The Worse Things Get, the More the OP/ED Section Shines
I can't remember the last time I read so many noteworthy quotes:
Even now, with the house on fire, the most extreme among them won’t pick up the fire hoses and try to put it out.
With the fate of the Bush administration’s desperate $700 billion bailout of the financial industry hanging in the balance, Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, stuck to his political playbook like a man covered in Krazy Glue. He pronounced himself “resolute” in his opposition to the bailout because to be otherwise would amount to a betrayal of party principles.
To deviate from those principles, in Mr. Issa’s view, would be like placing “a coffin on top of Ronald Reagan’s coffin.”
We are in very strange territory here.
And let us recognize above all the 228 who voted no — the authors of this revolt of the nihilists. They showed the world how much they detest their own leaders and the collected expertise of the Treasury and Fed. They did the momentarily popular thing, and if the country slides into a deep recession, they will have the time and leisure to watch public opinion shift against them.
...Now they have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they’ve taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.
Capping executive pay is piffle. What we need are a few exemplary hangings. Public hangings. On television. Pick a few failed investment firms, lead their CEOs in chains through the canyons of Manhattan and give the mob satisfaction. Better still, precede the auto-da-fe -- fire is highly telegenic -- with 24-hour reality-TV coverage of their recantations, lamentations and final visits with the soon-to-be widowed. The ratings would dwarf "American Idol," and the ad revenue alone would make the perfect down payment on the $700 billion.
Whatever it takes to clear our heads.
The Great Depression was not just a period of wholesale unemployment and incredible poverty -- of bread lines and apple-peddlers and women selling brief intimacy for 10 cents a dance. It was also the period of Hitler and Mussolini and, in this country, of Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin, and the belief among otherwise sane people that communism was the remedy for what ailed us. An economic crisis is like war. It's impossible to contain. It affects everything it touches.