Hunker down

We’re in for a rough next 30 years until Ross Douthat’s nightmare becomes true. With a little luck, some of us will still be alive then. I truly believe that demographic change will eventually lead us to the promised land of having a normal first-world government. But until then, we’re probably screwed. Things could change sooner, maybe in 15 years, but the next ten years are going to be brutal.

With unlimited corporate money fueling crazed Nixon-style anger, things are going to get very, very ugly.

65 replies
  1. 1
    MobiusKlein says:

    On the bright side, at least we’ll be warm!

  2. 2
    beltane says:

    The United States will now join Silvio Berlusconi’s Italy in the ranks of soft fascism. Italians are trendsetter. We can be their next Germany.

    God help us.

  3. 3
    DonkeyKong says:

    I feel like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes.

    Damn You All to Hell!

  4. 4
    slag says:

    I’m not clicking on that link. You can’t make me click on that link. So I’m not clicking on that link.

  5. 5
    Hunter Gathers says:

    How long until Brawndo buys the FDA?

  6. 6
    beltane says:

    @slag: We need a Sadly, No shorter of Douthat’s piece. I will not click that link.

  7. 7
    Laura W says:

    @MobiusKlein: I know it’s early, but Comment of the Year nomination.

  8. 8
    Bokonon says:

    Thank God these guys are strict originalists, and aren’t wild eyed judicial activists or something. Because then they might go around overturning established precedent and grabbing power away from Congress, and legislating from the bench.

    Oh, wait …

    I suppose that those sorts of things are only bad when liberals do them.

  9. 9
    Napoleon says:

    Well it was a nice run for the USA while it lasted.

    RIP Democracy.

  10. 10
    gnomedad says:

    I sure hope this pessimism is premature. What the hell is Obama going to do at SOTU? Announce he’s going Galt?

  11. 11
    Legalize says:

    Obama is now talking tough about fighting Wall Street. Teh LOLz are ripe today.

  12. 12
    BR says:

    @gnomedad:

    School uniforms?

  13. 13
    Demo Woman says:

    @beltane: Between the Supreme Court ruling and Fox News openly proselytizing we are all victims of WWII Italy.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    @gnomedad: I’d give us all the finger, resign, and move to Europe.

  15. 15
    Lolis says:

    I am sure the teabaggers will be very upset about this, since they care so much about individual freedoms and liberty. Surely their pure rage will save us.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @Tunch: Thanks. Someone tell Douthat that if whites were truly such a master race, this would not be an issue.

  17. 17
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    30 years, huh? Yeah, here’s the thing: at the rate we’re going the world will be uninhabitable in 30 years.

    Stock up on canned goods and antibiotics. This is not a joke or an exaggeration to make a point.

  18. 18
    Violet says:

    @beltane:
    We’re already fascists.

    Fascism:

    is a political ideology that seeks to combine radical and authoritarian nationalism with a corporatist economic system,

    How is that different than what the US is now?

  19. 19
    Leo says:

    So I want to type one stupid comment in the persona of Tunch and now my browser has decided I am Tunch for all time. Anyway, before my comment was stuck in moderation because I used a magic word, all I wanted to say was:

    @beltane: Shorter: The brown people are breeding too fast! They’re gonna take over!

    Edit: FYWP. Seriously.

  20. 20
    BFR says:

    @John Cole:

    I’d give us all the finger, resign, and move to Europe.

    I think we’re in the process of re-enacting the episode of the Simpsons where Homer wins the election as the local garbage collector.

  21. 21
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @John Cole:

    I’d give us all the finger, resign, and move to Europe.

    Yeah but even if he did, in a couple years he’d be back to reading US political blogs.

    Trust me.

  22. 22
    Carl Nyberg says:

    The vision of the elites is to have a Third World labor pool available within the United States.

    These same elites want to have strong consumption driven by a large and prosperous middle class.

    But the elites don’t really know how to get the second. They are pretty sure they know how to get the first.

  23. 23
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    I’m not clicking on that link. You can’t make me click on that link. So I’m not clicking on that link.

    Don’t worry, we’ve already discussed it. No need to click on it.

    What the hell is Obama going to do at SOTU?

    Give a nice, uplifting speech with some nice, uplifting ideas. Then he will go back to triangulating against his base and holding hand with Wall Street.

  24. 24
    Demo Woman says:

    @John Cole: They would welcome Obama with open arms.

  25. 25

    things are going to get very, very ugly.

