There has been a systematic conservative backlash against social democracy for decades, and Grover Norquist's dream of drowning the remaining memory of Roosevelt's New Deal was chugging along successfully - until Hurricane Katrina threatened to expose the conservative backlash for what it has been. Now the conservatives are saying that Johnson's War on Poverty never worked - without them finishing their own sentence - that they made damned sure that the War on Poverty would not work... from Reagan all the way to Bush 43. And they are still trying.
"We've had a stunning reversal in just a few weeks [since Hurricane Katrina]," said Robert Greenstein, director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal advocacy group in Washington. "We've gone from a situation in which we might have a long-overdue debate on deep poverty to the possibility, perhaps even the likelihood, that low-income people will be asked to bear the costs. I would find it unimaginable if it wasn't actually happening." [San Francisco Chronicle - Conservatives trying to shift debate on Katrina and poverty]
Conservatives have to change the subject - or lose significant ground on their dismantling of the social safety net in America. For example, while most Democrats support the measure to expand Medicaid to cover all the poor who survived Hurricane Katrina, including many adults who did not previously qualify, the Bush administration is strongly opposed, arguing that evacuees would be served faster through more modest changes in existing state programs (that were obviously not adequate and/or not working). See Miserable by Design by Paul Krugman [NYT Select]
Paul Krugman, New York Times: "I'm not sure why the news media haven't made more of the White House role in stalling a bipartisan bill that would have extended Medicaid coverage to all low-income hurricane victims -- some of whom, according to surveys, can't afford much-needed medicine," Times columnist Krugman writes. He adds, "Since the administration is already nickel-and-diming Katrina's victims, it's a good bet that it will do the same with reconstruction -- that is, if reconstruction ever gets started" (Krugman, New York Times Select, 10/10).
Faith is about a whole lot more than being anti-gay and anti-women's rights. It's easy to find a common bond through faith, but it's dead wrong when you politically support a candidate who uses faith to suppress human freedom and socially ostracize people through political means. If this is true and Bono and U2 are stumping for Rick Santorum, I swear that I will stomp on every U2 CD I've ever owned. They'll lose a lot of influence and respect if they do this. What's next on their schedule? A live appearance on Rush Limbaugh?
UPDATE: Where the source has no name: CNN failed to report origin of false claim of U2 fund-raiser for Santorum [Media Matters]
On the October 11 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN correspondent Ali Velshi reported as fact an Internet rumor that the rock band U2 was "set to perform in Philadelphia on Sunday at a $1,000-a-seat fund-raiser for Sen. Rick Santorum's [R-PA] re-election campaign." Velshi's report -- which contained wording similar to that in a false October 10 article on the conservative website NewsMax -- cited a claim by the "organizer of the fund-raiser" that both Santorum and U2 lead singer Bono "have strong religious convictions and are passionate in their beliefs" as an explanation for Bono's "new and perhaps surprising cause." Additionally, in a teaser for the report, anchor Kyra Phillips appeared to parrot NewsMax when she asked, "Why is U2's Bono teaming up with a conservative Republican senator?" Though Velshi later acknowledged that he had been "hoaxed," his retraction did not reference NewsMax, the event's "organizer," or any other possible source for his false report.