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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The New Bipartisans (or, sound and fury...)

Curious is the surface veneer of bipartisan agreement on the bailout. I've heard only dyed-in-the-wool small government conservatives fulminate about it, presumably on principled grounds, and our own (in the sense of, he's a human too...) Ralph Nader, presumably on principled grounds as well (in Naderland, nothing makes less sense, and reeks with the stench of immorality more, than bailing out Corporate America).

In between, suddenly there's consensus; disagreement only on details. What happened? Call me cynical, but this seems more a surface veneer over "boundless seas of confusion"*, than real agreement. The economy seems to have gotten so complex, and the stakes for failing to understand it so great, that it's pushed politicians together in positively bizarre bedfellow fashion. Economic 9/11? Maybe. Maybe also just strength in numbers (insert favorite Nietzsche quote here). They're banding together against the "beast"... the new global economy. But I'm not assuaged. A little dyspeptic. And apprehensive.

* I transmogrified this phrase from Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind" written years ago, and on a different (but perhaps related?) subject. Full disclosure.

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