    Maybe. But things have been ugly since 1968 when Nixon surfed the Southern anger to the White House, and then we had Roe v. Wade and the humiliation of Vietnam, made all the more painful because we killed another 25k of our own guys and got nothing but evacuation photos showing people holding onto chopper skids in Saigon, for our efforts.

    There hasn’t been a coherent government in Washington really since Eisenhower.

    That’s the bad news. The good news is that we are still here and still the most powerful country on earth. So, you know, suck it up.

  26. 26
    chopper says:

    but it’s got electrolytes!

  27. 27
    gnomedad says:

    Here’s my fantasy (sorry, I could only find it wrapped in Tweety):
    Snl The Rock Obama hardball Chris Mathews Obama Tough Enough

  28. 28
    rmp says:

    Nixon may have been an angry (and scary) guy. Somehow I miss him. He was more rational than today’s republicans.

  29. 29
    slag says:

    @John Cole: I remember back when Europe hated America’s representation but still liked its people. Now, we’ve got the opposite thing going. I’m not sure which which way is better.

  30. 30
    SpotWeld says:

    So either spend the rest of my life until retirement in a protective “rum haze” or move to Canada?

  31. 31
    Doonhamer says:

    @John Cole: My mother was born in England and came over here in the fifties. I was therefore eligible to register as a British citizen, which I did in 2006. I remember joking at the time that it was nice to have an escape route if things ever got too crazy here.

  32. 32
    lou says:

    Well grounded charges of conflict of interest will be rampant. Whatever faith the people have now in their elected representatives will vanish. Do the justices not realize just how much they are undermining the government at all levels? This has the makings of a real revolution.

  33. 33
    Dennis-SGMM says:

    Always look in the bright side of life. SCOTUS has now declared that corporations can spend unlimited money on political campaigns. The court previously decided that money=speech and that corporations are persons. It only needs one more cleverly constructed case to get to money=votes. Voila! No more pretending that politicians are the servants of the people, no need to delude ourselves that we’re important to the process and, at long last, we can admit that there’s no difference in outcomes between the Republicans and the Democrats. This is so liberating that I can hardly stand it.

  34. 34
    Comrade Dread says:

    @beltane: Affirmative action needs to go away in 18 years because minorities will be majorities by then.

    I’d like to say I’m surprised, but frankly, I’m not.

    If Obama thinks he’ll get any modicum of reform or any new liberal measures passed, he’s fooling himself. The CW has spoken, because one state voted for a Republican, it means the entire country hates Obama and his ideas and will punish Democrats in 2010. Their only hope now is to do nothing.

    Yeah. That’ll work.

    Nixon may have been an angry (and scary) guy. Somehow I miss him. He was more rational than today’s republicans.

    I don’t. If we’re going to set the wayback machine for Republicans, I’d stop on Teddy Roosevelt. That SOB would laugh off bullets, get sh** done, and break up too big to fail companies.

  35. 35
    jcricket says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.:

    Give a nice, uplifting speech with some nice, uplifting ideas. Then he will go back to triangulating against his base and holding hand with Wall Street.

    I heard the whitehouse is releasing an iPhone app. Looks nice, but will probably disappoint.

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Demo Woman:

    Erm.

    I mean he’s popular enough as a US leader, in place, but you have to realize that some of the “mainstream” positions in the US would place a candidate on the extreme right in say a place like France.

    Pro-death penalty? That puts you in the extreme right, right there. Clinton was, for example.

    Any President in France who even talked about anything less than universal heath coverage would be skewered as so far to the right as to be unelectable. While Barack Obama as a candidate was in favor of single-payer universal care (which everyone seems to have forgotten) now he’s saying that even a public option is optional, and not very important in the scheme of things.

    BZzzz. Right out of the mainstream with that one also.

    Put another way: Nicolas Sarkozy, famously “right wing” President of France, in those two issues alone would be a pretty extreme left-wing progressive if planted in the US. In other ways he wouldn’t, of course, but he’d certainly be winning no votes from tea baggers with those two positions, certainly unelectable as a Republican in the current GOP climate.

  37. 37
    Hob says:

    I’m not clicking that link about Douthat’s nightmare. Are you saying that in 30 years, Reese Witherspoon will be making out with us? I’m sure she’ll still be pretty fine at that age.

  38. 38
    Cackalacka says:

    Not having clicked that link, one can only guess this involves demographic changes. Which, as a white guy whose ancestors were not classified as white, I’m all for a demographic shift of this nature. E plurbius (despite the damnedest efforts of the damned) and all that.

    That said, it don’t mean a hill of beans given the nature of our representative democracy.

