On Tuesday, when the
Republican Party and its Tea Party chump-proxies re-conquer the sin-drenched bizarro universe of the US congress, they'll have to
re-assume ownership of the stickiest web of frauds and swindles ever run in
human history - and chances are the victory will blow up in their
supernaturally suntanned, Botox-smoothed faces.
But don't cry for John Boehner, Barack Obama.
The President and his Democrats may have inherited this clusterfuck from the feckless George Bush but they
flubbed every chance to mitigate any part of it, ranging from their failure
to restore the rule of law in banking (by prosecuting the executives of major
banks who oversaw the systematic swindle), to mis-directing
our dwindling resources toward ends (such as "shovel-ready" new
super-highways) that won't promote a credible future for this society, to
misleading the public in the fantasy that alt-energy will offset the
disruptions of peak oil (and allow us to keep running suburbia, the US
Military, and WalMart by other means).
It's really too late for both parties. They're unreformable. They've squandered their legitimacy just as
the US enters the fat heart of the long emergency. Neither of them have a
plan, or even a single idea that isn't a dodge or a grift.
Both parties tout a "recovery" that is just a cover story for
accounting chicanery and statistical lies aimed at concealing the
criminally-engineered national bankruptcy that they presided over in split
shifts. Both parties are overwhelmingly made up of bagmen for the companies
that looted America.
Alas, the damage is now so pervasive in money matters that the federal
government could be toast as a viable enterprise, even if a new party or two
spontaneously rose up out of the ruins of a plundered democracy. Anyway, one
of them will not be the Tea Party, with its incoherent agenda and moron
cadres who seek to put Jesus back in the US constitution, where he never was
in the first place - though they don't know that.
Nor is there any party on the left or even in the center with a clue
or a moral compass. Its just one of those
tragic moments in history - like 1850s America, when a strange vacuum of
thought occupied the heart of political life, and the scene was cluttered up
with mere place-holders like Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, and James
Buchanan. (Can you state a single idea or position, these political ciphers
Where we stand now is on the cusp of another giant step into the
abyss, since the latest storm of Foreclosure-Gate suggests pretty strongly
that mega-tons of mortgage-backed securities are assured of blowing up, as
well as the sundry derivatives of these things (CDOs, CDOs-squared, plus the
massive fetid matter infesting the alternative cosmos of credit default
swaps). If you follow the media-of-record like The New York Times and the
Wall Street Journal, you would have to conclude that there is no extant
plausible notion among financial leaders as to how the fiasco of botched
mortgage-and-title documentation can be resolved. After three weeks of
emerging events around this debacle, the consensus among the power brokers is
to pretend that there's no problem, that the issue
of missing, forged, post-dated, trashed, or non-existent paper related to
claims on property can just be put aside, brushed under the rug, glossed
Let me tell you something: this problem is not going away. At the very
least it is going to paralyze the real estate industry for as far ahead as
anyone can see. For another thing, it could force the disclosure of what the
banks are holding in their vaults in the way of worthless paper and expose
their insolvency. For still another thing, it could lead to rafts of lawsuits
that would additionally shove the banks toward collapse, demolish the claims that underlie our currency, call into question the meaning
of property ownership per se that is the basis of Anglo-American law,
and tie up the court system until kingdom come. In any case, every pension
fund, state government, and insurance operation would be crippled. I could go
on but you get the picture.... This might all sound extreme, but I repeat:
nobody with any authority in this land has proposed a plausible way out.
By the way, I haven't even touched on the totally insane but now
accepted practices of the Federal Reserve attempting to stage manage the
velocity of money by so-called quantitative easing - a.k.a. the US writing
checks to itself - because even that nonsense assumes that everything else
remains more or less stable.
This is what the two major parties can look forward to as we
swing around into the Yuletide season and then into 2011. The proud winners
of seats in congress and the senate might as well put on clown suits and
little pointed hats on Wednesday morning and drive around the Washington
monument in toy cars. There will be a desperate need for a new politics
in this country, for people unafraid to tell the truth and act in the genuine
public interest. If we can't generate it from the saner quarters
of this country where people think thoughts that comport with
reality, I'm afraid we could see some generals step into the picture.
I write literally over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, en route from
Australia where I spent the past week - not on vacation. It's a reminder that
there are a lot of other players in the wide world - not all of them nations
on the verge of a nervous breakdown.
James Howard Kunstler’s new novel of
the post-oil future, World Made By Hand, is
available at all booksellers.
James Kunstler has worked as a reporter and
feature writer for a number of newspapers, and finally as a staff writer for
Rolling Stone Magazine. In 1975, he dropped out to write books on a full-time
His latest nonfiction book, "The Long Emergency," describes
the changes that American society faces in the 21st century. Discerning an
imminent future of protracted socioeconomic crisis, Kunstler
foresees the progressive dilapidation of subdivisions and strip malls, the
depopulation of the American Southwest, and, amid a world at war over oil,
military invasions of the West Coast; when the convulsion subsides, Americans
will live in smaller places and eat locally grown food.
You can purchase your own copy here : The Long
Emergency . You
can get more from James Howard Kunstler - including
his artwork, information about his other novels, and his blog - at his Web
site : http://www.kunstler.com/