Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Republican Fault Lines

Ir'as fun to watch the emerging  cracks in the Republican monolith as the torrent of rhetoric slams into the realities of power.  Some of these new anomalies are the result of crude pandering: the fight over "earmarks," for example, was never more than a side show, and you just knew from the start that even the most ardent anti-earmarker would get religion once his own ox got gored.  Others are more dramatic: my head is still spinning at how fast Eric Cantor and others jumped in bed with the big banks to resist any all efforts to inhibit banker predation.  A new one on my radar is an emerging conflict over what to do about Fannie and Freddie.  Of course the standard line is that we'd best be done with them as the work of Satan.  But don't try that on the real-estate-home-builder lobby who love the idea of a soft and comfy Federal support cushion under their flagging and hazardous enterprise.

I suppose it is on a slightly different vector, but I'd like to authorize a special shout-out  for Bush II Shock-and-Awe and the campaign to spread democracy in the Middle East.  Evidently nobody explained the ground rules to  Dick Cheney who is pushing back against President Obama on Egypt, calling ensconced, 32-year dictator Hosni Mubarak a "good friend and ally."  I feel his pain: it's been obvious from day one that the spectacle of "democracy in the Middle East" ought to scare the daylights of anyone who feels that the role of the Middle East is to serve as an appanage maintained to further American  energy policy.

I still don't know quite what to do about this business about allowing states to go bankrupt: some voices in Congress seemed eager to speak out for it, but they are clearly meeting resistance from the bond market, not to mention a lot of state governors, including their own (note also an especially insightful piece by E.J. McMahon, pointing out that the state budget problem is really not those dreaded union compensation costs, but current mandates like Medicare Medicaid).  I'm tempted to think state bankruptcy might be just one more cockamanie idea from Newt Gingrich, to be forgotten once his allies remember how so many of his ideas are, well, cockamanie.


Ebenezer Scrooge said...

I think you mean "Medicaid", not "Medicare."

Buce said...

Sure did, thanks.

Anonymous said...

aint it cocamamie?