It’s Become Self-Aware

Repost from a little while back in light of Barry Ritholtz’s post on Grover Norquist being funny in public on purpose. He was every bit as shocked as I was when I saw which Onion article Norquist had up on his wall behind his desk.

The fine Ezra Klein post on motivated skepticism at the Washington Post the other day featured seemingly damning quotes from Grover Norquist and Paul Ryan, among others, about the desirability of fiscal stimulus from 2001. It’s worth reading on its own (we’ve highlighted it already), but now it’s important to focus on the picture of Norquist’s office accompanying the article:

The Post caption mentions the Guy Fawkes mask at left, but look at the news story hanging on the wall just to the left of Norquist’s face:

I can’t imagine why this would happen, but Grover Norquist, the “Field Marshal” of the Bush policy agenda, has on his wall a copy of the most prescient article to appear in the mainstream media after George Bush Jr. was declared president:

Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’

JANUARY 17, 2001 | ISSUE 43•01 ISSUE 37•01

WASHINGTON, DC–Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that “our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over.”

“My fellow Americans,” Bush said, “at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us.” …

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further. …

Asked for comment about the cooling technology sector, Bush said: “That’s hardly my area of expertise.” …

“We as a people must stand united, banding together to tear this nation in two,” Bush said. “Much work lies ahead of us: The gap between the rich and the poor may be wide, be there’s much more widening left to do. We must squander our nation’s hard-won budget surplus on tax breaks for the wealthiest 15 percent. And, on the foreign front, we must find an enemy and defeat it.” …

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