Frank Rich on DC’s Ponzi Schemes

As on so many Sundays, our perhaps greatest cultural critic, Frank Rich, has a must read in today’s Times. Read it.

Rich catalogues a greatest hits of the various crimes and offenses of the last 8 years (somebody should host a competition of the best article or series of articles to remind us of just how endless the horizon of Bush offenses against the law and humanity). He writes:

Just a short list is staggering. Who put that bogus “uranium from Africa” into the crucial prewar State of the Union address after the C.I.A. removed it from previous Bush speeches? How high up were the authorities who ordered and condoned torture and then let the “rotten apples” at the bottom of the military heap take the fall? Who orchestrated the Pentagon’s elaborate P.R. efforts to cover up Pat Tillman’s death by “friendly fire” in Afghanistan?

And, for extra credit, whatever did happen to Bush’s records from the Texas Air National Guard?

But the reason for reading the article is not for the Cliff Notes of Bush Crimes, but instead because of an important point well made. These crimes need to be noted for posterity, yes, but in uncovering and revealing the rough beast Bush unleashed, Obama gets all the justification he needs for a radical (one hopes) re-thinking of how America operates, he gets all the justification he needs to introduce a little justice back into this country. Says Rich:

If Bernie Madoff, at least, can still revive what remains of our deadened capacity for outrage, so can those who pulled off Washington’s Ponzi schemes. The more we learn about where all the bodies and billions were buried on our path to ruin, the easier it may be for our new president to make the case for a bold, whatever-it-takes New Deal.


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