September 20, 2005
Raw Deal: How the Bush Republicans Plan to Destroy Social Security
and the Legacy of the New Deal
Before we get into Social Security and the Bushevik efforts to turn it into Social Insecurity, we just have to say Joe Conason is permanently enshrined in the BuzzFlash journalism hall of fame. Joe and the inimitable Gene Lyons, another Buzz hero, co-wrote "The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton," which should be required reading for every Democratic elected official.
In "The Hunting of the President," Conason and Lyons detail how the effort to entrap Bill Clinton into being impeached or into resigning was the result of a strategic, well-funded right wing effort -- centered around the infamous "Arkansas Project" -- to launch a hostile takeover of the United States government. Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Richard Mellon Scaife, Ted Olsen, and others were quite open in boasting that they were engaged in a "war," not in public policy debates.
Those Americans who still don't understand that the right wing gurus, financiers and appartachiks firmly believe that they have a right to control the United States, regardless of how the voters feel, need to read "Hunting" as soon as possible. It is chilling to the bone to anyone who values democracy.
What is clear after reading "Hunting" is that the 2000 Supreme Court "selection" of Bush as president was just an extension of the impeachment efforts, whose goals were achieved in a different political forum; i.e., the Supreme Court, not Congress. The United States has lived under a silent coup for the last five years.
But that is NOT what "The Raw Deal" by Conason is about. What it is about is one of the key goals of the coup: the destruction of the New Deal and the federal government as a provider of domestic services and support to American citizens. And the gold prize for the Grover Norquist "drown the national government in a bathtub" right wing Busheviks is to end Social Security as a mandated governmental program with guaranteed benefits.
Social Security accomplished the unthinkable. It turned the seniors of America, as a group, into one of the more secure populations in our country. Before Social Security, the elderly were without any guaranteed support system and far too many died as indigents.
Conason's book reveals the fraudulent bait-and-switch gambit that Rove and Norquist (with the help of the ubiquitous GOP "framer," Frank Luntz) are trying to pull off: they'll have Bush talk of "strengthening" Social Security, while taking the first steps to ensure its demise. Because the only group of people who will be ensured of prosperity under Bush's plans are Wall Street brokers. Under Bush, one of America's great success stories would become one of its riskiest adventures, leaving many senior citizens destitute, while Wall Street firms would increase bonuses and break out the champagne.
Of course, Bush can't really tell you that's the goal of the radical wing of the Republican Party that he is the figurehead for, because Americans like Social Security because it provides -- gee willikers -- security! What Bush is offering is insecurity: he wants seniors to take the risk and Wall Street to take the profit. Such a deal!
In "Raw Deal," Conason dissects and exposes the Bushevik "Raw Deal" with the thorough analysis and documentation that he is known for. Anyone who reads his columns in Salon or the New York Observer also knows that Joe is a tremendously engaging writer.
If you want to know the real deal about the Bushevik effort to leave millions of elderly Americans at risk for poverty, read the "Raw Deal."