Quote of the day--further darkness and despair edition

>> Friday, August 05, 2011

"So instead of trying to pull out of the stall, the economy simply will have to absorb whatever blow is coming. Some of the congressional Republicans who are preventing action to help the economy are simply intellectual primitives who reject modern economics on the same basis that they reject Darwin and climate science. Others are obviously cynical, desiring the worst possible economy as an aid to recapturing the White House and Senate in 2012. Still others simply do not believe that government action can ever be a force for good at any time or in any way. Whatever their motivations, there is something terribly sad about desperate and unemployed Americans looking for rescue to a party that lacks any inclination to alleviate their misery."

-Jacob Weisberg, "Lessons of the Crisis";
Slate, August 4th, 2011

I think this about sums it up, yes. What we have, pathetically, is a situation in which one party is completely ineffectual and the other party consists of a coalition of ignoramuses and cynics who have abandoned any pretense of an agenda beyond winning office in 2012. Not sure what they want to do with it if they do win big; I find myself occasionally flirting with the hope that the Republicans take the White House in 2012 just to put us all out of our misery even faster. Or, perhaps, they'll light a new fire underneath the left: after all, the great social gains of the progressive movement at the end of the 19th and middle of the 20th Centuries had a great deal to do do with the fact that regressive economic and social policies created violent protests--bomb-throwing anarchists and rioting workers--that seriously endangered the moneyed interests.

The thing is, I don't want that to be how we get there. Nobody sane wants that to be how we get there. Up the road from where I work, blood ran in the streets, people died and others went to prison, and all for nothing. That happens in revolutions, which is why revolutions generally suck.

I dunno. Maybe I just didn't sleep well enough last night. Maybe the weather outside has gone from being too hot to think straight to too dismal and dark to see clearly, and I've just gone dumb and blind.

There are all these pundits talking about who came out ahead and who won, as if that's not the damn stupidest question anybody might be asking. We lost, the system lost, the winners (whoever the hell they might have been) lost. Reason and principles and the idea we're all in this together--these things all took a hit. Goodness knows, there are people I can't agree with on one damn thing, but I'd never burn their house down to prove a point, and here we are with the air full of the pungent whiff of accelerants and a bunch of people standing around with burned-out matches in their sooty little fingers. The pundits stand around speculating as to whether the Democrats will do the same thing when they get the opportunity, like that matters, either. If they do, they're assholes and if they don't they're wimps.

I guess I'm glad I don't have children.


David Friday, August 5, 2011 at 4:45:00 PM EDT  

I guess I'm glad I don't have children.

On the one hand, I agree with you - it's easier to watch the system burn when you don't have to think about a future beyond your own. And it's utterly appalling what the current political and economic leadership in this country is doing to the next generation, with the full approval of a staggering portion of the population (just this morning, the newspaper in My Little Town published a reader comment arguing that public education was theft because it used tax dollars).

On the other hand, though, the kids they do give one hope.

"No darkness lasts forever. And even there, there are stars." (Ursula LeGuin)

Dr. Phil (Physics) Friday, August 5, 2011 at 5:04:00 PM EDT  

I don't have children, but I have students. You can't toil in higher ed and not hope for a future, dammit.

Dr. Phil

(stupid typos)

Eric Friday, August 5, 2011 at 5:04:00 PM EDT  

I know. Our responsibility is to the next generation whether we have little buggers of our own or not.

The LeGuin quote is wonderful, though I couldn't help thinking of the end of Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall" when I read it. Possibly a further symptom of this week's cynicism, in which lights appearing at the end of tunnels are doubtlessly oncoming trains....

Steve Buchheit Friday, August 5, 2011 at 8:52:00 PM EDT  

The social conservatives, and the one who want government not to function so they can kill it off... they're the ones who won.

Leanright,  Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 1:04:00 AM EDT  

Yes, I know I used this before, but it is so fitting for the topic. Imagine what politicians will say or do to win an election:

"I find it distasteful and disturbing to increase the debt limit yet again. Clearly we need to change course and this debt limit bill is just another reminder of that."

Harry Reid in 2007.
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Barack Obama, 2006

Eric Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 1:35:00 AM EDT  

Dave, I'm sure everybody read you the first time and left whatever comments they felt were appropriate, thanks.

Leanright,  Saturday, August 6, 2011 at 12:13:00 PM EDT  

Ok, yes. I was redundant. Sorry.

I hear what you're saying, but I don't really see the substance of your post other than to vilify the the republicans.

What do YOU see at the economic implications of the debate, and the outcome? What is it that you feel we can expect out of what occurred?


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