The symptoms of the Great American Demise are all around me. In the end, when we have finally reached full-blown third-world status and our grandkids compete in contests for best rat trap, we’ll be able to look back and know we did it entirely to ourselves. One beautiful example of how we managed to blow a massive US lead in wealth and technology can be found in one Dan Samuel Senor, a man too wrong to fail.
Senor is a textbook example of all that is Evil and Foul in the US, a full-blown neoconservative capo groomed to succeed by way of epic failure from his earliest professional years. But I only picked him because he happens to be in my face right now. As I write this, our so-called liberal cable news channel, MSNBC, has their morning VJ, Joe Scarborough, carrying water for the failures of recent years on my TV. Current guest on screen, Dan Senor.
Senor cruised into the big leagues at a young age after an obligatory stint at Harvard business school and spent most of the 1990s working for a Republican Senator in New York state followed by a brief foray as an advisor to the Carlyle Group. That’s a privately held venture capital equity firm, sort of the Bain Capital of choice for petro sheiks, international arms smugglers, and drug kingpins the world over who want to profit from leveraged buyouts and influence peddling in the noble fields of US defense pork barrel spending, Asian sweatshops, and middle east oil conquests.
In circa 2003 Senor moved back into the privileged position of backseat driver and Bush admin narc for the initial invasion and rebuilding of Iraq’s oil fields. He was a regular guest on cable news throughout those halcyon days, always predicting stunning success and an outbreak of peace and profit, while poorly paid US service members were getting their arms and legs blown off by the hundreds, and pallets of hundred-dollar bills disappeared never to be seen again in fog of smoke and mirrors run by the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was in turn run by guys like Dan Senor. Meanwhile the energy spigot was on, Iraqi oil was harvested by Fortune 500 energy companies, who promptly sold it at full price without so much as coupon discount for the millions of US taxpayers that footed the bill.
As endless acts of dishonesty and jaw dropping incompetence were exposed in that bloody, trillion-dollar Iraq debacle, Senor somehow rode each wave of failure to ever higher posts. He started out in Iraq as a junior WH press flack and within a few months was the senior adviser to head honcho Paul Bremer. Senor’s reign from behind was rated as a disaster by virtually everyone in theatre. Perhaps his only real contribution to culture is the scorching criticism and scandal that followed his every move in Baghdad culminating in some award-winning journalism (Imperial Life in the Emerald City was only made possible by Bremer and Senor’s penchant for failure):
(Link) — When the history of the occupation of Iraq is written, there will be many factors to point to when explaining the post-conquest descent into chaos and disorder, from the melting away of Saddam’s army to the Pentagon’s failure to make adequate plans for the occupation. But historians will also consider the lack of experience and abundant political connections of the hundreds of American bureaucrats sent to Baghdad to run Iraq through the Coalition Provisional Authority.
So, naturally, Senor was given a raise and brought back home to … focus his vast talent for failure on cable news and ‘selling the war’ to America. He spent the dying years of the last Bush term ingratiating himself with hometown DC and NYC media moguls garnished with a marriage to CNN news personality Campbell Brown in 2006.
Senor popped up routinely in newspapers and TV shows over the next few years. When he wasn’t attacking those who were right all along or pining to deny healthcare to millions of his fellow citizens, he was usually pitching tax breaks for zillionaires, rattling his never actually used rusty saber, and deregulation of the investment banks, up to and right through the Great Recession caused by expensive overseas debacles, tax breaks for zillioniares, and deregulation of investment banks.
Now here he is, on Morning Joe, fluffing austerity measures that are in the process of failing catastrophically in the EU right now, and which involve slashing jobs and services for everyone, except people like Dan Senor who caused the whole stinking mess in the first place. Rich neocon sociopaths like Senor and his buddies should get a massive tax break and have government taken ‘out of the way’ except when it involves handing his cronies truckloads of government money: considering how many bricks of hard cash Senor helped ‘misplace’ in Iraq, that last part may finally be something he’s qualified to talk about.
Is there any issue, any issue in the flat fucking world, that Dan Senor won’t eagerly take the wrong side of?
This is the United States in 2012 and Dan Senor is its poster boy. A guy who was wrong about every godamn thing to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, millions of lost jobs, and thousands of dead and maimed Americans, is somehow on TV lecturing the viewing public on how to run foreign policy and manage an economy. When by all rights this joker should be interviewed begging forgiveness wearing a fresh coat of downy tar from an undisclosed location in exile, or better yet, a jail cell.
When future historians try to understand how the most powerful nation on earth could go from winning the Cold War with a nuclear armed adversary, a budget surplus and the strongest post WW2 economy ever seen, to a broke, divided nation mired in debt and unwinnable wars in two decades flat, all they’ll have to do is study the life of Dan Senor, the political party he so proudly represents, and the corporate media that enabled it all.