…to bust out the only thing in my arsenal that can adequately respond to New York Times columnist David Brooks’ contention that anyone who opposed the Paulson bailout bill (yeah, that would include me) is a nihilist. Yes, it’s Mr. Walter Brueggemann, again.
In a hospital room we want it to be cheery, and in a broken marriage we want to imagine it will be all right. We bring the lewd promise of immortality everywhere, which is not a promise, but only a denial of what history brings and what we are indeed experiencing.
Even in the knowledge that Monday’s House vote was rancid with petty political calculations all around, I find Brooks’ column a masterpiece of the sort of accusatory denial we’re seeing from all quarters of the media now. We will see much more of this sort of thing in the weeks ahead, as the Good and the Great continue to preen their way out of relevance while events continue to unfold. Cheerful, hard-working Americans who have held the country together with spit and sweat can expect to be called ignorant, gloomy, wild and (worst of all) angry — remember the same accusation the GOP threw at us four years ago? (They can also expect to be insulted with some real “lipstick on a pig” — when is a bailout not a bailout? When it’s an “investment.”)
I’m sure that in a few days, they’ll cobble up some compromise bill that’s marginally better and will get it passed. We should be spending this money on infrastructure and social safety nets. But it’s important that, for one day at least, the “Masters of the Universe” did not get what they wanted. I’m hopeful because not enough Americans seem to be swallowing the scare stories trotted out by CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and by an increasingly ineffectual Washington leadership — and the whole world now knows just how ineffectual — as they try harder to re-sell the lewdest of lewd financial promises to the American people. A people that just maybe is finally ready to own its losses, instead of borrowing more dreams.