Damage Control ≠ Governance

2 comments September 7th, 2008at 05:40pm Posted by Eli

Once again, Team McPalin demonstrates its adherence to the Bush/Cheney approach to government:

It’s bad enough that a presidential ticket claiming to run on reform is now orchestrating a cover-up of an apparent abuse of power. What’s really stunning is that they’re conducting this cover-up in lieu of actually vetting Sarah Palin.

(Insert emptywheel’s typically thorough rundown of the Troopergate coverup)

And much of this evidence was available before McCain picked Palin as his running-mate.

Perhaps the McCain camp wasn’t aware of how much damning evidence there was against Palin, but on this issue (unlike, say, her fondness for earmarks), it appears that they knew the outlines and didn’t care. Rather than let clear evidence of a Rovian abuse of power disqualify Palin, the McCain campaign picked her anyway and instead implemented a cover-up.

And so, Palin’s selection followed by the cover-up says more than just that McCain will make rash, dangerous decisions because he hasn’t done his homework. It also suggests how he would “live with the consequences” of those ill-thought out decisions if he were President. He’d lie and obstruct his way out of them.

I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. That’s not much different than the way the Administration has covered for its poor decision to invade Iraq, to make up stories about ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, to sponsor whitewash investigations about the intelligence leading to Iraq, to even impede the investigations into the corrupt execution of the Iraq war. And it’s similar to the way McCain got out of his own biggest ethical morasse in the Keating scandal–to PR his way out of his own failures.

But the Iraq parallel demonstrates the problem with such a governing strategy: no matter how you try to spin it, such ill thought out decisions can results in thousands of deaths, not to mention the financial bankrupting of the country.

It’s not just bad decision-making that leads to disaster, it’s also a total lack of preparation.  The McCain campaign did minimal research on Palin, just as the Bush administration did minimal research on how to invade and occupy Iraq, and made zero preparations for Hurricane Katrina.  I would also suggest that Bush and McCain’s decisions are not as snap as everyone thinks, but rather that they are driven by political and ideological considerations rather than practical ones.  And given that modern conservatism is a thoroughly impractical and unrealistic ideology, disaster is inevitable.

Their organizing principle seems to be that actual outcomes don’t matter, because they can control the media coverage and spin that define our reality.  They don’t care about the real world consequences of their actions, only the political ones, and as long as they can manage those, there are no bad outcomes – for them, at least.

The really sad thing about all of this is that if the Republicans applied themselves to decision-making, preparation, and execution as much they do to spinning and covering up their errors, we could very well be talking about George W. Bush as one of the best presidents ever instead of the worst.  Of course, then they wouldn’t be Republicans…

Entry Filed under: Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,McCain,Palin,Politics,Republicans

2 Comments

  • 1. woody  |  September 7th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    You write:

    It’s not just bad decision-making that leads to disaster, it’s also a total lack of preparation. The McCain campaign did minimal research on Palin, just as the Bush administration did minimal research on how to invade and occupy Iraq, and made zero preparations for Hurricane Katrina.

    It’s not bad decision-making or lack of preparation, either.

    They just don’t give a fuck anymore. That kind of indifference (past the part of what a cynically brilliant tactical move it was to nominate her in the first place) signals to me that (as i know you know I’ve thought all along and have as yet not seen any evidence to disabuse me of the notion) that the fix is in, the decision has already been made…

  • 2. Cujo359  |  September 8th, 2008 at 5:03 am

    It’s not just bad decision-making that leads to disaster,

    If only there were a pattern here …

    Woody’s got it about right. They don’t care. They don’t have to. What’s the worst that could happen – McCain loses? He’s still got plenty of money and so many houses he can visit a different one each month of the year. He’s like most elected officials in DC, in other words.

    Whether the fix is in or not, well, I guess we’ll see. Last week the Obama campaign showed they could respond to Republican nonsense, so maybe the Democrats can manage not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory this time.


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