Sunday, September 28, 2008

Politicians Of the Worst Kind............

The worst kind of politician is the cooperative kind, for they are the kind that tends to do things.
This morning we woke to one of those headlines you just dread. Right there, on the front page of the New York Times, "Breakthrough Reached in Negotiations on Bailout."
Beneath the headline, the accompanying photograph showed a group of Washington clowns patting each other on the back and brandishing grins not unlike those a cat might wear, having just devoured a mouse.
"We have made great progress toward a deal, which will work and be effective in the marketplace," announced Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr.
That's the same Hank Paulson who, just this past July assured us that "It's a safe banking system, a sound banking system. Our regulators are on top of it. This is a very manageable situation."
It's also the same man who, while lecturing Chinese officials in March of last year said, "The reality of the situation is that an open, competitive, and liberalized financial market can effectively allocate scarce resources in a manner that promotes stability and prosperity far better than governmental intervention..."
But Mr. Paulson is a cunning cat, and cunning cats must be prepared to abandon the spine of their resolve at a moment's notice. After all, one doesn't climb the political ladder by sticking to one's guns. Our chameleon must employ compromise, bipartisanship sacrifice and, above all, he must brandish an eager willingness to renounce his convictions.
This is nothing new, of course. This creature of political whimsy was born out of real demand for his dubious character traits. When confronted with a choice between choosing a person of unwavering, if sometimes painfully honest conviction, and one who is wont to promise anything, regardless of whether or not it is viable, feasible or even mathematically possible, most voters will opt for the latter.
Americans, for example, had a chance this year to cast a vote for their own personal responsibility. All they had to do was pay attention to the only man vying for the nation's top job who wanted to talk about economics, who advocated a return to the gold standard and who drew his non-interventionalist platform (in both finance and foreign policy) straight from the constitution. But when it came down to the big dance, American's fell for the platitudes and promises of a slick young black man and a decrepit old white man. The physician from Texas was left out in the rain, alongside the catnip.
And now that the charade is careening along to its next and greatest climax thus far, the voice of reason has been muffled under the noise of the media's election cheerleading. We wondered what Ron Paul had to say about the government's bailout.
"This is Wall Street in big trouble and sucking in Main Street...and dumping all the bills on Main Street," the libertarian reasoned on CNN's Late Edition over the weekend. "You can't solve the problem of inflation, which is the creation of money and credit out of thin air, by [creating] more money and credit out of thin air...
"What they're doing now, they're propping up a failed system so the agony lasts longer. They're doing exactly what we did in the Depression."

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