Saturday, October 04, 2008



What we want to avoid, I would argue, is a repeat of what is now the conventional narrative of the Great Depression: It was capitalism that caused the crash, it was Hoover's inaction that turned it into a Great Depression, and it was FDR's interventions that saved us. As we now know, that's wrong on all three counts, particularly on the issue of Hoover's inaction. He was quite the interventionist and those programs, picked up later by FDR, made matters much worse. The analogy to the current situation is pretty striking.

That's about the size of it, and I don't think there's anything we can do to stop the "FDR reincarnated" narrative from taking root. Or, rather, I doubt Horwitz on the following:

[I]f one really believes this bailout will make matters worse, especially significantly worse, I think it's a reason to vote/root for Obama. ... With Obama in office, and things going south, it might be more akin to the late 70s under Carter, where the blame is less likely to be laid at the feet of markets.

I'm not that optimistic. If McCain won the election, he and Palin might finally kill off their party for good and leave the field open to a real pro-market, pro-freedom opposition party (assuming one can be put together -- I'm trying, folks, I'm trying).

Obama, on the other hand, may very well be the next FDR with all that that entails ... and his presidency will either destroy the Republican Party as surely as a McCain/Palin presidency would, or else give GOP leisure to refurbish the useful myth that they're something other than the party of big government they are and always have been.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party chose this, of all election cycles, to cast itself in the role of "rat swimming toward a sinking ship," wasting its presidential and vice-presidential nominations on two Republicans who are if anything less appealing than McCain/Palin (at least it feels that way ... but I'm not sure that's even possible).

Frankly, this election cycle is beginning to read like a goddamn Hemingway novel, and I'm wondering at what point we'll all have to choose between:

After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.

... and ...

He could feel his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.

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