Drowning in the Bathtub

The last election was a setback for the Right. One of America’s enduring virtues is its ability to find great people in moments of great distress. It’s hard to imagine anyone more able to combat the present economic crisis that Barack Obama. But that doesn’t change the fact that, whether he succeeds or not, he’s facing a dire outcome. Even if he manages to wring concessions out of the more timid Republicans, even if he helps moderate Democrats grow a backbone, even if the stimulus succeeds, he – and the nation – are still in deep water.

I confess I’ve been more than a little surprised recently to see the ripples of shock and alarm spreading through liberal circles in the US recently. Having won an historic election, progressives somehow find it unimaginable that the Republican leopard hasn’t changed his spots.

How dare Karl Rove have the temerity to open his mouth? How dare the Rush Corps pray for failure? Can’t they see we’ve won?

The Left has won, that much is true. But all it’s won is an election, nothing more. This is not the end of the fight. Though they’ve suffered an electoral rout, many Republicans feel they are still on decent ground, and have every reason in the world to feel there’s no great need to change tactics.

For these people, a failed stimulus and subsequent economic disaster is the stuff of dreams. It’s what they’ve been working toward for decades.

Read more “Drowning in the Bathtub”