liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Spring Offensive

Judy Keen wrote an unpleasant article that appears in USA Today on Thursday regarding the increase in Social Security politicization rhetoric: Social Security Sales Job Gears Up.

With painful grammatical bumps along the way, the story announces the next phase in a dogged campaign by the Bush Administration to verbally mug the American working public into surrendering Social Security to Wall Street.

The verbal assault began before Inauguration Day, but took on a new shape yesterday with Federal Reserve Chairperson Alan Greenspan (testifying in an UNofficial capacity) before the House Budget Committee. Rolling out a lengthy portfolio of gestures and facial expressions, including grimaces, squints, winces, and fluttering of the eyelids, Mr. Greenspan spent hours fielding questions about Social Security from attentive, "honored," and "grateful" U.S. Representatives in front of CSPAN cameras.

In spite of the audience's comparative youth and energy, not to mention their desperate need for reliable ideas -- the tireless Mr. Greenspan, seated alone before a large microphone, succeeded -- over a period of about two and one half hours -- in wearing down his 150 or so quizzical listeners with an irresistable tide of neo-Objectivist millenial philosphy of economics.

Few of the news stories covering the testimony emphasized that Greenspan was testifying strictly on his own behalf, and not in his official capacity as Fed Chair: a fireside chat.

Although Keen states in her hook that the tour began Wednesday (presumably with Greenspan making the pilgrimmage to the Capital), she contradicts herself a few paragraphs later by saying
The tour, dubbed "60 stops in 60 days," begins with a speech by Snow today [emphasis added] in Arkansas. On Friday, Bush will travel to New Jersey and Indiana.

Maybe Judy wasn't supposed to tell us that Mr. Greenspan's Finance Seminar was really Day 1 of the propaganda blitzkreig, but somehow we knew, with Greenspan opening as the prologue of a new and, most likely, seemingly endless, invasion of the American consciousness by ranks of Republicans emitting floods of slogans and soundbytes in unapologetic repetitive waves.

"The president is really just now stepping up our efforts," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said. "We are going to be blanketing the country ... talking with the American people and educating them."
Maybe carpet bombing would have captured the nature of the Spring offensive a little more accurately.

But just in case you are worried that there won't be enough coverage of this issue, Ms. Keen allays our anxieties in closing:
Both sides are gearing up.

Last week, the Republican National Committee made more than 250,000 phone calls supporting Bush's plan and sent more than 100,000 e-mails to Republican activists. Democratic senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, are holding forums in four states this week to oppose Bush's proposal.

What Hillary Rodham Clinton's position is doesn't rate as news in this article. Get it?

This is mobilization. It's not going to be a campaign of, "May the best policy win," but one of "May our message machine devour the public mind first."


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