Thursday, September 15, 2005

President Mobutu

Bush's political strategy to deal with the political fallout from Katrina is now clear. Demand vast seas of spending that are called responses to Katrina. Make it so large, so totally without financing (or offsetting spending cuts of any kind), and in some other way so unacceptable to the Democrats that he can posture as the one who wants to do something about Katrina while they don't. This is the analogue to calling them soft on terrorism. The money itself will be wasted or looted by cronies, and spent on political and ideological goals having little to do with Katrina, on at least an Iraq war scale and perhaps even beyond that, since there's more you can do with the money at home and since, so far as they are concerned, they got away unscathed with the fraud and waste in Iraq.

You could call it politically brilliant, but it isn't really. It's simply the audacity, hard for the rest of us to imagine, that comes with a complete lack of civic virtue.

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