John Colson: Hit and Run | AspenTimes.com

John Colson: Hit and Run

John ColsonAspen Times Weekly

Okay, now Im really confused.Republicans are against government regulations of all kinds, preferring to let the market take care of it, whatever it might be at any particular moment. Right?Their mantra always has been that government is a necessary evil, should be kept tiny and basically take care of national defense and the countrys roads. Right?At least, thats what Ive understood for my entire political life, which essentially started when I was 17 and facing the draft and a likely death in Vietnam.So, how is it possible that over the past couple of weeks our Republican administration, supposedly run by George W. Bush but really under the thumbs of Vice President Dick Cheney and a host of greedy minions, has been dumping the public treasury into the hands of the fiscal monarchs of the universe?Watching the feds bail out company after company was strange enough, but at the end of this week our national brain trust decided it was time to go whole hog and take on the massive amount of bad mortgage debt that has been at the heart of the recent economic woes of not just the United States, but the world.Let me be clear Im not against the idea of taking some serious steps to stem the flow of fiscal blood. To do nothing might have been disastrous on a scale we cant even imagine.It should also be noted that this is not the first time a Republican administration has stepped in to rescue the financial sector from its own excesses, nor is it the first time the name Bush has figured prominently in the drama. Does anyone out there remember the Savings & Loan fiasco of the late 1980s, the name Neil Bush (brother to George W.) and the Silverado S&L?Well, that was just a dry run for the current financial swamp that threatens to drown us all.But, back to the issue at hand.I find it fascinating that presidential hopeful John McCain, who reportedly pooh-poohed warnings of financial doom a year or two ago, is now wailing at the top of his lungs against the evil bankers on Wall Street and the sloppy, asleep-at-the-switch regulators in Washington, D.C. Isnt this the same guy who has been telling us all along that federal regulations are evil, and that they cause evil, and that we should simply let the private sector take care of us all? Hasnt he been right there in the U.S. Senate for a couple of decades and more, striding with his party down the road toward their imagined golden future of pure free-market bliss?Does the word hypocrisy spring to mind here, or such phrases as desperation flip-flop and cynical pandering to the political wind of the day?Ive had the feeling for some time now that McCain wouldnt know a bedrock principle if it bit him on the ass, and right now that feeling is gaining strength.On a completely different, but related front, havent the Republicans been spitting racist bile for years about the unwed-mother phenomenon? Havent there been calls from the right-wing talk radio blowhards for forced sterilization of young black women as a way to eliminate the welfare state?But now that the Repubs have a vice presidential candidate with a pregnant and unwed daughter, all of a sudden the party is all sweetness and light concerning the phenomenon, cooing about choosing life and showing courage in the face of adversity.Well, I guess it all makes sense because shes white, her mother is an ardent anti-abortionist, a social arch-conservative and a would-be prohibiter of unacceptable books in local libraries.The hypocrisy, the double-standard, the sheer gall of this makes my head spin. Do these people think the rest of us are blind, deaf and dumb? That we cant see through all these desperate gymnastics for what they are? That we dont realize that McCain, starting with his desperation pick of Sarah Palin, set off a tsunami of insincerity that by all that is righteous in the world should drown the party on Nov. 4?But then again, maybe they do think all that, and maybe theyre right, since McCain continues to poll evenly with Barack Obama. And maybe McCain, like too many in this country, does know one bedrock principle when he senses it racism, and the unwillingness of the electorate to allow a black man into the White House.jcolson@aspentimes.com

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