    Ever travel to Cuba?

    Imagine an electorate where a solid plurality of the ebbing 49% feels like an aggrevied Cuban-American, and change Miami to every significant suburb across the nation.

    Some unpleasant people are not going to like it, and will make everyone’s lives much more difficult as a result.

  39. 39
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    While Barack Obama as a candidate was in favor of single-payer universal care (which everyone seems to have forgotten)

    WE didn’t forget it. HE did.

  40. 40
    Sinister eyebrow says:

    So now if I am the government of China, I can have some goof start a soap bubble corporation in the U.S. that loses money, makes nothing and is essentially a shell. Then, come election time, I (China) can invest $5 billion in Bubble Corp., and have them spend it all on a massive effort to get candidates elected who will provide to me military hardware, or favorable trade terms (whether they are awful for U.S. Citizens and the economy or not), or sign treaties that give away Alaska and Oregon, or any other of a million things that are in my best interest but are detrimental to the U.S.

    That is what this decision does. Any foreign power, any global corporation, can spend any amount of money to buy political power for shameless hucksters who will lie cheat and steal to give the foreign or corporate entity whatever destructive, self-interested crap it’s looking for. And if anyone thinks for one second that there is some way to empower the voices and interests of individual citizens over the unlimited funding of corporations and foreign governments, you are living in a fantasy world. This is a Pandora’s Box that will never be closed, because no voting block will ever amass more power than what corporations have just been handed. After this, there will never be enough congressmen and women who are not wholly owned to put a stop to it. Sure, there will always be a few, but there are precious few now and their numbers will only decline from this point.

    If you thought it was bad before, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Viva democracy! (for however much longer it lasts.)

  41. 41
    R-Jud says:

    @Doonhamer:

    I remember joking at the time that it was nice to have an escape route if things ever got too crazy here.

    Man, your timing sucks. We’re about to go Tory again over here.

    This is why I was hoping HCR would pass, even in its watered-down form, because me and my pre-existing condition could then move back home.

  42. 42
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: Well I was writing specifically for this blog. Ahem. A number of people here seem to have forgotten.

  43. 43
    Corpsicle says:

    @Doonhamer: I hear you. When depression sets in, I contemplate my EU passport. Plus if I run into a serious health problem 6 months of residency in Britain gives me nation health.

  44. 44
    srv says:

    And I thought I was the pessimist.

    As important as health “reform” was, Obama’s embrace of Volcker is too late. Justice Kennedy has put the nail in that coffin. Unless you are want to believe that this country can take a few more bubbles, we are on the ropes, and Wall Street will deliver the knock-out within a few years.

    The question is whether this country will stay together as these economic and demographic realities arrive.

    I predict not. If you have the means to develop an escape plan, I suggest having a Plan B.

  45. 45
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I gotcha. I’m just a little bit ticked right now.

  46. 46
    Blue Raven says:

    While Barack Obama as a candidate was in favor of single-payer universal care (which everyone seems to have forgotten)

    Public option is NOT single-payer. Kucinich said single-payer. How you can possibly confuse those two men is beyond me.

  47. 47
    batgirl says:

    Anyone who thinks that demographic changes will ultimately save our democracy has a much more optimistic view of our democracy than I. I’m sure our overlords benevolent (white male) leaders will find a way to maintain power even as a minority

  48. 48
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: That makes many millions of us, I’d estimate. No worries.

  49. 49
    GregB says:

    You mean Douthat doesn’t think for one second that the current crop of whiny as a mofo white folks won’t be filing affirmative action lawsuits when they are in the minority?

    Puh-lease.

    -G

  50. 50
    srv says:

    @jcricket:

    I heard the whitehouse is releasing an iPhone app. Looks nice, but will probably disappoint.

    My nominee for POTM.

  51. 51
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Blue Raven: Obama was not only in favor of a “public option” as a candidate. Is that what you’re claiming?

    “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its gross national product on health care, cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody.

    Here’s video of him saying it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpAyan1fXCE

    http://www.politifact.com/trut.....anged-bit/

  52. 52
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Oh, but Obama later said he didn’t campaign on anything like that! In other words, here’s a nice big middle finger for my supporters!

  53. 53
    strawmanmunny says:

    Ok, need opinions. How will Fox make the teabaggers think that this ruling is good for freedom? What kind of bs are they going to spew that will make this seem like it’s a hippie bashing decision?

    My thinking is because there is no powerful black man involved, this kind of “government” help for corporations will be A-OK to the teabaggers.

