Sunday, April 15, 2012

Money Talks

Another reminder, as if you needed one, heading into yet another interminable election season, that Saint Barry O is not your friend. The most charitable thing you can say about the man is that he seriously seems to think that punting on first down is a valid negotiation tactic.

Not to insinuate that maybe Obama's energies are better spent elsewhere than on griefing potheads, but sweet Jebus, time and again he insists on letting the animals who already nuked the economic system once prepare to do it all over again. This JOBS Act, with its stupid (even by gubmint standards) recursive acronym, is being billed as a boon to "startups"; what it will more likely do is create more Instagram IPOs. Because it's been a good long time since we had a tech bubble, n'est-ce pas?

Come June, odds are that the administration's sole domestic "accomplishment", the fatally-flawed-from-inception Affordable Care Act, a pork-laden industry-written boondoggle that should never have gotten as far as it did in the first place, will be flipped by the Supreme Court, thanks to the self-serving antics of Swingin' Tony Kennedy, who apparently never met a fence he couldn't ride until splinters shoot out of his ass. So that leaves killing bin Laden, which is enough reason to give Obama the nod again, but only just.

Again, it is a fine thing to nobly take it upon oneself to "change the system from within", as it were, to accept and even embrace the inherent perfidies of our flawed system, and "vote" accordingly, invoking the usual pronunciamentos of serving as the final bulwark of reason against the barbarian asshole horde.

Of course, this is twaddle, and we all know it, even the folks who truck in such tendentious jabber. It is Chomsky's evil of two lessers, over and over and over again, an endless, perpetual Groundhog Day campaign cycle culminating in a same-as-it-ever-was denouement. Some will tell themselves and each other -- and ankle-bite any doubting Thomases with their bien pensant horseshit -- that once Barry gets his second term, why, that's when the real change will begin, just you watch, pally.

Friends 'n' neighbors, cash in your IRAs and 401(k)s and such like, and bet heavy on this here prognostication: Obama will win (suitably close for popular consumption and media horse-race profiteering), but nothing will change. Not a goddamn thing. The SEC will not suddenly grow teeth, Obama will not have a change of heart and bring Paul Volcker back into the fold. Not one Goldman Sachs swindler will ever be frog-marched off to a cell next to Bernie Madoff. Not one industry or CEO will so much as pay an extra percentage point in taxes for outsourcing hundreds of thousands of American jobs to Asian sweatshops, and pocketing the difference. Not one Democrat will be truly emboldened by an Obama victory. They'll make the requisite mouth noises, they always do. But they won't actually commit to anything. They are already bought and sold to the highest bidder, and they are always thinking of the next election.

That's not to say you shouldn't at least participate in the collective charade, cast your pebble into the entropic void, if for no other reason than that you have convinced yourself of the simple nobility of that act, that it is the price one must pay if one is to be permitted to complain. Go for it. Just keep in mind that so long as the benchmark remains so low as "just be less of a toxic asshole than Mitt Romney", then the Democrats will do the bare minimum to meet that benchmark and nothing more. They'll work just hard enough to keep from getting fired.

And then they'll turn right back around and do what they've been doing, because to try to force them to do anything even a bit different or better gets characterized as Savonarola-level apostasy. The popular notion in recent years was that the Republicans treated the Democrats the way Lucy treated Charlie Brown when she held (and inevitably pulled) the football. I submit that while the essence of the metaphor is entirely correct, the correct application of it is in how both parties treat any and all Americans who happen to not be lucky enough to reside within the donor class.

But I'm sure that this quadrennial tilt at gutless incrementalism will be much more effective than the last one, or the one before that.

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