Monday, October 18, 2004

Ballad of A Grey Man

43°39' North; 79° 23' West

Looks like one of the paragons of safe, staid, grey journalism in Canada, the Globe and Mail's star political columnist Jeffrey Simpson, has decided to clean up his act and stop drinking the Kool-Aid.

Because for two weeks in a row now Mr. Simpson has aimed a few left jabs at the chin of George W. Bush and the Rovians.

First it was a reasonably clear-eyed look at the situation in Iraq and then this past weekend he took Mr. Bush to task for being the 'Happy Squanderer'.

In the latter piece, Simpson lays out the turn around from massive $5 trillion surpluses to massive $5 trillion deficits under Mr. Bush's so-called 'fiscally conservative' watch.

But then, like so folks trying to maintain their turf in the mushy middle, Simpson goes soft:

"Americans will pay a price for this foolishness all right, but it will be after Mr. Bush has left office, either next January or in four years, because these deficits and the resulting debt distort the economy and will eventually be paid for in weaker public services, higher taxes, or both."

So, is it possible that the well-plugged in Mr. Simpson has never heard of Grover Norquist, one of the neandercon Republican strategists that actually gives Karl Rove his marching orders? In case you haven't heard of him, it is Norquist who came up with strategy of underfunding/shrinking social programs enough so that he can take them upstairs and 'strangle them in the bathtub'.

Or how about Vice-President Dick Cheney sitting at Bush's side during cabinet meetings about permanent tax-cuts for the rich so that he can mumble "deficit's don't matter, Reagan proved it" over and over and over again, like a mantra, in the Shrubbery's ear?

I'm not making this stuff up. If you have the time and/or inclination go ahead and google it. I think you'll find that discussion of these 'policy' statements will turn up on the pages of other members of the Grey Flannel Ol' Boys Club south of the border, the Washington Post and the NY Times.

Question is.....when, if ever, will they all stop with the ineffectual jabs and start throwing haymakers?

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