Dazed & Wandering in Fear
One of the most striking scenes in what the inimitable Melissa McEwan of Shakesville perfectly described as our current clusterfuckastrophe was when the Secretary of Treasury, Henry Paulson, actually bent on one knee last week to the Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and begged her not to let the Big Ripoff explode into the legislative futility it was always meant to be.
“I didn’t know you were catholic,” she said, gracious at the groveling but still completely unable to sway any votes of her Republican colleagues, who as I predicted with perfect accuracy days before are more than willing to chuck any of their alleged fiscal and moral principles to wage illegal lying war or torture brown people, but are never going to accept massive spending that “socializes” capitalism and rightly turns every constituent in their district livid.
As the shock began to recede on the public consciousness from the President and Treasury Secretary popping up out of nowhere and declaring the fiscal sky was falling without producing one of the most stupid, offensive, shortsighted “rescue” plans ever to be devised, some of the most urgent questions where what would happen if nothing was sensibly done. Would another Depression really arrive? Would the next president be crippled? What on earth could be so catastrophic in the future that would make the Treasury Secretary beg on one knee?
So little of American financial and political media is focused on substantive, objective analysis, there’s so much in the environment for any one media consumer can take in, and the financial mechanisms complex and obscure enough that the question could totally miss the scope of what in fact has already happened. It could be the ultimate nightmare smashup financial catastrophe for the United States has already occurred, and the Big Ripoff vomited by Paulson and Bernanke is nothing more than panicked fear, a desperate grab of whatever cash they can hoodwink out of Congress to somehow make the conflagration stop.
Bear Stearns, AIG, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, and Washington Mutual were just at the beginning of 2008 implacable, stupendously wealthy, venerable pillars of the financial world representing the safe financial stability of the United States, but now are just a list of smashed failures, reeking of socialized loss and crashed prestige. To the little people like myself the list is just a remote cant of business news players, but to Paulson and Bernanke this disaster forever smashes their professional history, on their watch the Total Nightmare actually came to be.
Another searing flashback to the Depression are bank runs, and just eight days ago the FDIC had to intervene in the money market funds bank industry to stop the whole enterprise from crashing down and causing real immediate havoc for all Americans. But because these banks were not consumer-centric the impact of this event has been totally missed, had they in fact crashed half the country would not have made payroll in just weeks, a scenario which completely explains the vomiting, contortive panic of Paulson and Bernanke, forget the goddamn hypotheticals, a few more hours last Friday and the Second Great Depression was on, arrived, actually happening.
As the extremely good Anonymous Liberal often reminds us, whenever one of these loathsome lizards of the financial world like Paulson or Bernanke--representing an industry virulently disgusting in its stupid, lying greed--come begging at the public trough it is still extremely wise to calmly listen, they have incredible potential powers at their fingertips, instead of jamming their heads into trash cans of monkey feces for all eternity they really must be taken seriously.
Another panicked Republican hopping from one ludicrous stunt to the next, wreckage already surrounding him everywhere, was one John McCain, candidate for President of the United States (not the high school of ’55 president job he acts like it is), who degraded every American with a chickenshit declaration he could skip a debate, and then of course wussed out and showed up anyway. Men used to run as candidates in the Republican Party, and this sickening coward had nothing to say when he showed up, his actions had already completely spoken for him.
He tried, of course, producing only a nauseating reaction I shared with one of our best Americans, Digby, an offensive stance of arrogant attack, contemptuous and sneering toward an eminently reasonable, calm Democrat. I could care less how stupidly offensive cable television has made attack politics acceptable, I don’t trust a man a millimeter who can only be critical and dismissive.
Little people Americans like myself can only begin to attempt to understand the scope of damage already occurred upon the country, and fervently hope Democratic leaders see the panic of the current leadership for what it rightfully is and do nothing, only failure can result from such dazed, fearful wandering on the fly. It’s going to crush John McCain and the Republican Party in November, and only then in the next January can sane calm leadership take place for the country.