Friday, September 26, 2008
The joy of watching the politicians (and pundits) frightened
Washington D.C.--Yes, the bailout is utter bullshit. Yes, we've all been had. No, it's not a "coup d'etat," but that's the message I'm getting from much of the reactionary left as well as the right.
A message to you all: you couldn't me more off-the-mark, but that's because of your ignorance of American history, a result of our wonderful consumer culture where we only fixate on one thing at a time, living in an eternal present without any past or future. How many times do I and others have to tell you that this economic system doesn't work? But on to other irrational notions held by those who should know better...
This absolutely idiotic, baseless notion that we're experiencing a "coup" (too late! that was 2000, you seem to have missed it) is more than a little belated. What it has to do with the fact that the GOP, the White House, and congressional Democrats have wrecked the economy because they could and now don't know how to fix it without giving the public something in-return, escapes me. When you see those in power losing control of things and you start shouting "coup," it obvious you get nothing about our history or the political situation anywhere. It suggests no viable framework of thinking, assuming there's one there.
One thing is certain--most of you out there just don't get it at all. This--I believe--comes from buying into various hollow values that come with having some kind of a stake or a perceived share in this irrational mess of an economy. Luckily, I don't share in this, and have never wanted a stake in what can only be described as a festering pile of bullshit and lies. Fine, continue lying to yourselves that "they're taking over" and that you don't own a share of this stinking-mess. You do. Panicking: It's not going to change anything or what happens next. It will only make matters worse. There are alternatives...
The first is to admit that the free market system doesn't work anymore and that a new day is dawning in America where "business as usual" won't cut it. This means a new work ethic where work is meaningful, not wasteful, and has some logical use for people. It means "ownership" of commodities, agricultural-tracts, mineral wealth, and all the others means of production in America, need to truly be owned by the "little guy," not corporations. It means an end to letting corporations exist legally as "private individuals."
Additionally, it's time that Americans were finally paid a living-wage, had a single-payer health care system, progressive taxation where the rich finally pay their share (or get out), and a nationalization of the major business, banking, and financial industries who cannot be trusted any longer in the same role in our economy. They have all been irresponsible for too long, and it's over. Reform is coming if you want it. If not, panic with the rest of the morons out there and accomplish nothing, be demoralized, give-up. You must be used to it, so why change now?
None of this is to suggest that we shouldn't be bailing-out home owners--we should be, and it should be the first and tallest of orders in Washington right now. As we know, the Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don't on this, and will vigorously fight any social agenda or social dividend. If they bailout the banks and the financial institutions, they get stuck with the socialism label. If they bailout home owners, their ostensible backers, bitter boot-straps conservatives, and the rest of the wacko right-fringe will hit them over abandoning conservatism.
Actually, in both cases, the GOP's representatives are going to be accused of abandoning conservatism, which is more than appropriate. They literally don't know what to do except to hand the windfalls of a bailout to the private sector...except that the public isn't having it, not even their normally supplicant voting base.
What they're up against in Washington--and everywhere in America--is something they haven't seen in 100 years: a broad-based Populism that knows no ideological boundaries rather than the usual division Washington's political elites are used to manipulating. The game has changed radically, and overnight. Thanks George, thanks GOP. Those of us on the genuine progressive-tip couldn't have done it without you.
A coup? They cannot agree on Capitol Hill exactly what the bailout is even going to look like. If it's anything, we're seeing the collapse of a political culture under it's own weight and paradoxes. At no point has anyone shown me anything of the remotest credibility to show that this current order is anything but on-the-ropes right now. Give me a break. Honestly, if you're that frightened, move to Sweden or Australian (somewhere soft), they've beaten you down with fear so much that you don't know any other reaction these days. There's only one word for this kind of thinking, and that's cowardice in the face of victory for the average person. You really do fear real liberty, and it's sad.
Yet, today, I'm watching the Republican minority leader surrounded by his posse, having their press conference on the Hill--and there's that same look of fear in their eyes. OK, the wackos are shitting themselves that "There's a coup, there's a coup!" and then we have these very frightened politicians who have that deer in the headlights countenance, saying that "The Democratic leaders ganged-up on us at the White House meeting [over the bailout agreement]," and you see that they're all part of the same cowardly American mindset.
This stance is reactionary, cowardly, irresponsible, and not constructive. At its core it's childish, as one would expect from the average pampered American asshole.
But I have to love it all too. Watching the congressional GOP's incumbents eying those used car lots that they're all going to be returning to is going to be worth 100,000 Hoovervilles. If you saw the potential of their return to permanent minority-status for another five decades as I and others do, you wouldn't be so "scared." I don't think it's going to end there, though.
Both major parties could take a major-hit over this, which offers an opening for third parties to come in. To waste that opportunity would be irresponsible, but it appears more of us are getting this point. Ralph Nader's popularity is constantly growing, and other third party candidates are going to benefit from the current political climate. This climate isn't going to end anytime soon. The real losers will be the Republicans.
What I'm saying is that the Republican Party is going to be destroyed by this economic crash. The best part is that they're going to take several notable Democratic Party incumbents who were involved with this extraordinary corruption down with them. We almost got this with "Hookergate" and the Palfrey scandal, but this time it's going to stick (and Palfrrey is going to continue to deliver from the grave). Why is that?
Because not one plan that they float out there is going to work. Why? Neither party wants the public to experience a real windfall from any of this, and that's what all of us are poised to do if they bailout the American homeowner. That would mean a very real "New Deal," which is the opposite of their and their wealthy backers' agenda.
There will be some minor-bailouts of homeowners and some judicial and exectuive revisions of mortgages statutes to buy them some more time. That's not going to be enough either. The only answer will be giving these homes to people and creating a new generation of American homeowners. That can only be good for the economy. Otherwise, there's no "disposable income," just a mass population of people who not only cannot fill their tanks to get to work, but tens of millions of them without any income at all. Sound sustainable?
The politicians know this. They know that no matter what they do, the public will benefit in some way from it. This is why the GOP won't commit to any version of the bailout legislation yet. Conversely, they have no real choice and have lost one of their most powerful rhetorical-weapons in the legislative process: that the Democrats are dragging the process out. We all know it's the GOP, they can't hide this fact anymore.
If you don't see the mess that the people with power and privilege are in right now, you cannot see the opportunities that are there, waiting to be exploited by a steady, committed, informed, and reasonable populace. My feeling is that this reactionary crowd who are crowing that "it's a coup" are in-the-minority. We had better hope so, because without cooperation, trust, and solidarity, we're lost. These folks will shoulder a lot of the blame of any failure. Democracy: it's not for cowards.