Monday :: Aug 30, 2010

Heading Down The Dark Alley

by Deacon Blues

Taking Steve's post from yesterday a step further, a pessimist could be forgiven for thinking the game is lost when it comes to our country. Sure, the tea baggers can spew all sorts of ignorant and selfish gibberish about Obama, when in fact they are sheeple easily manipulated to rant against change brought about by people who don't look like them. But what are the actual consequences we're likely to see if, according to some credible pollsters the House sees a loss of 30-50 Democratic seats and the Senate slips back to a numerical toss-up?

Taxes and Spending: Budget bills start in the House. John Boehner could actually have just enough votes to pass spending bills that savage discretionary domestic spending while protecting the disaster capitalism industry. He will be aided and abetted by Barack Obama himself, whose deficit reduction commission headed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson will drop into Boehner’s lap a report that calls for cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the rest of the safety net while protecting defense spending. That’s the lunacy of what Obama hatched with this idea: he himself gave the ammunition to the crazies at a time when they’ll be able to pull the trigger. Those draconian policy options will have to make their way through a closely-divided Senate before they even get to Obama’s desk, who I fear is just craven enough to indicate some support for them to burnish his legacy as a serious president who yet managed to have his mandate and political party shot out from under him. So the only thing saving us from the final nail in the coffin of FDR and LBJ’s work will be the Democratic Senate leadership using the same filibuster against Mitch McConnell that he used against them.

Oh, and about the deficit and the economic recovery, having the GOP retake a degree of political power means there will be no second stimulus bill. So Obama’s grand mistake on the original stimulus coupled with his failure to cement into place a Democratic majority ensures that during this decade the United States' economy slips into a stall resembling 1990's Japan, pushing us into international irrelevance.

Global warming: Forget about it, as this turn of events will render any work on climate change and emissions reduction impossible. To put it bluntly, history will judge that the United States killed this planet during the first two decades of the 21st century.

Energy Independence: Forget about it, as this turn of events will ensure that Big Oil and Big Coal continue to operate without accountability or concern for the long term security and environmental interests of the United States. A good deal of Obama’s efforts towards a green economy, which should have been given a greater emphasis in the stimulus bill, will be scrapped by GOP actions and underfunding, leading us to economic and security vulnerabilities that will be exploited again by our enemies.

Financial Reform: The failure by Obama to bag a few bankers, and bring back Glass-Steagall to prevent the next plundering from happening will only ensure that the GOP tries to roll back the lame Dodd-Frank effort. It also ensures that the Wall Street-GOP connection, coupled with the Citizens United decision will lead to a second crash that will finish off this country by 2020.

Health Care: The tea partiers have made their case on this way too much for Obama to think he can fight this off. The GOP leadership will attempt to undo part or all of it.

Immigration and Muslim-hating: If you think things are ugly now, how bad do you think it will be with the GOP in charge, and their "blame someone" message machine in overdrive as we head into 2012 with a stalled economy full of angry white voters playing the "victim" card?

The only thing that saves us from this happening in 2011 is the GOP itself, deciding to go into investigations mode and aggressively hounding Obama the way he refused to go after them. It would allow Obama to run against that in 2012, and replay the Clinton playbook from 1998 as someone who told voters he was focused on getting the people’s work done while others wasted time on anything but solutions. But even this ensures that nothing of consequence gets done to fix our problems until 2013 at the earliest, and by then it will be too late.

Deacon Blues :: 9:11 AM :: Comments (11) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!