Tuesday, November 02, 2010

2 November 2010

Hey, where are all the links?

Oh, you're no fun. OK, here's one:

Dog bites man; chickenshit voters afraid of 'wasting' their vote

My point is election or no election, in the larger sense this was just another day. If you look at Obama's faux liberalism of 2009-2010, with healthy majorities in both houses, there's every reason to believe that losing one house will only result in giving him more substantial cover for doing what he really means to do, or conversely to avoid doing what he really means to avoid doing. I imagine that Obama will publicly praise Reagan so repeatedly in the coming week that it'll make any self-respecting democrat want to puke. (Any self-respecting democrats left?)

Do you wonder if election results are crafted ahead of time by the people who own the democracy? It's an interesting question. One imagines recovering Wiccan Christine O'Donnell will be blamed for losing the GOP the Senate, and op-ed types will talk about how "lucky" the democrats were. Think about it: O'Donnell had a total of some thirty thousand votes in Delaware's GOP primary. Thirty thousand hits on a new video wouldn't even get you a contract to advertise candy bars on your Youtube channel. But thirty thousand votes, and that was all it took to give O'Donnell the celebrity status she presumably always wanted.

And all the establishment GOP had to do was sit on their hands in the smallest state that's near enough to Washington for the people who matter to pay attention.

For some time now our betters on the teevee have been predicting that the midterms would demonstrate a repudiation of Obama and Obama-ism, whatever that means. OK, there is no such term as Obama-ism, it's my word. But what would Obama-ism be, if there was such a thing? For one thing it means a smallish stimulus larded with tax cuts, which of course went to people who actually have jobs, unless they were employed full time in 2008 or 2009 and lucky enough, as it were, to subsequently lose their jobs. And there was a minimum income you had to make to get a tax cut, such that you probably also got unemployment insurance, further decreasing the likelihood that recepients of BHO's tax cut(widely called a tax rebate) were tent city denizens.

I'm not saying that Obama's tax rebates were undeservingly disregarded as having little effect, and in fact he deserved far more credit. Tax cuts are usually stupid, especially in a low tax environment. Tax cuts in a recession, by their definition, are funds for people who are probably still employed. Yeah, I know, they're supposed to "trickle down" (or out) to the economy as a whole thereby stimulating spending, but if businesses are avoiding hiring because they don't see a meaningful recovery in sight, this suspect trickle is pretty meaningless as a stimulus. So one of the results is that BHO and the democratic congress get blamed for wasting money. More to the point, deliberately bungling the stimulus(as well as deliberately bungling healthcare reform) results in an object lesson for voters in why Keynesianism doesn't work. It does, or at least it can, but millions of Americans who should know better, not just the tea-partiers, now see it as a discredited and obsolete economic philosophy, even though many don't even know its name.

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At November 04, 2010 4:00 AM, Blogger Mimi said...

Jon, I'm sure you've checked out Chris Floyd today. He says it all about the true meaning of "bi-partisanship" and links to two remarkable essays. The sentiments therein are my own and explain why I made the desision not to vote and, in fact, will probably never vote again.

At November 04, 2010 2:41 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Mimi, I'll give them a look. (For some reason I occasionally have difficulty loading the page when I go to Chris Floyd's; this has only developed recently.)

At November 04, 2010 3:02 PM, Blogger AlanSmithee said...

Oh I dunno. I think God-Emperor Sparkle Pony's first term as already been a masterpiece of neo-liberal disaster capitalism.

At November 04, 2010 7:50 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Alan. Yes, he has done what he came to do. I suppose the gov't could have taken over the health care plans of the auto workers and UAW retirees instead of forcing them into bankruptcy, but then everybody would expect something like that, and that wouldn't do.


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