Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Politics as Cargo Cult

I think this (unfortunately) catches a lot of the dynamics of the moment:
President Obama, responsibly acceding to the reality of divided government, is now the leading champion of fiscal austerity, and his proposals contain very little in the way of job creation. More important, he no longer uses his office’s most powerful tool, rhetorical suasion, to keep the country focussed on the continued need for government activism. His opponents’ approach to job creation is that of a cargo cult—just keep repeating “tax cuts”—even though the economic evidence of the past three decades refutes such magical thinking. What does either side have to offer the tens of millions of Americans who have settled into a semi-permanent state of economic depression? Virtually nothing.
 I wasn't in Washington or politics very long, but at least we had some notion that we were doing something. The current clashes of ideologies just seem like so much pointless theater. Sound and fury, etc.

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