St. Krugman and the Dragons
By: Mark W Adams

Knowing that Ad Nags says it ain't over 'til it's over, I have to agree with Kevin.  The Presidential race is over. 

Even in an Era of Peak Wingnuttia, there will still be pockets of stupidity to be drilled, baby, drilled -- just coming at a higher cost and notable more for their extreme rarity than their pernicious influence.  It's not if Obama will win, but by how much.  If that doesn't tell the remaining Klingons of Conservopodnia that they're done, nothing will.

Facing electoral disaster of epic proportions there are still die-hard conservatives that won't give up the cause.  You can spot the dead-enders who are so lacking in self-awareness, intellectual honesty, and perspective they remain firmly wedded to an ideology that has spectacularly failed for all to see.

"Small government conservatives?"  Don't make me laugh.  The Government had enormously grown before the financial crisis, all to their delight; the occasional obligatory pang of worry notwithstanding since it was merely offered to cynically cover their true ideological passion -- destruction of those damn dirty hippies. 

Now with the nationalization of most of the financial industry, government is astronomically huge, an inconceivable amount of control and power and money, your money, has taken over our society in what seems like a blink of an eye, but has been creeping in this direction for decades.  Every time they grew the debt, they grew the government.

Ironically, it was their religious-like devotion to free market fundamentalism that required a socialistic themed intervention.

The era of Reagan is dead.  The conservative movement has been exposed as bankrupt of ideas as it bankrupted the nation.  Nothing could encapsulate the Zeitgeist better than Paul Krugman winning the Nobel Prize in Economics.  (Big Congrats Shrill Guy!)  Joining Al Gore in that fraternity is just icing on the cake.  Repudiation, thy name is Republican.

They've ruined us, these scam artists on the right.  As Ed Rollins put it today:  "James Carville's famous slogan in Bill Clinton's 1992 victory over the first Bush: 'It's the economy stupid!' can now be replaced with 'You morons, what have you done with my money, my life and my kids' future?'""

By any measure, in any field -- financially, diplomatically, in our ability to project power militarily, provide leadership through inspiration as opposed to intimidation both at home and abroad, from maintaining our infrastructure to honoring basic constitutional precepts like separation of church and state, due process (including habeas corpus), checks and balances and the notion of separate but equal branches of government -- the conservatives have wrecked havoc on the very ideals America is supposed to stand for.  We have sacrificed our mandate to provide for the general welfare by pouring the bulk of our resources into the common defense, to the point that as we face the reality of this economic turmoil we are in grave danger of being unable to do either.

To simply blame George Bush is convenient, a scapegoat who they will attempt to write off as someone untrue to the faith, never "really" a conservative at all.  Yet the remaining leaders of the Republican Party cling steadfastly to their orthodoxy.  House Minority Leader Roy Blunt is content to talk and walk the well worn path of tax cuts, and only tax cuts being the solution to absolutely everything.

Rep. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Republican who serves as House minority leader, said he would support a stimulus plan if it did not include massive public works spending and budget bailouts for states that overspent on health care and other social programs.

Come on Roy, how many more generations are we supposed to wait for all the largess to trickle down to the rest of us?  You guys in Washington and Wall Street have been passing so many bucks back and forth, stuffing each other's pockets with so much for so long you'd think some well worn holes would have opened up in your wallets by now -- but so far, not so much.

Blunt abhors those massive public works projects and infusion of cash to states who will be even more burdened to provide a social safety net on a dwindling tax base as the recession takes hold, which of course, are exactly what is required and should have been part of the last stimulus package.  It is notably missing from the current version of the bailout despite what some of those self-proclaimed geniuses proclaim from the  depths of their delusions (and some from outright utter stupidity ).  Fortunately, Obama does get it and was here in Toledo today promising exactly what we the people need as BushCo takes care of them the bankers.

Messieurs Yglesias and Klein note this handy chart from Moody's that illustrates exactly what return you can expect on a stimulus investment in a variety of projects.


If a Republican looks at that chart and believes the data that went into it, yet still refuses to consider the spending initiatives at the bottom of the list that clearly provide the most help where it's most needed and offer the biggest return on investment, then they are captive to a constituency they have failed to educate and have nothing but dogma and demonization keeping them in power.

Another titular head of the GOP, their candidate himself John McCain grasped for the tried and true panacea of elimination of capital gains taxes as well, before dumping it when it was pointed out that the last thing anyone is worried about right now is all the taxes they'll have to pay on their gains and dividends.  Nobody will realize a gain on their stock this year unless they divested quite some time ago.  If you're still holding stocks you'll be very lucky indeed if you get any kind of a dividend this year, which means the vast majority of 401(k) investors.  McCain's instinct was ridiculous as it was predictable.

I can hardly wait for version 4.8 of what John McSame really stands for tomorrow.  Not that it will matter, but it will give us lefties something to amuse ourselves with until he makes an ass out of himself at the (praise be) last debate.