American Suicide

In case you haven’t visited Robert Reich’s blog recently, here is the first comment, verbatim


Obama will make Hoover look good, no minor accomplishment.

What does an industrial country look like after committing suicide, as we apparently are about to do?

Infrastructure dies. Schools die. Parks and libraries close. Trains derail and highways turn into gravel paths. University graduates face 40% unemployment. The rich build giant McMansions surrounded by barbed wire and 24 hr. armed security. Oil and chemical companies can resume their 1960s practices of just dumping crap into the nearest stream. There are examples – 1994 Russia, for starters. Do you really want to play that movie? For what – an abstraction?

As Paul Krugman eloquently put in today’s NYT, we are going Banana Republic, but not in the fashion sense. We are about to legislate ourselves into a depression, a self inflicted wound.

Just when we are about to coast pass the global warming redline, we are torching every program and regulation to try and mitigate the damage. If it were not so tragic it would be an enormous joke.

The Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame, just as the parties in 1933 Germany were to blame for the eventual triumph of Hitler. The Republicans have sold their collective soul to a cadre of Millenarian bible-thumping know-nothings who not only expect, but crave for, the end of Life as we know It. The Democrats, led by the Clintonist DLC, are the sort that would triangulate their way to the end of civilization if they thought that polls would oblige. Worse, lacking any ideological anchor (other than what gets me elected next year), they are swung as if on cords by the deepest pockets, whether big pharma, ADM, or banks. But don’t touch the Pentagon. And, by gum, don’t end the three wars we are already in.

Even 1990s Japan didn’t suffer from such an abject will to self-destruct. They called it a “hollowing out”, a 15 year economic hell they have yet to recover from. But even they had the sense, even at the absolute nadir, to refrain from blowing their own collective brains out as Obama and the “super group” of self-appointed Congressional denizens are about to do.

In the coming weeks and months, I’m sure that I’ll have more, much more to say on the death of America.
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