Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Governance & a spooked Whitehouse « Previous | |Next »
April 12, 2006

The Republican administration in the Whitehouse is not doing that well in terms of governace is it? It increasingly looks to be a dysfunctional form of governance and to be spooked politically:

Nick Anderson

Sebastian Mallaby's op ed in the Washington Post, talks in terms of political crackup:

Today the signs of a political crackup are all over Washington. Within the administration, the White House chief of staff is going, the Treasury secretary is rumored to be going, and the defense secretary argues publicly with the secretary of state about whether he made "tactical errors" in Iraq. The president's domestic policy has shriveled to pleas for expanded health savings accounts, whose shockingly muddled design speaks volumes about the administration's lack of economic talent. In a mark of desperation, Bush has gone off script to take questions from journalists and citizens. At a forum in North Carolina on Thursday, he confessed that the torture revelations from Abu Ghraib had been "disgraceful."

Tis time to sound the drums of war:---- to beat up the Iranian threat to America, continue to build a very public PR campaign in favor of a military strike against Iran, and to put in place the instruments for regime change in Iran.

Is this just sabre rattling from a Republican administration that has a preference, and a track record, for war over diplomacy. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo acutely observes:

It is also not too early to point out that the evidence is there for the confluence of two destructive and disastrous forces -- hawks in the administration's Cheney faction whose instinctive bellicosity is only matched by their actual incompetence (a fatal mixture if there ever was one), and the president's chief political aides who see the build up to an Iran confrontation as the most promising way to contest the mid-term elections. Both those groups are strongly motivated for war. And who is naive enough to imagine a contrary force within the administration strong enough to put on the brakes?

Don't the necons in the US hold that those who are not of their Amercian values are to be subject to pre-emptive attack? Does not the US see itself as the world's policeman?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 1:22 PM | | Comments (8)


Gary, They were cracking up in 2001 too. They were aimless, they were kicking out empiricists from their administration - which is never a good thing. It was also pretty obvious that they did not know how to govern back then. If it wasnt for September 11th the current problems would have become more publicly apparent earlier.


9/11 is really the defining moment of the Bush Administration isn't it. It would seem that the Republican position is weakening.

The Republicans are not doing well on the economy.The benefits of the economic recovery from productivity growth are mostly flowing to capital, with little to none flowing to labour. This is a key economic problem -- accelerating inequality so pervasive that the US has an economic "recovery" with continuing wage slippage and poverty increases. Hell, I reckon some Republicans would even argue that the poor receive too much health care.

One Republican solution to the labour flow effects of globalization is to build a wall right along the Mexican border-- so a country with no savings and a 7-8% current account deficit proposes to take the big protectionist pathway. That is going to end in tears.

Now Vice-President Cheny is talking about nuking another other country merely on the suspicion that they may pose a future security threat. Would not nuclear first use turn America into an international pariah in the eyes of global public opinion? Not that an imperial Cheny would care.

Despite this, it is unlikely that the 15 net victories Democrats need to take back control of the House, which has been in GOP hands since the 1994 election, will happen.

Though the New Deall looks dead, nothing is taking its place, or is being suggested by the Democrats. Nor does it look as if middle America will get a bigger slice of the growing economic pie.

They could appeal to nationalism and the 'state' through Iraq and terror in the past, but no more. The polls for Iraq are in the gutter too, which is why I think immigration has been trundled out. They have no ideas and not much left to bind the people to government's protective arm.

Economically; I think America is waiting for its technical entrepreneurs to create another investment boom like it did in the 1990s.

Are not the Republicans appealing to nationalism and the state through banging the war drums on Iran, even if the threat from Iran does not justify the risks of another war?The war talk is there despite th emedia denials.

I reckon the war hawks are losing the plot judging from this op ed by Mark Helprin in the Washington Post:

The obvious option is an aerial campaign to divest Iran of its nuclear potential: i.e., clear the Persian Gulf of Iranian naval forces, scrub anti-ship missiles from the shore and lay open antiaircraft-free corridors to each target. With the furious capacity of its new weapons, the United States can accomplish this readily. Were the targets effectively hidden or buried, Iran could be shut down, coerced and perhaps revolutionized by the simple and rapid destruction of its oil production and transport.

What is imagined is all out war in the region, with Iran making:
...such a fury in the Islamic world that, as it has done before and not long ago, it would throw over caution in favor of jihad. As simply as it can be said, were Egypt to close the canal, and Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to lock up their airspace -- which, with their combined modern air forces, they could -- the U.S. military in Iraq and the Gulf, bereft of adequate supply, would be beleaguered and imperiled.

Thinking strategically about this war game scenario of every single country in the Middle East turning against the US means using the time it takes Iran to build a bomb to
to strengthen -- in numbers and mass as well as quality -- the means with which we fight, to reinforce the fleet train with which to supply the fighting lines, and to plan for a land route from the Mediterranean across Israel and Jordan to the Tigris and Euphrates.

This is the Israeli lobby in Washington speaking. It goes beyond sabre rattling to actually building up US forces to ensure war. It's a campaign to eliminate any government in the Middle East that might conceivably pose a threat (broadly defined) to the United States or to Israel (one and the same for the Israeli lobby).

Gary, Yeh they are trying, but I think there is a level of crisis fatigue that has set in. Even with the government and media beating on permanent crisis there comes a point when fatigue sets in and it becomes farce.


The Republicans really do want to hold onto office at all costs---for the senior ones in the Administration such as Cheney---its about grabbing power, holding it, and not letting go of it. Bush goes but they stay in the next Republican administration. These guys really are about power.

Given that, the Congress midterm elections this summer will see the old, tired, "familyAmerican values" issues abortion, the flag and as you point out race re immigration) dragged out for yet another run to crank up the core Republican base.

Is that core base the Evangelical Christian Right?

Gary, These guys really are about power.

I think that is a fair statement.

Does that mean Donald Rumsfield will be tossed off the wagon train as Defence Secretar.

What is being reported in the US media is that military brass in the US appear to be engaged in a new campaign: getting rid of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The brass are arguing that Rumsfeld made major strategic errors by insisting on invading Iraq with a relatively light force that proved incapable of imposing order on the country, let alone suppressing the insurgency that followed.

I don't think Bush would ever dump Rumsfield, Cheney or Rice. It would leave Bush too naked in his last few years of his lameduck Presidency with the unfinished Iran business.

Is not the flip side of the US agenda of dominating the Middle East securing Israel's dominant position in a new Middle East?

The Middle East has to be sorted by the Republicans to secure Israel's regional dominance and for that to happen Iran needs to be contained and Iranian (Shiiite) influence is rolled back.

Rumsfeld is needed for that surely.