"The business of America is business."
-- Calvin Coolidge
The 30th president of the United States was a horrible jackass with an incurable rash of brain warts and a queer brand of constructionist that ran a counterbalance to all known modes of reasoning. Calvin Coolidge was simply the worst Republican politician of the 20th century whose name was not Richard Milhouse Nixon. His ideas were roundly debunked within minutes of his injurious attempt at governance, the gory results of which fueled the greatest meltdown in modern capitalism. This brought about a bastardized gargantuan liberal dream for the better part of a quarter century, also debunked as severe a suicidal fiasco as could possibly be fashioned by a modern soul not named Karl Marx. Only the third worst Republican president of the American Century could renew FDR's New Deal spirit, in one G.W. Bush, who's bungled two-term disaster put Barack Hussein Obama in the Oval Office and, with the eager assistance of a predominantly Democratic legislature, monitored the tripling of the national debt.
And so here come the denizens of Coolidge's rancid dung heap; the corporate lackeys and scourge of the union thugs, the anti-environment, deregulation fanatical New Republicans, whose proposed mission is to "fix broken government" by dismantling its unchecked gluttony.
Of course this only happens on talk radio and Ayn Rand books, but in this government, the one the 112th congress and its hordes of freshmen enter with heads held high, it will be business as usual. Business being the operative word, since this will be the Business Congress or as it will be known for a short time before The System bogs down their lofty rhetoric and even loftier ambitions, The Laissez-faire Marauders.
Yes, but that will die as quickly a death as did the anti-war fervor that ushered in the 110th congress, which collectively talked trash about ceasing the two unfunded, ill-conceived, unwarranted foreign occupations, only to slink away four years later with both still raging and only a heap of dubious domestic spending to show for it. Neo-conservatism was out in '06, broke and embarrassed under a siege of misappropriations, absent funds and scores of dead Americans for what was beginning to appear as a red herring, this strange and terrible ruse perpetuated on an angered and sandbagged public. Now it is half-baked liberal hubris sent packing under the guise of fiscal revolution and power to the people. Its architects run out of the capitol on a rail as their president's approval numbers climb on the wings of a debt bloating extended tax cut.
The 110th congress galloped in high on the horse of transparency in government and a halt to the heaps of illegal shenanigans that doomed their previous Republican cohorts, only to engage in backroom dealings and rule-bending partisanship and whatever insane shit Charlie Rangel pulled. But now the 112th is here to "triumphantly return to open rules", akin to the Bush Era being a new time for clean and respectable government after the nasty Clinton besmirching of the office, only to be awash in a parade of scandals from Scooter Libby to the unprecedented political house-cleaning of U.S. Attorneys.
The great Hunter S. Thompson once told me that there is only so much shit people will eat, but I disagree. I think a healthy gorging of dung is what makes penning this column each week so satisfying. Hell, it keeps us voting. Most importantly, it keeps the illusion of democracy alive and well in this the Chinese Century.
The last congress put the kibosh on Hope & Change, much as this one will be pissing on the Tea Party mirage, when "the will of the people" will be best served as hollow voices for another attempt at raping the business landscape with guiltless banshees masquerading as free market saints. Reminiscent of the gutted Fanny & Freddie bottomless pits which held the state's manipulation of the market hostage, coupled with faceless bank gamblers who sold crap bonds for sure things and then bet against the house.
It is time to roll again, a Wild West show worthy of the last Wild West show and the one before that, more watered down free market malarkey prefabricated by The Gipper and the self-mutilating Contract With America.
Thirty-three hours into the New Guys came an immediate backtrack on the latest Pledge to America. Cutting $100 billion of government spending in the first year now becomes a "hypothetical cut". Cut-As-You-Go bill proposals allowing for only budget slicing initiatives goes bye-bye with the showy House vote to repeal the Health Care Law, which according to the Congressional Budget Office would add $230 billion to the current national debt. And then there's the all bills must have a clause in the U.S. Constitution giving it absolute authority scheme. However, of the initial three initiatives proposed by the 112th -- cut the congressional budget, repeal the health care bill, and instruct House committees to present new health care legislation -- none carry the aforementioned citation.
If I were John Boehner, I too would be openly weeping.
But who really thought any of this would change a thing? The closest this space came to buying any portion of this falderal was in 2008, when a new generation was supposed to carve out a true "progressive" approach to governing. Instead it was more goofy old-world big government kowtowing to party politics and then finger-pointing windbag gobbledygook draped in a "what's good for us" palaver. It was wrong and defeatist and put the very notion of change on hiatus when the entirety of a Carter/Clinton redux marched into the president's cabinet, not to mention tax frauds and hedge fund cheats in top finance positions, the whole shebang put on effective flat line notice today when William M. Daley (a Chicago Daley of the anti-hippy Son of Daleys) was named chief of staff, replacing the previous Chitown party-entrenched politician.
Anyone who has the balls to label yours truly a cynic after this recidivist crap needs to rub the fairy dust and red white & blue gook from their peepers and salute your commemorative Ollie North plate.
Happy New Year, indeed.