A new movie about the life and times of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reminds America how the Republic veered so far off course in the last century, as claims of “national security” enabled a corrupt political establishment to take hold, as Michael Winship recalls.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry may hope that Republican voters give him a second look if they tire of hearing about Herman Cain’s sexual harassment troubles. But Michael Winship says the voters should really focus on Perry’s troubling record as an enabler of crony capitalism.
When a Republican is in the White House, the Right is all for military interventions and decries critics as un-American. But now, even a small-scale operation in Africa – encouraged by human rights groups – is denounced by Rush Limbaugh and others, as Michael Winship recounts.
During the Vietnam War, “hard-hat” construction workers would sometimes spit on or beat up young anti-war protesters. But the U.S. political/economic situation is now so dire that the “hard-hats” are finding common cause with the scruffy Wall Street protesters, notes Michael Winship.
As American politics continues its sorry decline – with many elected officials now sounding as goofy as any loud-mouth radio host – there are more and more suggestions about the need for reform, as Michael Winship observes.
President George W. Bush’s response to the 9/11 attacks by launching two open-ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, plus the sustained Republican assault on government domestic spending, have contributed to a decline in safety and health at home and abroad, reports Michael Winship.
Perhaps it was inevitable in America’s self-absorbed culture that the tragedy of 9/11 would be politicized and counter-politicized, forged into a weapon by ideological forces to wield against their enemies in the never-ending “culture wars.” But Michael Winship laments how that process has tarnished the memories and heroism of those who died.
Unlike Hurricane Katrina on George W. Bush’s watch, FEMA stayed on top of Hurricane Irene rushing help to flood-stricken Americans, from North Carolina to Vermont. But House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and right-wing Republicans are demanding spending “offsets” from other federal programs, as Michael Winship notes.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the new Republican presidential frontrunner, touts the “Texas Miracle” as a model for the nation. But his vision of a free-market paradise, thriving without the nuisance of government spending, doesn’t match the reality, writes Michael Winship.
Ironically, just as government-spurred technology opened up prospects of greater wealth for all, an anti-government movement took hold, making sure most benefits went to the rich while leaving millions unemployed and the economy a wreck. Michael Winship lists ideas for putting some jobless back to work.