America will no doubt muddle through, as it has done so often before. There is so much going on in this country other than public affairs -- so many of the daily details of people's lives that are promising, tender, inventive, rewarding, all for reasons that have nothing to do with national politics. It's a principle similar to the one I observed so often in China: in Beijing there might be tensions over this or that new crackdown, but in Shenzhen on Linyi or Changsha or Kunming people were having fun and dreaming big dreams.If you go to Fallows' blog, you will find many more posts where he has picked interesting analyses of whether Obama won or lost in his deal-making with the rabid Republicans.
Still, the major steering decisions in national policy make a difference in the long term. It made a difference, for the good, that the United States adopted the GI Bill, and set up the Land-Grant Universities. It made a difference, for the bad, that California passed Proposition 13. In the short run, the "bargain" just agreed to offers worse than no hope for addressing the really urgent problem of the moment, harmfully high unemployment. And in the long run, this has been as sobering a case study of a great nation misusing its resources, distracting itself from real problems, and discrediting its political system in the world's eyes as... as I can remember. No "foreign threat" has been involved here. Not a "rising power," like China. Not a "non-state menace," like some terrorist. We did this all ourselves.
Monday, August 1, 2011
James Fallows is Nauseated by Obama's "Deal"
Here is a bit from one post at James Fallows blog on The Atlantic site: