Thursday, August 1, 2013

Krugman On What's Inherently Important

Krugman, after quoting Raymond Chandler's The Simple Art of Murder, offers his reasons for not writing about the really important things lately, and then offers a couple of paragraphs about one really important thing:

In the short run the point is that Republican leaders are about to reap the whirlwind, because they haven’t had the courage to tell the base that Obamacare is here to stay, that the sequester is in fact intolerable, and that in general they have at least for now lost the war over the shape of American society. As a result, we’re looking at many drama-filled months, with a high probability of government shutdowns and even debt defaults.

Over the longer run the point is that one of America’s two major political parties has basically gone off the deep end; policy content aside, a sane party doesn’t hold dozens of votes declaring its intention to repeal a law that everyone knows will stay on the books regardless. And since that party continues to hold substantial blocking power, we are looking at a country that’s increasingly ungovernable.

Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Austin, TX
"At the Fork in the Road"
No wonder he titles the post, "Chaos Looms." For the record, I am not enjoying the Republican-dominated process, and I shall still not enjoy it even if it leads to the demise of the GOP. It is difficult for me to admit that America is somewhat fragile at the moment, but my beloved nation is at a fork in the road (and not the one in Austin, TX). The GOP can decide to inflict its bitterness about the unpopularity of its policies on the entire nation, or it can ditch its most radical wing and resume a legitimately American way of resolving differences; either way, there's no assurance the nation is sturdy enough to survive the process. If the downfall of the GOP forces the formation of a legitimate American conservative party in opposition to my currently rather pitiful Democrats, it may be worth the pain and suffering. But I wouldn't bet money on the members of today's GOP choosing that route.

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