Before the liberals write the GOP's obituary it would be wise to acknowledge the role other "bubbles" play in inventing new and ingenious ways to get people to vote against their own self-interests. Rather than one all-encompassing "bubble" that hermetically seals the Republicans inside their media universe, there's no shortage of other equally important bubbles that serve corporate power. These bubbles often overlap in influence and personnel and still possess the awe-inspiring ability to persuade public opinion on the problems of greatest magnitude facing the United States today. Although it was amusing on election night to see Karl Rove on Fox News refuse to accept the reality of President Obama's Ohio victory, we shouldn't be too quick to draw totalizing conclusions from the Democratic victories.
Let's talk about the fiscal cliff -- you know, the one everyone's all wound up about? Well, the Congressional Budget Office just released their analysis of its potential impact on the economy and it ain't pretty. Add up all the stuff that's scheduled to turn into fiscal pumpkins at midnight on December 31, and you could get a serious impact on the economy. Unemployment would reverse course and start rising if that fiscal scenario remained in place -- but that's a big, important "if." All of the estimates assume we go off the cliff and don't climb back. But if, as Gail Collins imagines it, there's a bungee jump instead of a cliff dive, we can avoid the worst of this. One hopes that Congress can hammer the kind of compromise that has eluded them thus far -- the one that adds tax revenues to any agreement -- before the end of the year, or early next.