Whoever finally becomes the Democrats’ nominee and (Lord, hear our prayer) shellacs the Republicans in November, the next president is likely to face such a gargantuan mess that you’d think it would cool the candidates’ eagerness to win a little. While the New Hampshire voting was going on, the Dow Jones was crumbling another 200 points, a major mortgage firm was denying bankruptcy rumors and Treasury Secretary Paulson was suggesting that the stop-foreclosure remedy they’re preparing might be extended to five years instead of just two.
If we start out 2009 in the midst of a recession, there will be no stimulus wiggle-room available since Bush spent all our reserves, and the safety net constructed to get us through hard times will remain shredded, thanks to the slobbering eagerness of the plutocrat party and the passive complicity of the other one.
Meanwhile, we will now be hearing a lot more about getting past ‘partisan gridlock’ and making nice across the aisle. Naturally, this happens just when the Republicans—who loved partisan nastiness when they were in charge—are looking at an extended stay in the wilderness.
Bipartisan agreeableness will mean none of the kinds of substantial shifts in government policy and action (or ‘change’ as the candidates suddenly discovered we want) will have a prayer.
We don’t want gridlock, of course, but it would be nice to have someone actually stand for something. Now that the preliminary hoopla is over, it is time to demand that the bland phrases from the leading candidates start to be replaced by some tougher and less Hallmark-y policy suggestions.
Personally, I’ve heard enough about effing ‘change’ from the people who got us here.