Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Groundhogs Day All Over Again

[Revised 11/4]

Back in '94 I was pretty shocked by Newt's Contract with America and what seemed like a conservative take over. After being carefully kept in check, it culminated in the disastrous reign of George W. Bush. The Big Dawg, irritatingly disrespectful of his office and egomanical, managed to keep thing righted for a while, but GWB blew the doors of the budget and threw us into an extensive and optional war. Crazy financial deregulation and wild (lack of rules) on derivatives took us to the brink of a depression. A terrified Bush signed on to massive pumping of capital into the banking system along with future fall guy Obama which probably averted a collapse of the financial system.

So where are we now?

I wish I had some decent charting software:

Goldwater/GOP Fringe come ashore and create a bridgehead

Nixon/Vietnam lead to disastrous Presidency of JEC after a generally competent though balance challenged Ford keeps things calm with an adult demeanor. Lack of charisma acute.

Country fizzles with oil shock, post-war ripples, and Iranian humilation. Conservative GOP starts organizing.

Reagan / Falwell marriage begats the new breed GOP.

Reagan sells acid in the koolaid story that you can have more tax revenue by cutting taxes without spending (Laffer leads to tears). Democrats become deficit enablers by going along with tax cuts without budget gets. Huge deficits result. An alzheimered president still has wits enough to see he was wrong starts reversing tax trend. Arms for hostages and glorification of law breakers involved in the deals indicate expansion of the new breed. Wheels rolling for Limbaugh, Fox, and the merry band of morons.

George H Bush, smart guy and all around hero type, acts to stabilize the budget. Results of his courageous action ultimately help get to the balanced budget under Clinton. The new breed GOP turns on the Good Bush largely because of tax issues. A thousand points of light are extinguished. Bush retires to work with GF and JC and makes a good ex-President

Clinton arrives in office riding GOP fatigue in the general public, triangulation skills, and anti-Bush sentiment in the new breed GOP. He is generally content to do little and ride out the budget fixes from GHB.

The New Breed GOP (now capitalized) rides to its first wave. The future Tea Party people are still engaged in the main stream of the party. Newt and his ilk work to drive out moderate conservatives. Rationality on the budget exits: they shut down government and try to impeach the President (thus ruining impeach for GWB - who really broke the law). The public realizes that Clinton isn't so bad compared to the Dick(s) like Armey and Newtie. Limbaugh reaches a relative peak (extensive pain pill use may be cause deafness).

Country sees last balanced budget.

GOP re-organizes now New Breed GOP is co-opted temporarily by the neocons. GWB, unlike Reagan or his father, develops a pathological belief in tax cuts and not reversing anything he has done regardless of the effect. GOP with help from Clinton-era government laws roll the dice with the world economy.

Crazy tax ideas started by Reagan (though he recognized the folly) now accepted as a form of dogma for the New Breed GOP. Deficits shoot through the roof - even though the economy is riding a bubble.

Afghanistan, 911, and Iraq all happen. The right turns farther right. Ultimately the neo-cons burn their bridges with the New Breed GOP - however, neo-cons and close relatives are now pretty much the GOP establishment.

Gigantic financial crisis occurs due to irresponsible deregulatoin of banking industry.

Country reacts and brings in Obama.

Democrats fail to take any meaning steps to control the budget.

Chronic high unemployment and stunted economy resulting from long term commitment to ship jobs oversees and avoid paying to educating its own citizens, leave the US in a vulnerable position with no easy fixes. Immigration laws are broken. People are now afraid, very afraid.

Obama screws the pouch in a number of ways and does nothing to address peoples fears about budgets.

The New Breed GOP finally takes control of the house ... a mixed bag of nuts capitalizing the fickle (growing) independents dislike of the establishment Democrats and establishment GOP.

A stunning victory for the right!?!

OK - so why groundhogs day? Because this revolution will be like every other one - lots of posturing and other stuff, but no real answers and no way to implement sweeping change - because their central beliefs (tax cuts without spending control/isolationist/kill the enemy before you compromise/government shutdowns are good) helped put us here in the first place.

This is 1994 all over again, without a brainy Newt in the lead. This is a more hostile, more superstitious, less compromising stream in the GOP.

Independents won't like what they see in the next two years and it is 1996 all over again.

Pessimistic? Sure I'm pessimistic. Until I see GOP (New Breed or Establishment) and Democrats have the courage to seek compromises on deep spending cuts OR a plan to avoid spending increases long enough for the tax revenue to catch up with spending --- were going to stay on the same treadmill --- running in place and losing ground.

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