2008--The Year That Isn’t
Make lots of videos. Date everything. Don’t trash any files. If the Dems win the White House and Congress, this year, 2008, will be erased from public memory. So you’ll want to keep private proof that you lived through it.
Part of the magic of America is that, to quote my buddy Karl, we can make the solid vanish into air. We can take notions people have held for eons and shut them off like a radio, never to be thought about again.
If you recall, that’s what happened on February 22, 1972. That was the day Richard Nixon took chow with Mao in Peking's Forbidden City. Up until that trip, Americans had been told for decades that Chairman Mao was the all-time evil dictator of the most fanatically monstrous regime in history. Then, with the soup, Mao magically became Charlie Chan and China turned from a communist tyranny into a capitalist’s wet dream. Slave labor stopped being a horror and was redefined as a neat cost saver for investors. The conventional wisdom that China needed to conquer the world, and particularly San Francisco, to make room for its multiplying millions disappeared on the east wind.
On December 31, 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved itself, abandoning socialism for the poor but keeping it for the soon to be rich. For the preceding 74 years, America’s rulers and their media never stopped warning that the Kremlin master plan for world conquest listed the U.S. as target number one. Not only that, they were responsible for all the troubles on Earth, according to Ronald Reagan. As in China, Russia kept the same ruling elite when it made its big policy change. Only now they called themselves capitalists instead of commissars. They invited our corporations to partner with theirs. With that, the sadistic Soviets instantly transmogrified into benign Buffets and their dark gulags became bright industrial parks. Their commie conspiracy evanesced like a shooting star somewhere over Siberia, never to be seen again.
Now for 2008. The Republicans paraded a cute little kid this week wearing a teeshirt that read, "The mess in my pants is nothing compared to the mess Democrats will make of this country if they win Nov. 2nd." Mark that as among the first assaults on the annum. They’ll be lots more.
Washington and Wall Street and their media are doing their best to fig leaf our flaccid economy. Have no fear the bottom is near is all we hear. Apart from bailing the bourses and keeping bank runs from turning into marathons, their obvious aim is to hide the blame and elect McCain. But if the old Navy flier gets shot down again, this time by Barack-ack, those bets are off. By that point, the Republicans will be geared up to accuse the Dems for the credit calamity.
They will tell their media that 2008, and particularly the sea change on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, never occurred. That’s when, if you recall, our free market financial system was put on life support by the Fed after having collapsed, a victim of its own venality. Instead, the Republicans will fabulate that the economy went south on Inauguration Day. They will repeat it so often that folks will see their suffering as a Democrat Depression. Call it Obama Blues.
The “free enterprisers” will have no choice but to continue to slop at the public trough since there isn’t that much private money on the planet to save the banks and brokerages. But we will all pretend not to notice and will maintain our core myth that private can do no wrong and public can do no right.
Only troublemakers will dare to mention 2008 and that the socialization of Wall Street has supplanted the commercialization of Washington. We’ll become nostalgic for the prosperous Bush II years and won’t vote for Democrats again for a very long time. On the bright side, those 2008 mementos you manage to save will be worth a pretty penny.