I almost broke up with my boyfriend, Andrew Sullivan, last week after he was on Bill Maher* because he was being kind of bitchy. Then again, so was Bill Maher. I’ve decided to forgive him, though, because he posted the link to this article by Ross Douthat explaining his perspective on the possible outcomes of the economic shitstorm in which we now find ourselves. I’m not remotely smart enough to be able to comment on whether or not his proposed scenarios are likely or feasible or astute, but they are interesting to read. Plus, option #3 tides me over for at least the next 3 1/2 years. I wish that I didn’t feel so sick about this whole mess that I could gloat a bit more about the fact that even someone as obtuse as George W. Bush has to realize how harshly history will judge him and his failed policies.
29 Sep 2008 03:00 pm
The worst case: You know what.
The most likely scenario, as of 3 PM this afternoon: The stock market continues to drop. Some version of the bailout passes in the next week. The American economy staggers into a recession, but passes through the storm without 1930s-style suffering; the Republican Party is not so fortunate. Even though most Americans claim to oppose the bailout [update: not anymore], the House GOP’s obstructionism is widely viewed as having worsened the economic situation; the fact that these are contradictory positions does not faze an electorate that wraps all of the country’s current troubles up, ties them with a bow, and lays them at the feet of the Bush-led GOP. John McCain loses by a landslide in November. The Democratic Party regains years or even decades worth of ground among the white working class, consolidates the Hispanic vote, and locks up a large chunk of highly-educated voters who might otherwise lean conservative. The much-discussed liberal realignment happens. And a politician running on a Ron Paul-style economic platform does very, very well in the GOP primaries of 2012.
*Bill Maher is getting on my nerves. His New Rules are funny and incisive, but he is kind of mean to his guests. Plus I think he hates women. Except Playboy Bunnies.