Good God, is this the day the Obama presidency died? Horrendous monthly jobs numbers make it seem so. As the economy dives toward double-dip recession, the president is a self-bound hostage to the GOP, mired in calamitous-looking deficit reduction talks, the results of which are likely to further crimp growth while shredding the safety net. Having let the GOP set the agenda, Obama is unlikely to find a way to further stimulus.
This feels like nemesis nipping at the U.S.'s heels, the next tumble down a staircase that began with the Lewinsky scandal, carried through the busted and stolen 2000 election, then on to Bush busting the budget and defunding the federal government while shredding civil liberties and various norms and taboos of governance. Now, I'm haunted by Cassandra Krugman's constant forecasts of calamity triggered by too-weak progressive response to the financial meltdown, half measures that discredit a sane stimulative response. Now the lunatics are poised to once again take over the asylum after four years of powerful incentives to sink ever deeper into lunacy -- discrediting stimulus, discrediting the once-conservative approach to universal healthcare codified in the ACA, discrediting effective regulation, discrediting an even minimal safety net.
We are in the dangerous circumstance of having a two party system in which one party is not fit to govern and the other -- its leader, anyway -- may lack the will to effectively counter that extremism. The country cannot afford another period of Republican misrule before that party changes its character, chastened by a period of Democratic success. The abyss yawns.
A stupid post, I know, but I'm going to ride with the feeling of the moment.
Update: thanks to commenters for the buck-up messages. I do hope that this post looks really stupid a year from now, and it was probably silly to put it up: I have been determined to reserve judgment on the debt ceiling talks until we see what results, but jumped my own gun.
Sunday Open Thread
37 minutes ago