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January 30, 2007

One More For The Corporate State

In a just remarkable move, the Bush administration has issued an executive order declaring that every federal agency must create a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee that supervises the creation of rules and documents guiding regulated industries, a job traditionally done by apolitical bureaucrats and scientific experts.

Unsurprisingly, business is just giddy over the idea; labor, environmental, and consumer groups somewhat less so. It's a fine reminder, though, that we still have two years of the Bush presidency to go, and even while curtailed by the Democratic Congress, they'll do much to entrench their corporatist vision and ensure the plants disgorging pollutants and and employers fostering potentially lethal work conditions need fear only their consciences, not the tangible aggregation of citizen power that's supposed to govern their actions.

January 30, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

Some may recall that the US used to argue that the monstrosity that was communism in the Soviet Union was marked by nearly all organizations, including military units, having a 'political officer' assigned by the communist party to ensure that only party thinking was pursued and that wayward voices could be identified and taken care of. Nazi Germany had equivalent mechanisms, enforced by the Gestapo. It is characteristic of totalitarian regimes, whether of the left or right.

Bush has just introduced political officers to the US government in essentially all fact-finding/policy-making organizations in the government, to ensure that the BushCo party line is followed without deviation. Heil Bush!

Did the NYT or WaPo or National Review scream bloody murder in their headlines because we have adopted totalitarian control measures to our democratic republic? Nary a word of outrage.

There are now two layers of policy/message control (dept. political officers and OMB) in addition to the vasty expanded Executive Office of the President (and OVP). Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany would be proud of Bush.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jan 30, 2007 10:56:24 AM

Thanks for calling this to our attention. But I have to object to your use of the term "corporatist." This word is used widely in the American left to mean pro-big business.

Maybe I'm a stickler for history, but to my mind corporatism involves vertical trade unions, cartelization of industry and other hallmarks of Italian fascism.

Posted by: Adrian | Jan 30, 2007 12:10:33 PM

Scott Lemieux adds to this discussion at TAPPED, by starting with this statement:

UNDER THE RADAR. To follow up on Rob and Ezra's posts, it's important to emphasize the extent to which regulatory and judicial activity have become crucial to Republican undermining of various New Deal and Great Society programs.

Good stuff.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Jan 30, 2007 12:28:45 PM

Maybe Congress should keep those political appointees too busy to interfere by mandating they do a lot of testimony, busy work, etcetra, surely there's some way to fight this?

Posted by: American Citizen | Jan 31, 2007 2:32:20 PM

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Posted by: JUDY | Sep 26, 2007 4:07:52 AM

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