Thursday, June 21, 2012

Someone talk me down

I am so freaked out by the weakening global economy, the Republicans' ballyhooed Supreme Court-enabled  3-1 spending advantage, and the pending ACA decision by same Bushified court, I feel like Ingrid Bergman as the Germans march on Paris. Really, it feels as if the forces of reaction are gaining critical mass. They've sandbagged the economy, sabotaged the ACA, packed the court, and won the right to saturate elections with money.

Once again, I am reminded of Francis Fukuyama's demonstration that in other eras, state sovereigns have found means for a few centuries to check the ability of elites to entrench their advantages, only to have the elites eventually find ways to breach the defenses. The question is whether the current disproportionate accretion of wealth and power to the 1% will once again prove cyclical, as in the wake of the 1929 crash, or this time become permanent.

The billionaire barbarians are at the gates.


  1. The ACA will be upheld in some form, the Fed will step up with QE3 pending the June jobs report. If Obama is reelected, he will likely have the chance to replace Kennedy or Scalia or Thomas. And long term, the Demographics will shift to the Dems and once the Ds get Texas, the GOP will have a tough time winning the presidency. Cheer up.

  2. Citizens United was not as important as people say. All it did was end limits by corporations and unions. Individuals, like Koch and Adelson, could always give unlimited amounts at any point, due to a decision by the Burger Court (you know, the one that gave us Roe v. Wade and Miranda rights).

    And yes, the ACA will be upheld either entirely or in some form. Throwing everything out would be close to inconceivable.

  3. Thanks, both. Matt, Citizens United controlled the D.C. Court of Appeals decision in SpeechNow did allow individuals to spend unlimited amounts on ads directly advocating for a candidate, which they couldn't do before. I had a post on this - . And corporate money, set freer by Citizens Now, will be more important in the general than it was in the primary.

  4. There's a really nice country just to our north.

  5. I feel the same exact way, Andrew, so much so that I am seriously contemplating entirely disengaging from all things political.

    I am an attorney, and if the Supreme Court invalidates the ACA, even if it cabins its judicial activism to the mandate, I am going to be devastated. As Akhil Amar stated in an interview with Ezra: "If they [invalidate 'Obamacare'] by 5-4, then yes, it's disheartening to me, because my life was a fraud. Here I was, in my silly little office, thinking law mattered, and it really didn't. What mattered was politics, money, party, and party loyalty."

    I was flipping through the cable news earlier this afternoon, and Dylan Ratigan opined (in the context of campaign finance) that our system is like a drunk who is going to have to hit rock bottom by hitting/killing a child before things change. I'm afraid this is correct, and I am afraid that the accident won't occur until well into my twilight years.

    The billionaire barbarians are not at the gates; they are in the throne room, preparing to defenestrate the king, while the rubes -- intoxicated by the most shameless of propaganda and empty promises -- cheer on from the courtyard below. It may be farcical, but that does not make it any less tragic.

  6. The elites have been buying both presidential candidates for awhile now. When the crash happened in 2008, we thought we had another FDR but instead we got a well- meaning technocrat who wanted to patch things up rather than play politics.

    1. No offense but this is just your fault. If you read anything Obama was proposing during the campaign you'd realize he was a technocrat. He wasn't hiding the ball. I mean, read "Audacity of Hope".