It's time to bestow my first annual award to the corporate authority figure who makes the most ignorant statement in an attempt to influence the fall election. The award shall henceforth be named for its first recipient, The Carl Icahn Award.
Icahn let it be known that Barack Obama, who already has the support of several prominent leaders in the business community, would be a "terrible" President who would take the country on "a huge spending spree" and that a Democratic president in league with a Democratic Congress would lead to "runaway legislation" on social spending.
Let's look at this, for just ten seconds, in an attempt to fully appreciate the inanity of Mr. Icahn's remarks. A Republican president, assisted by a Republican Congress, took this country into an immoral war in Iraq. A war that has killed thousands of American soldiers. Destroyed the lives, culture, infrastructure and very soul of the Iraqi people. (Like when the cops in Philadelphia bombed the house in 1985 and burned down several blocks of homes and killed eleven people, including five children. )
This administration is a war administration. This war was waged for a variety of reasons, chief among which was for Bush to ramp up a wartime economy. So that Bush's supporters could make money. Many of them got rich. Osama bin Laden is drinking a refreshing cup of tea in the mountains of Pakistan. Americans have seemed to have let go of any real hope of bringing him to justice. This administration was built to make war. Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Powell, Wolfowitz, all of those contemptible Senators who stood and watched without a question on their lips. The Irag war is a disgraceful failure. Worse than Vietnam, as that engagement was launched in the late 50's, a time when a vibrant fear of communism propelled a lot of lame thinking and bad ideas.
This administration is a pro-business administration. Made up of rich men, whether they be self-made like Cheney or trust fund darlings like the president himself. They would do anything, cut any budget item, forego any basic human need that government might address in order to stimulate the Dow and appease men like Icahn. Where is the US economy now? Republican leaders in Congress, the most intellectually lazy and morally bankrupt legislative assembly in recent history, rubber stamped everything. Gutted regulation. Took every perceived government hindrance to business out of their way. Flooded the world economy with dollars that were backed by nothing other than a passion to wage a war ostensibly against "terror", yet was actually a war against our own crippling lack of discipline, foresight and further ability to dominate the world economy. This administration had every opportunity. It had some that previous administrations never had, in the wake of 9/11. It squandered them all.
Clinton handed Bush a balanced budget. A surplus. A relatively healthy economy. Clinton was not without his sins and made some regrettable mistakes in his supervision of Wall Street, but not like this. Not like what we have had these past eight years. Men like Icahn spit out a tired and hopelessly dated bias toward Democrats as weak on economics. Just as John McBush will tell you Democrats are "weak on terror." And although there will be plenty of time to set people straight about McBush's flawed thinking on the war, this year's Carl Icahn Award goes to Carl Icahn. A man who, conveniently, provides voters with an important opportunity. Whatever Icahn says, do just the opposite. In this case, vote for Barack Obama. Do it for the economy.