And what have we learned in the last week, kids?
1. If you are a “libertarian”, or a “fiscal conservative”, or just a “person who likes it when budget numbers bear some passing relationship to reality” and you thought that you had a voice in the Republican Party… surprise! Your quaint opinion was neither desired nor needed. Moral hazard? A road to whatdom? Limited government? Creative destruction? Yeah, fuck all that noise: some of Hank Paulson’s buddies were facing having to drive their own cars this year. When we said “free” markets, we didn’t mean crazy.
2. If you are a “progressive” or an “leftist” or just a “person who thinks that maybe the government shouldn’t hand over uncountable (and unaccountable) billions of dollars to people who are already rich” and you thought you had a voice in the Democratic Party… surprise! Nobody gave a shit about your perspective. Universal health care? Education reform? Funding for city infrastructure? A fully funded EEOC? Sorry, we needed that money to keep Citicorp and Morgan Stanley in business. Tough break kid, maybe next century.
3. If you thought that between the two groups of people mentioned above there was potentially a large enough voting bloc in congress to stop a bill that was at once a complete disaster from a Chicago-school economic perspective and also one of the most brilliant instances of robbing from everybody to pay to the rich in the history of the entire world… surprise! There’s not many of you at all, actually. How embarrassing.
In a sane world, this would be the beginning of an epochal re-alignment in American party politics. Everyone who voted “no” on this monstrosity would immediately join a new party, let’s call it for the sake of argument the “For The Love Of God Don’t Do Completely Insane Shit” party. Everyone else would be in the “OMG FREE PONIES!!!11” party. Except that’s too depressing a thought to contemplate, since based on the roll call, the Ponytarians have at least a 2-to-1 advantage. And by the way, whatever happens on November 4th, one of them is going to be President.
Sleep well, America.