Friday, December 25, 2009

Hurtling toward Crisis

Mark Schmitt | The American Prospect:
"any sense of movement or possibility in our political institutions -- and again, I mean mostly the Senate but not only the Senate -- is gone. . . .

I've always argued that Obama viewed his central domestic mission as changing the culture and practice of American politics. The passage of health reform is a revelation of just how desperately that change is needed and how difficult it will be to achieve."

Matthew Yglesias » Hurtling Toward Crisis:
"I think that during the health care debate you can see the outlines of a growing political crisis in the United States. The go-for-broke tactics used in the health care debate were (and are) annoying to proponents of reform. But obviously the country existed without this bill for a long time and can keep on existing. Think about extending this precedent forward to the time when we need to deal with the budget deficit, however, and things start to look very different. You just can’t deal with the country’s fiscal challenges within the political dynamic that currently exists. There’s no way."

Stirling Newberry, July 17, 2009:
"the coalition of catastrophe is gathering . . . What is now is to realize that the fix is in, your leaders are selling you out, and they will present the dregs of capitulation, mixed with little real compromise, and some sparse victories, as great and sweeping. . . . The right is at a low ebb, its ideology discredited, its powerful financial backers -- temporarily -- coopted, its public figures so clearly third and fourth generation. A muscular left would spend this moment to shatter and remake the American consensus. But that is not what is being done. The only people the leadership of the left can bully are members of the left. They have no problem with that.

But can things be different in the future? They must be, it is necessity. And that is the one element that is missing from the present crisis. For all the talk of 1929 redux, the reality is that this crisis was a paper crisis, not a physical one. Once the overheating of Iraq, and the total incompetence of Bush was removed, the world was no longer on the verge of unravelling at any moment. It is not a good present, but . . .

Necessity will come."

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