The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Bush Syndicate

In the realm of politics, Republicans know how to win and they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the 'noble' cause of getting their candidate elected. In a lot of ways, Bush campaign financers remind me of the cast of the Sopranos. When the organization is going to take a hit, there is always someone willing to go down with the ship and do prison time; they never reveal anything about Tony Soprano or other members and they are rewarded when they finish their time behind bars. Keeping 'the family' safe is just as well as lucrative.

During George W. Bush's 2004 run for re-election for President of the United States, Bush and his supporters raised upwards of $360 million (according to and spent $306 million for his campaign. This was an unprecedented amount of donations and Bush had his "Pioneer ($100,000)" and "Ranger ($200,000)" fund-raisers to thank. Among the ranks of those that had attained Pioneer and Ranger status were Jack Abramoff and Tom Noe. These fund-raisers are especially important as it is almost a given that the candidate with the most money will win; it is difficult for even the most charismatic and well-intentioned candidate to compete with an onslaught of heavily researched and spun TV and radio spot ads turning the smallest nick into a glaring weakness.

The final outcome is important. Bush raised $360 million and he won. He has enjoyed almost six years of plush White House living and has shaped American politics into a form that will leave a significant mark in history textbooks for our children to read about. Jack Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy to bribe public officials and Noe has been found guilty of conspiracy to violate federal campaign laws and violating them.

Jack Abramoff will spend a few years in jail. Tom Noe faces 24-30 months in jail. Bush however is President, mission accomplished. It is almost inconsequential and of little celebratory value that the guilty have been brought to justice as they have already realized the fruits of their actions and the Bush administration can wipe its hands clean of any involvement. These men are and will continue to be heroes in the eyes of the GOP; they did their jobs and after some jail time will continue to be awarded.

The Republican strategy is decisive, unethical, and it works. It will also work like a well oiled machine in 2008. We are already seeing signs of the transition that must be made for 2008 success, the abandonment of dead weight and political liability, George W. Bush. The economic floundering, War in Iraq, consumer dissatisfaction, squabble with Iran, failure to capture Osama Bin Laden, and general dissatisfaction will be squarely placed on Bush’s shoulders and his alone. FOX News has always seemed to have unwavering support for the President, though this morning as I was casually flipping channels I heard a FOX News morning show anchor ask her audience, "how many of you are tired of the Clintons and the Bushes?” The audience laughed and all raised their hands, the anchor laughed as well and went to commercial. One commentator chimed in "the first President Bush was unpopular and it is obvious that George W. Bush is losing popular favor, I don't think the country wants to see Jeb Bush run." (I don't have the transcript, but I think that is pretty accurate). Everyone has their job to do in the road to the win; some people raise money, those who do it illegally may get caught, but they have served their purpose. Now Bush's responsibility is to get out of the way and the Republicans will abandon him when the time comes. A win is a win. Isn't it?


Post a Comment

<< Home