  54. 54
    liberal says:

    Thank God we have the filibuster. Otherwise those far-right thugs, Alito and Roberts, would have made it onto the USSC.

  55. 55
    matoko_chan says:

    2042 is when non-hispanic caucs become a minority.
    However, 2020 is when non-hispanic caucs that vote republican become a minority.
    One third of non-hispanic caucs traditionally vote democratic, Carter to Obama.
    F-uckin’ race traitors.
    :)

  56. 56
    Karen says:

    @ batgirl
    “I’m sure our overlords benevolent (white male) leaders will find a way to maintain power even as a minority”

    They already do, it’s called the Republican party. The party that scares the pants off the elected Democrats.

    I’m wishing our business was bigger, so when the tax cuts start, we could get one. Or that I could talk my husband into moving to another country. This one is screwed.

  57. 57
    Demo Woman says:

    @strawmanmunny:

    Ok, need opinions. How will Fox make the teabaggers think that this ruling is good for freedom

    Silly, If Fox news covers the ruling at all, they will tout it as a big win for freedom of speech.

  58. 58
    Paul in KY says:

    Doonhamer, I’m in the same boat as you (mother was from England, came over in 50s). How do you go about activating that British citizenship? Can you still keep your US citizenship?

  59. 59
    The Populist says:

    Why vote at all? I hate to say it, (god I hate to say it) but now that corps can use their funds to pay off congressman directly without going through PACs, our votes do not matter. Even if Americans WAKE UP! and challenge these corporatists, the corporations will buy out somebody else.

    When somebody tells me, yet again, why conservatism works I will point at the Supreme Court and say…right.

  60. 60
    The Populist says:

    @Demo Woman:

    Remember according to conservatives, a corporation is a legitimate person AND citizen in the eyes of the law.

    I am all for free markets and the like. People don’t seem to get that this ruling ensures that there will NEVER be “free markets” in this country ever again. Wal Mart can easily buy anything they want going forward. Not that they didn’t already own many members to begin with through individual donations but this corporation b.s. ensures that they get their way lock, stock and barrel.

    Now that this is official, can we pass a law that allows Senators and Congress critters to wear patches, ala NASCAR, on their jackets showing their allegiance to these new sponsors?

    Democracy just died officially. Argh, to repeat my refrain of late yet again…liberalism with all it’s flaws is the true freedom. Cons only WISH they believed in freedom. When you hand over our democracy to faceless corporations, you sell out the process. Not that it wasn’t sold out with PACs and other means to get cash contributions but how can the right tell us they care about average Americans now?

    Last I checked, I owe my business successes, my earning power and other things to DEMOCRATIC initiatives that increased wages, created anti-trust protections and allowed for me to get a good education. The right could care less about any of this stuff.

  61. 61

    Someone needs to tell Ross Douthat that his scraggly beard is no substitute for a jawline.

  62. 62
    Citizen Alan says:

    @rmp:

    Nixon may have been an angry (and scary) guy. Somehow I miss him. He was more rational than today’s republicans.

    He was also to the left of many of today’s Democrats.

  63. 63
    Badtux says:

    Uhm, since some folks have forgotten, Obama the Candidate did *NOT* propose single-payer health care. He proposed government welfare to health insurance companies — i.e., he would create mandates where insurance companies had to accept everybody who applied at the same rate, but would also give them a reinsurance fund that they could sell any customers to who were too expensive for them to make any profit off of. In the end the reinsurance fund would have effectively ended up as a single-payer plan for everybody who is sick, but in the meantime the insurance companies would be skimming the profits off the top.

    *THAT* was Obama’s plan, that both Krugman and I blasted as ridiculous in January 2008 as soon as he published it. Neither the Senate nor House plan is anywhere near that lame. As for this revisionist history that Obama somehow proposed single-payer during his campaign, all I have to say is that some people were hearing what they *wanted* to hear, not Obama’s actual policy proposal as presented on his web site.

    As for the “hunker down”, well. Yeah. Things are getting crazy out there. And I don’t see them getting less crazy anytime soon. When LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1965, he was aware that he was losing the South for the Democrats for at least a generation. He just wasn’t aware that it was going to be *multiple* generations. Odd, that LBJ was an optimist here…

  64. 64
    The Populist says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    Agreed…Nixon was bought and paid for by special interests but his diplomacy with Russia and China definitely made him a lefty compared to other righties of the day.

  65. 65
    Nick says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: He didn’t, that was a state senate campaign.

    When he campaign for President, he, you know, said stuff that was at least someone realistic.

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