Tuesday, December 07, 2004

New Meme: The Bush Administration Is Awesome!

No, I haven't gone crazy. I've just become desperate/bored enough to think of a useless silly subversive tactic.

You realize, of course, that even among Bush supporters, expectations aren't very high? (Disclosure: More than half of US citizens think he's mishandling Iraq, won't help the economy, the tax cuts shouldn't be permanent, and that he will fuck up social security; more than half do think he's doing right in general on the war on terror.)

And of course, as we all know, with low expectations, it's harder to be disappointed.

That's right, you see it, don't you? That's right.

We must TALK UP THE BUSH ADMINSTRATION. Maybe if we liberals and progressives wage a constant, non-stop positive PR campaign about how good Bush's crony-Cabinet is going to in its second term, then its failures will be all the more dramatic! Bwa hah hah!

It's just crazy enough... not to work.

In other news... anyone besides me remember the earlier critiques of the Department of Homeland Security? (Seems not -- Slate had some great stuff that appears to have gone down the Memory Hole, annd not the ironic, good kind).

I mention this, because the "Intelligence Reform" flap had a similar background that has also disappeared. Hey, I realize it's important to reform intelligence -- everyone, everyone agrees there was some major fucking up (remember SecState-to-be's description of "Bin Laden to attack inside US" as historical information?), but the sometimes-mentioned point that THIS reform might not be efficacious, in that, it may not, you know, help fix things seems COMPLETELY GONE.


Just to refresh or introduce you to the critiques, the DHS and the "Intelligence Czar" have the similar critiques that creating new bureaucracy may not help increase the efficiency of information flow, especially without large (painful) reorganizations (which seem unlikely to be done); the DHS united (what was it? 22?) many disparate departments with varying degrees of connection to "homeland security" without (seemingly) creating an appropriate administrative structure to handle it. And as Fred Kaplan has pointed out on Slate, if the problem in the 9/11 mishandling was that information wasn't properly flowing through the different organizations, i.e. it was "over-centralized" in that the Washington hierarchy supposedly wasn't keyed in enough to the branch offices, and there was "groupthink", how does having one new guy (or in an unlikely case gal) at the top of it all fight groupthink, lack of cooperation between competing intelligence organizations, and over-centralization?

Now, I don't know -- maybe the 9/11 Panel's suggestions are great, and actually answer all concerns. BUT MAYBE WE SHOULD STILL BE TALKING ABOUT IT. I defy you, DEFY YOU, to find critiques of the intelligence proposals and the DHS: 2 Years Later, or even a systematic analysis of what's gone right, rather than simply "process" stories on Bush vs. Congress vs. Hastert vs. DonRum vs. etc. Shouldn't we not only know about the progress of reform, but WHETHER OR NOT IT WILL BE EFFECTIVE? Surely, not everyone in the entire US is convinced this bill will work, or that DHS is working just fine?

You wouldn't know it from reading the "news".


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