineers for Change, a group of twenty-five of the most distinguished U.S. scientists and technologists, whose numbers include ten Nobel prize winners.2 Their organization condemns Mr. Bush for cutting government research funds, distorting science for ideological purposes, stifling vital health research on spurious ethical grounds, weakening education in the sciences and technology, and eschewing the critical economic and national security goal of reducing our dependence on imported oil. The Scientists and Engineers remind us that during the 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush said “the jury is still out on evolution”. Such pandering to the likes of Ralph Reed and others of the rabid religious right has completely alienated the nation’s best scientific minds.
The original public denunciation of Mr. Bush and his policies came from the most unlikely group of all. The twenty-seven members of the Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change 3 are, to a person, retired ambassadors, assistant Secretaries of State, Admirals, and Generals. They include former Commanders-in-Chief of the Central and Pacific Commands, and a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are Republicans, Democrats, and independents who have served every President since Truman. In a statement the group made in June, the Diplomats and Military Commanders described "an administration blinded by ideology and a callous indifference to the realities of the world around it.” These ultimate insiders, the topmost echelon of the civil service mandarinate, felt compelled to speak out, despite a lifetime of training in discretion and politic caution.
Their statement is a remarkable document, an unprecedented critique of a sitting President by retired senior members of the government. The group was impelled to act by an administration that “led the United States into an ill-planned and costly war from which exit is uncertain” and that “justified the invasion of Iraq by manipulation of uncertain intelligence about weapons of mass destruction, and by a cynical campaign to persuade the public that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda and the attacks of September 11.”
The Diplomats and Military Commanders' courage and frankness in speaking out was not matched by the mainstream press: the New York Times didn’t bother to cover their June 16th press conference. The group concludes “The Bush Administration… is not able to rise to the responsibilities of world leadership in either style or substance. It is time for a change.”
So if Mr. Bush’s sternest enemies are the nation’s most eminent scientists, engineers, academics, diplomats, and military commanders, we might be tempted to ask what he does for friends. But with enemies like these, does it really matter?
©J.C. Nossiter 2004
|How to Lose Votes|
|Grounds for Fear|
|A Splendid Little Tar Baby|
|Early Warning System for Lies|
|Bumper Sticker Clarity|
|When Inmates Run The Asylum|