The Ruling Class (3): U.S. Catatonia

Frank Rich has an interesting article in today’s NY Times.                    He notes that the December 14th Times revealed “another $40 billion rip-off,” this one occurring in the Iraq reconstruction program. Rich’s concern is “how little stir it caused,” his explanation being that “. . . after eight years of battering by Bush, the nation has been rendered half-catatonic.”

Catatonic? Maybe, the distrust of government has reached a saturation point and people are catatonic because they know there is no point in getting upset about things that aren’t going to change, which they certainly aren’t going to do under Bush. There was wide consensus after Bush I left office that his had been the most corrupt presidency in U.S. history; it is doubtful that would be the current consensus now that we have experienced Bush II.

Rich says that “Bush administration malfeasance can’t be merely forgotten or finessed. A new Justice Department must enforce the law. . . . ” And there’s the rub. Obama has already said that he does not intend to pursue punishment of the obviously guilty current president and his minions for such apparently minor crimes as war, torture, theft, and refusal to obey the mandates of the Constitution: it’s time to move forward (you know, as in “change”). His support of the $800 billion gift to the crooks who caused the current depression clearly indicated no desire to rock the boat of the ruling class by demanding retribution for those culpable, any more than those responsible for the Savings & Loan debacle of the ’80’s and ’90’s (which cost U.S. taxpayers a paltry $160 billion or so) were punished.

Punishment for crimes might just stir the people awake a little, to the point where perhaps they would regain some hope for justice from their government. But by avoiding seeking any punishment for the malefactors, Obama can do his best to keep this country’s catatonia operant and thus avoid the potential for discomfort to the ruling class.



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