Resolved: We Don't Have a Financial Crisis, We Have a Political Crisis
We don't have a foreign policy crisis, we have a political crisis. We don't have a budget crisis, we have a political crisis. We don't have an environmental crisis, we have a political crisis.
All of the problems we're having stem from the same underlying problem - a political system that is broken. The mortgage meltdown, Iraq, budget deficits, climate change, and the oncoming recession all stem from this problem, but fixing only the crisis du jour, ignores the elephant in the room that ensures more shitpiles to clean up - the political crisis.
We have an Imperial President, the worst one in history, and a Congress that for the last eight years has thrown more power his way every year. The Republican Congress did it faster, but the Democratic Congress has continued the trend. Instead of acting as a check and balance on the Presidency, as designed by the Constitution, the Congress has simply abandoned its Constitutional role. They haven't ended the Iraq war, they've funded it. They haven't passed legislation aimed at fixing the budget deficit, they've passed budgets that have increased it. As for the current mortgage crisis, has there been some sort of awesome legislation that would've made everything better that was passed by the Congress that I somehow missed? Other than stopgap measures, has there been any leadership from the President or the Congress as the financial system melts down?
The Congress appears to be unable to play any meaningful policy role and that's been true for a decade. We no longer have three functioning branches of government and because of that, we have less and less Democracy. With less Democracy comes a government that's less responsive to its people - whether that's being tired of Iraq or worried about foreclosure. A government responsive to its people does not let a handful of them run off with millions while millions of them live hand to hand.
And while all of this goes on, we have a media discussing lipstick and email and candidates who seem perfectly happy with that arrangement.
But, to paraphrase Timbuk 3, it's all just another movie, it isn't going to fix our underlying problems. We have a political crisis in this country and until Americans see through the bullshit and realize that (and both parties and the media are dancing as fast as they can to try to hide it), we're going to keep having other "crises" even if we somehow manage to fix the current ones.
Happy Monday, Everyone!
NOTE - As for the argument that the Democrats can't get anything done with Bush in office and so have put all of their efforts into winning this year to fix everything next year, a dubious proposition given the lame campaign they're running, but if that's true, they are not only ineffective, they are immoral. Letting people die in Iraq or get thrown out of their house or lose their life savings in a failing financial institution because to stand up against any of that and try to stop it would put your election in danger is wrong. Members of Congress have every bit as much of an obligation to try to do what's right for this country as the President does. And there have been Congresses where a party was in the minority that managed to do more than this Congress has with Democrats in the majority. The same criticism applies to the Republicans in Congress who have been even more eager than the Democrats to ignore their responsibilities. The entire institution is broken, IMO.