Friday, March 30, 2012

Times change

(this is going to be a very basic nub of a post...just jotting down a few thoughts, rather than trying to craft them into an argument, because I probably have time for one and not the other. and you know, it's been two months since I posted anything here. oh also, I'm five months pregnant.)

Back in 2008 I used to joke that the Republican primary candidates represented the three faces of evil in the GOP. John McCain was the scary bomb happy guy, Mike Huckabee was the scary social conservative guy, and Mitt Romney was the greedy rich bastard. And if I had to trust the country with one of those three types, I'd pick the rich bastard. Because you know, at least rich people need the rest of us around to work for them and buy stuff. Now it's 2012, and Rick Santorum has stepped up to be the new scary social conservative guy (now with 50% more scary! although Mike Huckabee with his nice guy persona actually seemed more dangerous to me), they're all scarily bomb happy, and I forget what exactly seemed "safer" about the greedy rich bastard model of Republican. Blame giant recessions, epic unemployment, and being repeatedly told that I need to accept a world in which the basic functions of government cannot be funded because the rich need to pay less in taxes. I certainly don't want Santorum to win, and at this point it seems like there's no chance that I will, but I sure enjoy watching Romney lose. I honestly don't even know that I think Santorum would be a worse president than him. I'm just much more aware these days of how fiscal policy affects me personally, and how my interests do not line up with the greedy rich bastards of the world.

With Obamacare in the Supreme Court right now, I wonder if there's a similar dynamic going on. I worry that we're coming off of 20+ years of the delusion that extreme fiscal conservatism is somehow benign, maybe even slightly noble, and that's why we're living in a world where corporations are people and a federal attempt to fulfill one of the basic functions of government is identical to force feeding people broccoli. I think we really need to start examining the people who have gained reputations as moderates, and asking ourselves whether they really deserve it. Being on good terms with Bill Maher while thinking that keeping the tax rate for millionaires low is more important than funding early intervention for toddlers at a high risk of disability might not cut it.