I’ve heard this week’s crisis in financial markets as an economic 9/11. I agree completely, and think the analogy can be extended beyond just a generic catastrophic event. Republicans have done a great job of casting the attacks as completely out of the blue and unknowable. They have also adopted the unfathomably bizarre reasoning that the President has done a great job protecting us ever since the first 3,000 Americans were murdered on his watch. (This is the same tactic that allows them to claim The Surge - accompanied by an assassination and ethnic cleansing campaign - worked while ignoring the much larger strategic failures that surround it.) But as I’ve written previously there was plenty of warning before the attacks for those with eyes to see. Some in the intelligence community were desperately trying to get this lazy, indifferent administration’s attention when the red flags started popping up. The event was foreshadowed well in advance, and the biggest failures came at the very top. As then, so now. Plenty of people have been warning for years about the hazards (via Blue Girl) posed by the Republicans’ unwavering commitment to deregulation and toothless oversight. It was obvious that dismantling the structures erected to enforce a certain modest degree of prudence and good practice was not all about streamlining Byzantine procedures, modernizing the financial industry to compete in the modern global marketplace or any of that happy horseshit. It was not about creating a Randian paradise of unfettered capitalism, but unleashing the instant-gratification attitude that controls the mental six year olds on Wall Street. We created an environment that rewards the absolutely worst behavior. We knew it, the results were easy to predict and we could see it coming from a long way off. Let’s not even start with how no one could have known, or that spending some time on an autopsy is politicization - especially when the right was only too happy to politicize it when it worked for them.
And a trillion dollars is a lot of fucking money.
And please - spare me the wailing about how conservatism cannot fail, only be failed. When you postulate that government is evil you will necessarily view abuse of it as a virtue if not a moral imperative. And lofty claims of fiscal probity can self-evidently not survive extended contact with Washington, D.C. We have now conclusively seen that its claims and objectives are not practical and are essentially impossible to implement in the real world. Communism suffered the same crisis of idealism and now is on the ash heap. Time for conservatism to join it.