Tonight President Bush will announce his plans to deploy National Guard troops on the Mexican border to rein in illegal immigration. In times of political difficulty and sinking polls, Bush has always found troop deployments a tonic.
But I’m thinking he’s not going nearly far enough. Consider all the creative ways the Bush administration could pursue its goals with a little help from the uniformed services:
- For seniors who have been tardy about signing up for a Medicare drug plan, what could be more effective than a GI at the door? It may be that, as Bush has put it, “Deadlines help people understand there’s finality” — but gun barrels are even more persuasive.
- Schoolkids across the U.S. know that their future depends on how they perform on a growing array of tests that are the Bush-era education system’s hallmark. But if you really want kids to understand a test’s gravity, there’s nothing like the impassive stare of a sergeant at the front of the room.
- Under the Bush administration the I.R.S.’s army of auditors has focused its efforts on making sure that low-income filers claiming the earned income tax credit aren’t cheating. Surely this enforcement effort would prove even more effective with a little military muscle behind it. Suspect taxpayers could have their returns reviewed in the belly of an Abrams tank. If that’s not sufficient, Vice President Cheney could approve a Geneva Conventions waiver.
- The Bush team has faced what it views as outrageous delays in obtaining Senate approval for its most conservative judicial nominees. Well, why wait for senators to achieve consensus or compromise? Why not just deploy a Marine battalion to Capitol Hill?
- Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may or may not be on the verge of indicting Karl Rove. But isn’t this endless Plamegate investigation distracting the government from its important national security mission? To end this threat, all it would take is a 3 a.m. visit from a Special Forces team.
Really, once you get going down the road of martial law, the possibilities are endless.
BONUS LINK: Tom Lehrer’s Send the Marines
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