As the deadline approaches and the complete annihilation of the entire world financial system as we’ve known it looms, or not, we spectators sitting on the sidelines far from the action are growing tired of the whole thing. Hearing second-hand reports of loud crashes and animal noises coming out of closed rooms gets boring after awhile.
Doubtless Armageddon-on-the-Potomac is great fun if you are yourself a player, but the rest of us recognized a good while back that we have the House, they have the Senate and the White House, and they hate us and vice versa, so no major substantive reform of the entitlement state, no permanent long-term resolution of excess federal spending can be expected to be possible until, and unless, the American public gives us a decisive mandate in 2012 (which I think they will).
In the meantime, Republicans should resist raising taxes, avoid selling out to democrats, but also avoid letting conservatives and Republicans getting saddled with the blame for all this.
Jim Garaughty, in his emailed Morning Jolt today, was marvelling, and poking fun, at the way conservatives are presently quarreling among ourselves about how all this should be handled.
I think a lot of the discussion among conservatives on Thursday can be summarized in one Twitter exchange:
Guy Benson: It would be awesome if people on our side would stop angrily questioning each other’s motives.
John Tabin: WHO’S PAYING YOU TO SAY THAT?
This isn’t the Civil War of Conservatism in the context of the Union vs. the Confederacy. No, that conflict looks simple and clear in its divisions: North vs. South, slaveholders vs. abolitionists, secessionists vs. unionists, etc.
No, this is messy, with lots of longtime allies and friends surprised to find themselves in opposition. This is the conservative version of the Marvel Civil War, a comic-book storyline in which all of the publisher’s most prominent heroes took sides on the institution of a “Super Hero Registration Act,” in which any person in the United States with superhuman abilities had to register with the federal government as a “human weapon of mass destruction,” reveal his true identity to the authorities, and undergo proper training. Those who signed also had the option of working for a government agency, earning a salary and benefits such as those earned by other American civil servants.
(Perhaps young, super-powered Americans have been listening to Derb’s “get a government job” lectures!)
Iron Man and Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four supported the act. Captain America and Daredevil opposed it. And the storyline tossed away the familiar story of heroes’ fighting villains to the surprising, unpredictable, and incongruous sight of popular, noble heroes’ fighting other popular, noble heroes — each convinced that his view is the right one and the best way to protect his values.
Not as outlandish a metaphor as it seemed two paragraphs ago, huh?
Now we have Rush Limbaugh vs. Thomas Sowell!