Thursday, February 19, 2009

today : the mantras of blame

Was anyone surprised that the new bi-partisan politics looks just like the old party politics? Did anyone really believe that the Republican Party wouldn't be full of out-dated, sulking ideologues, unable to accept both the seriousness of the current economic situation and the fact that their party got spanked in the elections?

I saw a clip of one of them throwing the bill onto the floor, and crying because they want tax cuts and only tax cuts. It's not a surprise. After all, Obama ran against these people. I cannot imagine that they saw his victory as some bi-partisan watershed.

But I didn't set out to talk about American party politics. I started out thinking about how, in the UK, the Tories have used recent economic and financial issues to go on the attack.

It's too easy: you lost, you are not in power and the whole reason you are in politics is to gain power. It's frustrating. And here, circumstances present an open goal that is impossible to guard. It's the gift that keeps on giving. You can put everything on the current government. You can repeat and repeat your mantras of blame ad nauseum, because you won't actually be called upon to do anything real.

This is a charge that I can level at any opposition. However, pretending that the endless back and forth blame game that is party politics as usual is apposite to the current climate is a rather hollow game.

I would be wary in this situation. The longer things go on, the less easy it will get. Obama is okay for now. He rode in to rescue the shambles that Bush left behind. But when the election comes in Blighty we will be a further year into the chaos. Real solutions will be needed. The Tories will likely win, but are also likely to walk right onto a straight jab to the nose.

I wouldn't want to be Prime Minister or President of anywhere for the next few years.

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