Friday, March 6, 2009

Exhausted by the Deathhead Squad . . . I hope

roger, a commenter on Economist's View expresses one, hopeful hypothesis about the current crisis of inaction by Obama:
"McCain, Obama or X would all begin with the assumption that the task is, as Duy has said about Bernanke, to sorta nurse the market until we get back to 2007 or 6 or 5. This is the delusion of the entire elite. What I like about Obama is that he does listen, and will eventually, I think, understand that the elite are simply wrong, self-dealers who desperately want not to lose their power and money, and are losing it anyway.

Who knows? Perhaps that is too scary a prospect for Obama. But I am really not scared of the right, at the moment. They offer nothing except a faster slide downhill. Eventually, they will offer an easy foreign enemy. At that point, maybe they will cause some brief psycho surge of support, but I think the country is exhausted with the deathhead squad."

Politics, they say, is the art of the possible, and, of course, every journey proceeds step-by-step.

In my hopeful moments, I'd like to think that Obama is the sort of person, who learns from experience. He's certainly advertising that sort of adaptability. And, roger may be right that the "elite" share a common delusion motivated by self-interest, which delusion I do not share, partly because I am an intelligent realist, and even more, because I am poor already.

In my less hopeful moments, I think the "elite" are not deluded at all, but simply looking for political leverage to "cram down" as much of the loss in wealth and income on the 90% as possible -- just continue the process, underway since Reagan, of dispossessing the middle class and oppressing the poor. Steal Social Security in a paroxysm of "fiscal responsibility" and generally reconstruct the financial system on a foundation of debt peonage, the better to squeeze as much as possible out of a passive and hopeless mass. The Republicans do seem to me to be determined to self-destruct -- but, they have also prepared the ground for fascism -- for governing as extreme authoritarians, unconstrained by law or decency. Any opening Obama gives them, by failing in re-constructing the economy, banking, foreign policy, the legal process -- just about everything, which has been corrupted and broken by 25 years of Republican malfeasance -- any opening is an opening for the fascism that Rush Limbaugh et alia proposes.

So, it is very scary to watch Obama flail around on the banking crisis. In one way, it does prepare the ground politically, for more radical solutions, because people, every day are educated to the full gravity of the situation, and the need for radical solutions. But, if Obama doesn't at some point, pretty soon, start proposing radical solutions -- and he doesn't appear to have the kind of economic advisers, who would have the sense to propose and execute radical solutions -- then the Republican's radical solution -- fascist authoritarianism -- will start to seem plausible to a lot of people, frustrated with the impotence of rationalism and realism.

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