Nader on Democracy Now! this morning....
Some excellent questions not really being asked on the Hill, even by Mr. Frank. As per usual, the Democrats will cave, having already conceded the terms of the argument, the framework of action, and their institutional rights and responsibilities. To say nothing of their responsibility to their constituencies.
As usual, the plan seems to be: let things fail, pin it on the GOP, gain power. As in Iraq, FISA, you name it.
I don't see Obama doing much of anything, either, except being "bipartisan."
Still doubt that we have a one-party state with two wings? I've been reading a lot in the business press, economists, etc. -- there is very little consensus that this plan, what is known about it, will work. Funny, that. Money for the financial services industry (ie, the rich); nothing for everyone else.
One criticism of the left (such as it is): there is no double standard in Bush's policies. The rich want protection from losses and freedom to profit: a rigged game. It was ever thus.
When, exactly, will the "pitchfork moment" occur?
And finally: will Americans finally grow up and realize that the government, structurally, is unconcerned about their "safety" or well-being? I mean, exactly how much information does a person need before they spit out the pacifier and see things for what they are? I don't mean pro forma rightwing "government is bad -- I use 'governance' now" -- except when we need it for the military, bailouts, to fight evil.... I mean waking up from the American Dream and attempting, finally, to complete the eighteenth century revolutions that launched this country.
Note that, confusions aside (and there are many), most "ordinary" people seem to get the point. The Friedman-worshiping crowd -- a very small percentage -- does not.
Right and left, most non-rich people (and many rich, actually) get the main point, derivatives aside: money buys power in our system, and he who pays the piper calls the tune. A child knows this to be the case; "adults" call it "cynicism."
Side note: Apparently, there's to be a demo on Wall Street today. Worth going to.
Welcome to 21st Century America: The New Brazil -- increasing inequality, decreasing rule of law (for the powerful), a Constitution approaching Soviet-style irrelevance (reads nice de jure; no one pays any attention de facto), with a bloated military junta in control. Except our ruling class is smarter, so we are more Augustan than most dictatorships: we maintain the forms and make sure that the haute bourgeoisie can maintain its lifestyle. If and when they begin to hurt enough to do anything, it may be too late to do anything about it. For now, as per usual, they have thrown in with the ruling class, which throws them some crumbs every so often.
So, it looks like worsening economic straights for most of us, increased militarism abroad and at home, disappearing civil liberties, and the usual ugly imperial implosion. To any reader of history: same old, same old. But this time, we may take the rest of the world down with us: a bankrupt, increasingly isolated superpower is a very dangerous animal. All it has is its armaments to throw around.
Domestically, as things worsen, there is always a toss-up between a left-wing and a right-wing (or, if you like, libertarian or authoritarian) revolution. We are ripe to the point of rotten for a new style of fascism here.