Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Prelude to Election 2012

Call them purists if you wish to, the ideologues. Call them incredibly brave or incredibly stupid, but there were some who objected to the idea of "Too Big to Fail." The point is the market had spoken, and the market had rightly chosen to discipline its worker bees. "Too Big to Fail" was a surrender to the wishy-washy, the frail and the weak. Then when the motor industry here in the United States declared itself on the verge of bankruptcy the New Conservatives had a second chance to redeem their philosophy, their reputation and their pride. But the President of the United States and the Congress were weak, they were against the idea of permitting the United States motor industry to go bankrupt, and when money from the central government found its way to Ford, General Motors and Chrysler in the form of a loan that was unavailable from the Free Market, Wall Street or a bank, we new conservatives did enjoy some solace from the words "National Security."  Interesting that in the media and in the popular imagination the more contemptuous term "Bail Out" was used. "Bail out the banks! Bail out Wall Street! Bail out the motor industry!" All of it Big Money, and meanwhile for Little Money, jobs became scarce, "good" jobs became scarcer, people lost their homes, or perhaps their second homes, their retirement funds, the President was a black man, the nation was being over run by illegal immigrants, foreigners who didn't speak English, the National Debt was enormous and Taxes were still far too high to encourage Job Creators and the kind of Savior Innovation which was just around the corner, or in someone's garage, or god forbid in the fever swamps of academia. And sometimes a person just has to wonder, even if doing so is pretty much a fatal personality flaw and very bad for the complexion.

But I'll tell you this much, what with one thing and another we post-modernists were in deep do-do on January 20th 2009, Inauguration Day. Existential angst was a biggy, we were in danger of losing our capacity to win voters, the worst had happened, it was time to reappraise our circumstance by looking at the balance sheet. Clearly there were fewer and fewer of us, but fortunately we were so incredibly wealthy we were obviously far too big and important to fail, we had willing allies in the media who would flock to the idea of Death Panels and whether or not the new President was born in the United States, we had politicians who needed our resources to get elected, we raised the issue of rampant Voter Fraud but of the many things we did in the privacy of our castle one of the more exciting was to invent the Tea Party, a grass roots effort built around the idea of Main Street, the dire straits in which the nation had found itself, the common man in the street, or the hollow, increasingly isolated from influence over his own fate through a corrupted political class. It all called for the same fundamentalist attitude that seemed to be working so well in the Middle East for the more revolutionary Mullah. So let loose the dogs of war, reason and compromise be damned, if the alternative was losing we had to win, not tomorrow or sometime in the inevitable future but now, today. And we had to win because we had right on our side and if we didn't win our wonderful nation would end up looking like Greece, or France and we'd probably all have to learn Spanish or Brazilian or whatever. Yes indeed, here in the United States the 2012 general election was going to be fascinating. We had our man picked out, he was the right sort, he was one of us, good looking, he had his own hair, and we had a whole raft of almost Reganesque bumblers who had trouble tying their laces but who if they did become President could easily be persuaded to do the right thing and read from one of Robinson or Noonan's scripts. And we had all the correct answers to the low-end trick questions like, "How much is a quart of milk in a shop?"

No comments: