February 2nd, 2009

you say liberal like it's a bad thing

oy gevalt.

I love how Obama has been in office less than two weeks, and everything is already his fault. And if not his, then they're Nancy Pelosi's or Harry Reid's doing.

Hate to break it to the troglodytes out there, but the machinations that caused this economic mess were put into play long before Obama was nominated, before the Democrats took back control of the House and Senate, and in some cases, even before Clinton held office.

It's called "deregulation," and it's something Republicans love because it means their corporate benefactors get to make money by the sweaty handful with no oversight, no responsibility, and in many cases, no competition. Remember that Savings and Loan scandal that McCain was involved in, as one of the Keating Five? That was deregulation. Remember the California Power Crises that Enron engineered? Again, deregulation. Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac lending out money to people that really weren't at all qualified? Deregulation. Credit default swaps? Deregulation. (Go listen to This American Life's show about that one...then try to find someone to rock you to sleep...)

And yes, in several of these things, Democrats were complicit. But to blame the nascent administration for them, and invoke the "socialism" boogeyman without having a fucking clue what socialism even is, is just disingenuous at best, and a flat out lie at worst. Then again, if it means having to admit their entire ideology is wrong, it's not surprising that free-market economists, paleoconservative pundits and right wing Republicans are lying through their teeth. If they can pretend their ideas were correct, just badly implemented, they can try to get people to stop paying attention to the white elephant (how appropriate!) in the room.
total crackpot day

also...

I Twittered about this yesterday, but it's worth posting here, too.

"Principles of the American Cargo Cult," about the fallacious "logic" that many Americans treat as gospel, and why it's gotten us into the mess we're in. This looks like it was what Ayn Rand followed to get to her "rugged individualism" bullshit, and also from whence Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" nonsense sprang.

There's something sinisterly Orwellian about these things too, like doublethink took root in some dark festering spot in the American psyche and grew into a tree that offers this strange fruit, but instead of Knowledge, it's the most appalling sort of Ignorance and Self Centeredness.