One of my favorite things to do on this blog is to attempt to turn phrases that anticipate or create memes that may then enter the larger cultural discourse. Admittedly, this blog does not have a huge audience, but I enjoy the self-challenge of listening to all the media crap and tripe and turning it into something to say.
Here's what a "meme" is, from M-W.com:
meme : an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a cultureA while back I proposed anointing GWBush as "The Great Squanderer." Here's what I read Paul Krugman of the NYTimes write today:
The second President Bush quickly squandered the surplus on tax cuts that heavily favored the wealthy, then plunged the budget deep into deficit by cutting taxes on dividends and capital gains even as he took the country into a disastrous war.You'll notice that, say, two years ago, both of the above italicized words would have been met with a harsh rebuke by the President's Press Secretary. No longer. Now all that remains is Bush's naked assertion of his executive power -- he recently proposed sending more troops into the Iraqi Civil War. This emperor has no skin, let alone clothes!
Krugman doesn't just leave it there:
...the whole conservative movement shared Mr. Bush’s squanderlust, his urge to run off with the money so carefully saved under Mr. Rubin’s leadership.And:
The answer, I now think, is to spend the money — while taking great care to ensure that it is spent well, not squandered — and let the deficit be. By spending money well, Democrats can both improve Americans’ lives and, more broadly, offer a demonstration of the benefits of good government. Deficit reduction, on the other hand, might just end up playing into the hands of the next irresponsible president.I think this "squander" meme has a lot of promise. For so long, the Republicans posed as yearning for balanced budgets, lower taxes, and lower government spending, while the Democrats were "memed" with the words "pork" and "waste" and "welfare," among others.
Given the geopolitical implications of Iraq -- the situation will be a continuing "disaster" for one or two decades at a minimum -- painting the Right (and the Republicans who have become beholden to them) as an army of "squanderers" should not be that difficult, and would give moderate Democrats a "discursive edge" for as long as a political generation, which I'd say is around ten to fifteen years.
Further, polling data indicates any Republican associated with Bush's Iraq policy is less likely to be elected than Satan himself. All the Democrats have to do is something that's good for the lower 90% of the income brackets, and then all the talk about insulated "Red States" drinking canned beer and watching NASCAR and swearing off ever voting for Democrats is gone.
(UK WWII-era anti-Nazi poster, with representation of women
aiding the war effort)