I don’t know much about economics, but I do know who Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are, and this news strikes me as, um, really bad. If the media allows the McCain campaign to turn the national discussion of this week into something like lipstick and livestock, then America is in enormous trouble.
This is where we’re at after eight years of Bushonomics. This is what happens when you deregulate every industry and put your faith in the free markets to magically solve all our problems. This is what happens when you cut rich people’s taxes while fighting two wars overseas. And John “fundamentals of our economy are strong” McCain’s stubborn denial about the seriousness of our economic situation is clearly every bit as complete as Bush’s, if not worse.
What’s maybe more disturbing than all of it is the fact that half the American people are currently bending over as if to say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another four years?” And no doubt, John McCain will spend the next two months trying to convince voters that the problem with our economy is– try not to laugh– earmarks and wasteful spending, and the answer is– wait for it– more tax cuts, deregulation, and war. So basically we’re driving the bus towards a cliff, and Republicans want us to believe that the problem is we’re not getting good gas mileage and the answer is to drive faster. But the fundamentals of the direction we’re steering in are strong.
Democracy is supposed to be self-corrective. Go too far in one direction– the wrong direction– and the American electorate is supposed to react and change course, thus saving ourselves from ourselves. This may still happen in November, but right now it’s not, which means something basic is not working here. It’s as though we’ve lost our reflex action. I don’t know what it means when the doctor hits your knee with that little hammer and it doesn’t move, but I assume it means you have mere minutes to live. Or something bad like that.