One of the trademarked mantras bleated daily (along with "America's the biggest..." and "America's the greatest...") is "When Americans put their minds to something there's nothing they cannot do."
And as well as being heart warming and patriotic (and quite possibly narcissistic and inane) it's also patently true and goes a long way towards explaining why so many governmental policies and financial institutions have failed over the last ten years: because that's exactly what the people behind those policies and institutions were aiming for.
All those assertions that "government is broken," made mostly by fanatical Republican ideologues, were, in fact, "tells": their goal was never to fix said broken government but to instead demonstrate how broken it was. By breaking it.
Unlike the Bermuda Triangle or razor blades in Halloween apples, it's not that far fetched. How historically anal retentive conservatives could allow such shocking and awesome negligence to occur, fomenting Ponzi schemes and circa-1980's pyramid scams or using the plot of The Producers to bilk tax payers out of -- it's kind of intoxicating to even say this -- trillions of dollars---is really beyond reason. For, with the average right wing Republican ideologue, every "i" is meticulously dotted and every crucifix is scrupulously crossed and nothing escapes the zealous machine's scrutiny. Think about it.
A brilliant and passionate community organizer like Obama could suddenly become ineffective as a leader; the inability to take action against climate change in the face of overwhelming evidence and consensus among scientists from all corners of the globe (except Kansas and Texas); the incessant stalling of presidential and judicial appointments; the jaw-dropping obfuscation behind the war on health care reform; all these phenomena point less to the apparent inefficiency and/or unworthiness of Obama's (and the world's) agenda and more to the efficiency behind the opposition's effort TO STOP PROGRESS.
No alternative solutions. No helpful suggestions. No deal making. No back room cajoling. Just a simple, trillion pound cinder block of STOP.
It's George Orwell meets Naomi Klein with the illusion of democracy meeting the reality of fascist capitalism.
One is almost forced to conclude that between the "failed" banks and the "failed" government and the "failed" networks and the "failed" whatever else that failure (to paraphrase Brother Theodore) has become this country's greatest success. Break it and spend gazillions fixing it. Like kicking open a door and throwing a dirt biscuit on the rug only to produce a miracle vacuum cleaner (didn't I see that on a Honeymooners episode?). Which of course cleans inefficiently which necessitates the purchase of accessories which then perpetuates the original flawed comic premise which then...oh, you get it.
All these MBA's, these geniuses, the Geithners and Summers's, the Goldman Sachs's the Bush's and Cheney's...they succeeded by causing failure. While everyone inside the box approaches the whole thing as an unmitigated disaster, the destroyers themselves are outside the box hailing their triumph and cashing in.
Since all but jettisoning traditional conservative principles for an unholy fealty to opportunistic disingenuousness, Republicans have evolved into a mono-principled pitbull party in which the only defining characteristic is dumb, lethal loyalty.
The only thing standing between the Republicans and their fully formed Ayn Randian wet dream of a society is The People.
Ah. Those pesky People.
So why bother keeping up the charade of wanting a government which does anything but govern? The answer is there must still be a modicum of fear in the Repubes that The People might somehow, despite the massive attempt to fatten and laxify the masses into media-saturated senselessness, wake up to their nightmare and revolt -- old style.
Hope, Orwell wrote, lies with the proles. The Reps' fierce loyalty, combined with the loss of power and prestige makes this pack of pitbulls more dangerous to Democracy than ever.
You gotta hand it to Republicans, though. When they put their minds to something there's nothing they cannot do.