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Monday, November 1, 2010

The United States of Amnesia

I'm not looking forward to tomorrow.  It will be ugly, just how ugly it will get is the only question.  Nothing good will come out of this election.   The economy will drift at best and continue to slide at worst. 

If the GOP takes the House we will be subject to a barrage of investigations of anything and everything, no matter how trivial.   The Tea Party, as Frank Rich wrote in his excellent column in the NY Times yesterday will be swallowed by the rump GOP which talks about fiscal responsibility but when push comes to shove, they don't give a damn.  They may snip around the edges but won't dare touch Defense spending.  They love their agricultural subsidies and they love their pork just like every other politician. 

As long as the Citizens United decision stands allowing unlimited, anonymous spending on political advertising the powerful will become even more powerful and the rest will see their incomes stagnate, as they have done over the past decade.   As long as that is the status quo nothing will improve. 

The hypocrisy of conservatives when it comes to fiscal issues is widespread and will continue unabated.   I will cite just two examples.  The state of Virginia was facing a $1.8 billion deficit but conservative Governor, Bob McDonnell publicly refused to accept any of the stimulus.   Privately, he gladly accepted it, $2.2 billion's worth   He then went on the Fox business channel to boast about how he had turned the deficit into a $400 million surplus with cost cutting and fiscal discipline.   The math is easy.  Nothing changed other than the addition of the stimulus.  The pliant Fox host congratulated him, without calling him on his dishonesty.   How is McDonnell going to find the money to offset the deficit next yeat?

In the House, Ike Skelton, a long serving Democrat is facing a Tea Party candidate Vicky Hartzler, who's campaign motto is "Keep government out of Missouri's 4th district".  She and her husband own a farm.  They have received $774,000 in agricultural subsidies in the past 10 years.  If elected, do you think she will vote against the subsidies.  Not a chance in hell.

I pray for the best but expect a lot less.   Hunker down, it's going to be a rough couple of years at best. 

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