Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The United States of Amnesia

Greenwald says it's deju vu all over again:

...the Obamaian protective decree -- Look Forward, Not Backward -- applies to more than just Bush administration criminals. No American elites are supposed to pay any price -- even reputationally -- for the role they played in leading the country into a horrific and unfathomably devastating war based on false pretenses. We're all supposed to chalk it up to an unfortunate though understandable mistake, let bygones be bygones, and not hold it against anyone, not even use it to judge their current credibility or trustworthiness...

...those who were most spectacularly wrong in cheering for the attack on Iraq have not only faced no accountability, but have thrived, been rewarded, have seen their positions of influence elevated. Conversely, those who were right continue to be marginalized.

...As a result, our war policies -- in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and now Iran -- are all being shaped by the very same war-hungry political and media elites who performed so disgracefully in 2002 and 2003...

This is surprising? What I find surprising is that there's any voices in the mainstream at all willing to call the plays.

Bob Herbert is often such a voice, too:

The Obama administration seems to be feeling sorry for itself. Robert Gibbs, the president’s press secretary, is perturbed that Mr. Obama is not getting more hosannas from liberals.

Spare me. The country is a mess. The economy is horrendous, and millions of American families are running out of ammunition in their fight against destitution. Steadily increasing numbers of middle-class families, who never thought they’d be seeking charity, have been showing up at food pantries.

The war in Afghanistan, with its dreadful human toll and debilitating drain on the nation’s financial resources, is proceeding as poorly as ever. As The Times reported on Friday, an ambitious operation that was supposed to showcase the progress of the Afghan Army turned into a tragic, humiliating debacle.

And while schools are hemorrhaging resources because of budget meltdowns, and teachers are losing jobs, and libraries are finding it more and more difficult to remain open, American youngsters are falling further behind their peers in other developed countries in their graduation rates from colleges and universities.

This would be a good time for the Obama crowd to put aside its concern about the absence of giddiness among liberals and re-examine what it might do to improve what is fast becoming a depressing state of affairs.

It’s not just liberals who are gloomy. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and a majority disapproves of President Obama’s handling of the economy. Nearly two-thirds expect the economy to get worse still.

Mr. Obama’s problem — and the nation’s — is that in the midst of the terrible economic turmoil that the country was in when he took office, he did not make full employment, meaning job creation in both the short and the long term, the nation’s absolute highest priority...

Voices like that are usually deeply buried in the main$tream. Facts are, too. For example, today in rationalizing Germany's economic success The New York Pravda nods at what's really helping Germany pull out of it's recession, giving the real credit to it's previous administrations policies that helped to bring its recession on in the first place:

...BERLIN — Germany has sparred with its European partners over how to respond to the financial crisis, argued with the United States over the benefits of stimulus versus austerity, and defiantly pursued its own vision of how to keep its economy strong.

Statistics released Friday buttress Germany’s view that it had the formula right all along. The government on Friday announced quarter-on-quarter economic growth of 2.2 percent, Germany’s best performance since reunification 20 years ago — and equivalent to a nearly 9 percent annual rate if growth were that robust all year.

The strong growth figures will also bolster the conviction here that German workers and companies in recent years made the short-term sacrifices necessary for long-term success that Germany’s European partners did not. And it will reinforce the widespread conviction among policy makers that they handled the financial crisis and the painful recession that followed it far better than the United States, which, they never hesitate to remind, brought the world into this crisis.

A vast expansion of a program paying to keep workers employed, rather than dealing with them once they lost their jobs, was the most direct step taken in the heat of the crisis. But the roots of Germany’s export-driven success reach back to the painful restructuring under the previous government of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

By paring unemployment benefits, easing rules for hiring and firing, and management and labor’s working together to keep a lid on wages, Germany ensured that it could again export its way to growth with competitive, nimble companies producing the cars and machine tools the world’s economies — emerging and developed alike — demanded...

Got that? Curbing unemployment is what pulled Germany through, but the main$tream really likes a viewpoint that pre-recession policies that contributed to the pain are what really worked. Too.

Of course, if that were true, the Germans would have never fallen into the bubble's honey trap. Austere virtues and all that. They would have never done the socialist trick of spending money to create jobs instead of giving it all to the bank$ters. But they did, and pulled out ahead in spite of the policies of Gerhard Schröder.

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