James Howard Kunstler -- World News Trust
Jan. 9, 2012 -- The narcolepsy of the long Yuletide draws to a close and the world reawakens to its self-spun web of mutually reinforcing fiascos.
Just before the holiday, a sense of futility darkened the European banking landscape as cascading sovereign default looked more and more inevitable. It was halted by a bazooka-caliber currency swap Ponzi that allowed the European Central Bank to pretend it had a $700-billion bag of sugar-plums to hand out to more than 200 banks there. That gambit will only keep up the appearance of normality for a couple of months, until the late winter bond rollover provokes a new crisis stage.
Likewise, in the USA, some pressure-cooked December employment statistics gave the false impression of a brightening jobs picture, but no major news network dared to glance behind the curtain at the short-term holiday hires, the uncounted long-term jobless, the ones who don't show up at the government offices anymore, the ones who stopped getting checks, the legions of the hopeless. A nation that can't call 'bullshit' on its own lies deserves all the suffering that might rain down upon it, and that's exactly where we are heading as things economic morph into things political.
How quaint the current Republican jousting tournament will seem in a few months when real violence rides in on the zephyrs of springtime. Each new primary is like the unloading of a Ringling Brothers clown car. There is an inverse relationship between the seriousness of these times and the laughable personalities vying for a place in history.
Are they running for high office or auditioning for the role of Parson Weems in a new Lifetime Network TV mini-series? Are you charmed by their absurd casual clothing? Comforted by their know-nothing jabber about the "game-changer" of shale oil and their sincere doubts about the climate change "story?" Is it morally satisfying to know that one or another of these candidates won't drink a beer? (They'd make good Ayatollahs.) In what sort of Creationist parthenogenetic incubator are such pietistic idiots hatched? What these sanctimonious pricks don't realize they are doing is destroying the very legitimacy of the idea that we're capable of governing ourselves per se.
This is the long-term direction of life in North America, by the way -- a breakup into small autonomous governing units. It's just that the current cast of characters brings an aura of low comedy to the process. By the time they're through with Washington, the credibility of Federalism will sound like a knock-knock joke.
As for the other side, the "folks" now occupying the White House and its folkster-in-chief, Mr. Obama -- the time has come to abandon them. Their failure is complete with the new national security act that allows for suspension of due process of law. The cheek of Mr. Obama in offering a "signing statement" to the effect that his administration would not enforce the law! -- as he signed it! For one thing, Obama tacitly invited his own impeachment by declaring he had no intention of enforcing federal law, since enforcement is the chief duty of his office. If John Boehner were not himself such a fraud, he would have started a motion for impeachment before sundown that day.
Occupy Wall Street will seem like a mere harvest dance when we look back from the uproars later in 2012. Both organized parties have managed to banish the rule of law in America. Both parties need to be driven into the wilderness of history and the rule of law has to be rescued from the oblivion they sent it to. What group of clear-thinking adults can get behind that simple project? What voices will resolve out of the phenomenal noise of gadget America, with its deafening tweets, incessant advertising, instant messaging, idiotic robo-calling, and ever-present flat-screen assault on the senses?
I discern the distant sound of rebellion, a spirit that won't be appeased by bytes of Disney-babble from the pandering snouts of Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Paul or Obama. They are interested only in keeping a set of suicidal rackets going. All the yammer about "freedom" and "liberty" is hollow when the rule of law is AWOL.
This ripe time is the natural moment for a true opposition to rise. A few months from now neither major party will have a credible candidate or a plausible platform of ideas. This will be painfully obvious. What angels and demons will rush into that awful vacuum?