Posts Tagged 'bill clinton'

A Succinct Explication

There seems to be a concerted effort on the part of many of those complicit in the current economic debacle, they and their political running dogs, to shift the blame off and onto the impersonal forces of market dynamics, or to the government’s “irresponsible” encouragement of home-ownership or to the well-documented sleaze of Bill Clinton. Forget about it. 

The following is the final paragraph in a lengthy piece that appears in the February 12, 2009, edition of The New York Review of Books titled, “How We Were Ruined & What We Can Do,” by Jeff Madrick, editor of Challenge Magazine, Visiting Professor at Cooper Union, and Senior Fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School. 

“This is, as many economists now concur, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Financial market participants created a financial bubble of tragic proportions in pursuit of personal gain. But the deeper cause was a determination among people with political and economic power to minimize the use of government to oversee the financial markets and to guard against natural excess. If solutions are to be found, the nation requires robust and pragmatic use of government, free of laissez-faire cant and undue influence from the vested interests that have irresponsibly controlled the economy for too long.” 

Couldn’t say it better myself. I did try; See The Compost Heap, “Whadda I Know About Economics?”  Posted July 28, 2008. Apparently just enough.

Three Days Later, A Postmortem

s-obama-154x114 In a joyous repudiation of a national politics best characterized by Eliot’s “tedious arguments of insidious intent,” the country seems to have turned the page on a dark chapter of American history, one that began nearly a half-century ago with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. 

Think about those intervening years since LBJ and the tragedy of the Vietnam War (the McCain campaign was, in one of its aspects, an appeal to the Vietnam revanchistes who are still demanding a rewrite of that sad history). There were the two successive and implausible Nixon electoral victories, the failure of Jimmy Carter, a good man in a bad time, two terms of mindless, careless, absentee government under Reagan, the senior Bush’s caretaker interregnum, and then the sleazeball immorality of Bill Clinton. Finally, we had the eight long years of incompetence, war and madness under the Boy King.  Taken   together, a case can be made for a five-decades long national wandering, eyeless in a Gaza. 

There is no knowing what’s coming. What does seem irreversible is the past Tuesday’s  turning toward a  new beginning. The emerging crises of multiple wars (within a flawed and all-encompassing war), a national economic bankruptcy that also could be political, moral and intellectual, has at last driven enough people to decide that the same old shit will no longer suffice. The larger, chanciest questions, lie like unpinned grenades upon our collective table. Does this country still have the time and the capacity to fulfill the hopes raised by the improbable election of Barack Obama? 

The re-election of a rascal like Mitch McConnell, and worse of Ted Stevens, the unsubtle, if unspoken, racism of much of the Red States map and the exclusionary, paranoiac appropriation of patriotism by the Right-Wing yahoos of what Paul Krugman termed the GOP Rump, could possibly trump in difficulty the economic and foreign policy problems awaiting the new administration.  

The potentials for good or bad or both await us, but there’s little percentage in adopting any approach than the one of hopeful realism proclaimed in CSN&Y’s 1970 “Carry On.” All together now: “Rejoice, Rejoice, We have no choice, but to Carry On.”