Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Coming Perfect Storm is a blog given over to citing instances of wishing for, or expecting a dramatic "political storm" to sweep away the right-wing Republican machine, which has a lock on power in the Federal government. The history of the United States includes many instances in which a governing coalition has overreached, split internally, collided painfully with reality or simply been the victim of unfortunate events, and been driven from power, with dramatic results. Politically aware commentators, hostile to the Bush agenda, are given to wishful thinking, in the face of a liberal inability to marshal a political majority.

The Bush Presidency is busy making institutional changes, which will have a far-reaching effect on the American economy, society, and body politic. Some of these serve to reinforce and buttress the Republican majority governing coalition. Democrats have fallen short in their efforts to form a new governing political coalition, partly from an internal failure of leadership and institutional weakness, and partly because Republican efforts to change the country have had an effect. There are virtually no liberal voices in the American media, today, but more than 40% of Americans still believe that the media has a "liberal bias," because Republicans and their lackeys in the corporate, right-wing media keep telling them as much.

The future of the Republic is in the balance. The current Republican majority is working hard to build a fascist state -- authoritarian, corrupt, serving the interests of business corporations and the very wealthy at the expense of the poor and whatever remains of the middle class.

The American Constitution was deliberately designed to make political majorities inherently transitory. That is the only security for freedom, within the structure of the American Constitution. A series of economic and military catastrophes may be enough to awaken the electorate and make them confront the nature and ill intentions of the Republican coalition to which they have entrusted power. Or, the Republicans may finally succeed in "boiling" the American lobster with gradual measures, destroying the Republic and installing in its stead a fascist State.

There are two ways, in which the Republican triumph might play out. Republicans may retain majorities in both houses of Congress in 2006, and by means of those majorities, both suppress the myriad corruption scandals now beginning to plague their leadership, and the Republicans may or may not elect a President in 2008.

Electing a Democratic President in 2008, while retaining a Republican Congress or a closely divided Congress may actually work in favor of the Republicans. If the economic reckoning made inevitable by Republican profligacy and the reckoning with disaster in Iraq can be postponed long enough, a Democratic President will have to impose the painful correctives. A Democrat will have to withdraw from Iraq, for example, and Republicans can "blame" her for the American defeat in Iraq. A Democrat will have to raise taxes, and cut benefits, to pay for the national debt made to balloon by Republicans.

Bad Republican policy under George W. Bush is a timebomb, but if it can be made to go off under a Democrat, the Republicans may be able to secure their long-term hold on political power, and to make permanent the changes in American society, which favor the very wealthy and large corporations at the expense of everyone else.

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