Friday, February 03, 2012

Memory and Irony

The jobless rate has declined to 8.3% according to the latest reports -- well below the Reagan rate and the lowest in three years after adding about a quarter million Jobs this January alone. That's a quarter of a million more in one month than were added under eight years of Republican flim-flam economics. The markets are booming, but we can be sure to hear nothing but sneer, snark, scoff and panicked pessimism from fact-free America and its electronic Svengali, Fox News.

I'm hesitant to make too much of it or to extrapolate too far, but unlike every Republican I talk to, I am willing to remember the Bush years when the air was full of nonsense about how Democrats were pessimists and Republicans were optimists and bullish on the economy. Of course it would be fun to mock the Fox News survey that gave "proof" that Liberals were trying to damage the vibrant economy with gloomy reports during the Bush years and of course the prophets of doom were quite right although not one of Fox's friends seems to remember, because after all, this is Obama's recession and Bush had nothing to do with it and the predictably dilatory nature of the trailing indicator -- the unemployment rate -- proves that it's all going to hell any time now.

A sense of irony would make fertile fields for all kinds of sardonic humor, since with the economy steadily improving, having already this year added more jobs than were added during the entire Bush administration (unless you want to count all the government jobs created by bloating the size and expense of our government,) they're still pretending the man who inherited this disaster caused it. But if there's any essence at all to American Conservatism, it must involve total blindness to the most glaring irony. They're still insisting that continuing what brought it on would end it quickly if only we'd have elected an empty headed beauty contest runner up and a doddering old man who couldn't remember his address but was sure the crash wasn't actually happening.

And while we're talking about irony, do we care to speculate about how many would have been lost if General Motors had disappeared and how many are working now that GM is again the worlds largest automaker? No, that investment is spending, while the massive expenses of Bush's prescription drug plan written by and for the drug companies increases as the population ages isn't even to be discussed -- and of course people are only getting older because of "that Obama's policies" hard as they are to discern. If I were a Republican you can damn well bet I'd be blind to the irony too as well as the outright dishonesty.

Things are looking at least a bit better of late and at a rate proportional to the improvement, the apocalyptic predictions increase. The Mayan end times, the Rapture, the death of the Dollar and the Zombie Apocalypse hold fewer horrors than are being predicted daily as the people who insist every time they hold the White House, that the government cannot create jobs and should not try, scream themselves hoarse nonetheless about jobs, jobs, jobs, dangling that elusive carrot in front of the desperate.

It's a hell of a thing to remember well, and that's why I'm sure amnesia, like ironic obtuseness is a necessary component of the conservative mind. It's a hell of a thing to be the only one to remember that "debt doesn't matter" was the keystone of Republican economics since Reagan and right up to the disaster of 2007 because tax breaks for the people who put all their windfalls into real estate, hedge funds and offshore accounts in Luxembourg, Liechtenstein and the Caymans would boost the economy so much, the debt would wither away in Marxist style.

Jobs, jobs, jobs and debt, debt debt in the relentless Republican ostinato like drumbeats in some dark jungle night, as though debt did very much matter and matter more than the ability to pay it off -- as though paying Bush's bills and saving the financial structure of our country with a far smaller amount of money than the shill for Goldman Sachs Bush used for a treasury secretary were an invitation to disaster rather than fiscal responsibility -- as though a three trillion dollar war to be payed for by magic; massive bailout packages without accountability and unprecedented spending weren't things the Democrats were howling helplessly about for 8 years.

Increased military spending along with an amazing record of eliminating al Qaeda means Obama is "slashing the military." Allowing increased freedom to carry weapons means he's a "gun grabber." Arresting and deporting more illegal aliens than Bush means he's "pro-illegal." Giving most Americans a tax break means he raised taxes, and although every day I have to listen to some Republican blowhard telling me he hates "Obamas policies" not one has been able to come up with a policy that actually exists -- that glib trope having become nothing more than the password to the club they think every white man belongs to.

No, sure they don't remember nor do they see the irony. Like Janus, they look both forward and back to see the easiest way to slither away from accountability and as and if the economy slowly improves and the spectre of Depression recedes, they'll continue to boom and bellow and snicker and sneer without any memory of how they accused Democrats of "hating America" even though all those dire predictions we made for 8 years came true while none of theirs ever materialized.

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