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Fetish vs. fetish

By Michael J. Smith on Sunday September 5, 2010 07:41 PM

What a rush this must have been, don't you think? You aim the truck at the flimsy siding, you stomp on the accelerator. The wall leaps out of the middle distance into the foreground. Maybe you'll survive the crash, maybe you won't. But in that euphoric millisecond before impact, perhaps you sense, without having the time to form it into words, that you've set one of your masters upon the other?

* * * * *

I'm back from my bucolic -- or rather, riparian -- Maine holiday. Still can't afford a cottage in the very nice place where Better Half and I usually go, so naturally I'm rooting for a major drop in real estate "values". Perhaps I'll get it, or so the Gray Lady of 43d Street seems to think:

Grim Housing Choice: Help Today’s Owners or Future Ones

The unexpectedly deep plunge in home sales this summer is likely to force the Obama administration to choose between future homeowners and current ones, a predicament officials had been eager to avoid.

It's all downhill from here, of course; in spite of the sensational headline and lede, the story goes on to make it crystal-clear that Obie & Co. will continue to prop up the fictitious "equity" of "owners" to the extent possible, and the hell with non-owners (or, as the Times humorously refers to them, "future owners"). The "grim choice" was made long ago, and made quite blithely; and as with a number of other previous grim choices, Obie and the rest of the Donkery are right down with it.

The silver lining is that whatever the Obienauts can do may not be enough. My delight in a further plunge of real-estate prices, should that occur, will be greatly enhanced to the extent that it knocks the Democratic Party into a cocked hat, or rather, knocks it farther into an even more cocked hat. How much can prices fall in the two months before the midterms? Here's hoping we set a record.

One of my lefty mailing list colleagues wrote recently, in response to a thread entitled "Ciao, Dems":

Of course the subject line, "Ciao, Dems," needs, for the sake of accuracy, to add something like "for the next few years." Over the last 50 years there have been several predictions of the permanent disappearance of one or the other of the parties after some landslide election, but of course the loser always ended up the winner in 4 to 12 years.
It's always astute to observe that the future is likely to resemble the past. Still, there are occasions when the car finally runs out of gas (though let's hope it gets through the siding and the balloon-frame first).

This is not your father's Democratic Party any more. What committed constituency does it still have left? Liberals -- a tiny and inconsequential social formation. Union bureaucrats, ditto.

Of course, there may be a kind of oxygen-tent effect: Perhaps there are elite interests who derive some advantage from having an A team and a B team of flunkies. Play 'em against each other. Every officeholding sycophant serves at pleasure, and there's always some lean-and-hungry B-teamer waiting in the wings if the incumbent doesn't give satisfaction.

* * * * *

What I really want, of course, is for the precarious house-of-cards occupation regime of bribery and subornation in Iraq to break down spectacularly. If I were a truly conscientious person, I would add, the sooner the better. But in fact, I hope it happens in October 2012. Or no, that's unimaginative. I hope it happens on September 11, 2012.

Wouldn't it be exciting to witness the actual disappearance of one of the duopoly parties? We haven't had that pleasure in this country for quite a long time -- even I am not old enough to remember when the Whigs evaporated, and the extinction of liberal Republicans, while gratifying, wasn't quite so tectonic.

I desperately need some excitement; don't we all? This is turning out to be a very boring Administration and Congress. There is a certain arid pleasure in having been right, but nothing to compare with the wild ride Clio can give you when she decides to kick up her heels and surprise you.

Ms Clio! Paging Clio!

Comments (11)


Wouldn't it be exciting to witness the actual disappearance of one of the duopoly parties?
Not as exciting as witnessing the disappearance of both of them, at the same time, like unicorns in a whorehouse.

And then maybe someone will kick John Roberts in the shins on camera!

No chance, MJS. The entire system is a marketing vehicle in which the loss of Coke or Pepsi would destabilize the entire game, which indeed as you describe in the oxygen tent pp.

The only way a Major Party disappears is genuine collapse and rebellion.


What I really want, of course, is for the precarious house-of-cards occupation regime of bribery and subornation in Iraq to break down spectacularly.

This fantasy is kinda rough on the Iraqis, eh? Maybe a touch selfish. So that the Dems get a comeuppance, the precarious civil society of Iraq should experience more disaster. Can't believe you mean it.

@ Nonny

Rough on the Iraqis you say huh? This implies that the US destruction and continued occupation of Iraq has been manna from heaven for the natives. If the current occupation doesn't constitute "more disaster" for the population then what does?

How about we pay the Iraqi people the massive reparations we owe them for our war crimes there then leave them to sort out their own affairs? Is that unselfish enough for you?


I don't see that a spectacular breakdown of Iraqi civil society, even as the society is today, can be beneficial to Iraqis. That is what is fantasied in the post.

Massive reparations are very much in order and quite unlikely. Recall that in the USA people seem to think that Iraqi oil wealth should be utilized for the reconstruction of that raped nation... a notion that I find disgusting... but, if the reconstruction occurs, it will certainly be funded from that source.

Nonny you're missing my point. What I find problematic with your response is it's inherent assumption that the US occupation is a stabilizing factor that will somehow alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people when, in point of fact, the occupation is precisely the CAUSE of that suffering.


Yes, but... if I'm going to waste energy hoping and wishing, it's going to be for a glide path to normalcy for Iraq that, unjustly, permits the US leadership to applaud itself for its wisdom before its important audiences.

There is no poetic justice in this fantasy. But there is always the example of the Anastasio Somoza, the father:

and the son:


"Normalcy"?! What on earth does that mean?

Far as I can see, the best thing for Iraq, among the reasonably plausible options, would be to do an Iran.

I don't understand the point of the Somoza analogy at all, but I will say that when they blew up the ex-dictator back in what, '80? I felt that it was the most wonderful thing to have happened in my lifetime.

I recall hoisting a glass "to the scattered fragments of Anastasio Somoza", in some watering hole to which I had repaired on the evening the news broke.

One blushes to admit that this toast was shamelessly recycled from the earlier occasion of Battenberg's, erm "Mountbatten's", elevation to the Irish stratosphere.


Normalcy: when the toilets flush every time, the lights work at night and the neighbors are still there in the morning.

There may be other ways to compensate for the impossibility of a Nuremberg type trial for the war crime of aggression. I'll leave it there. This is just fantasy.


Well, of course it's fantasy, Nonny. Except every so often it happens. Like the Shah's regime collapsed in Iran, and the apartheid regime collapsed in South Africa. and the Bourbon regime collapsed in France.

To be sure, toilet functioning may have been somewhat impaired in all these cases, which is certainly a sobering thought.


In imagining the spectacular collapse of the occupation regime in Iraq in September 2012, I suppose one is free to imagine it in any way at all. The troops, "our" troops, could simply vanish overnight to the acute embarrassment of the Obama administration. An APB goes out. They are never heard from again. Ta! DA!

My imagination is more earthbound. The wondrous changes in Iran, South Africa, and Bourbon France did not happen in the presence of 50,000 US troops and 100,000 US-hired thugs. I can't see a collapse going well for Iraqis, however badly it goes for the USA. Thus my namby pamby objection to your fantasy.

My last word. Welcome back, Blogfather.

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