Read the first two paragraphs of Andy’s regular political gossip column : in this episode, Andy takes the rhetorical guise of a Thatcherite Miss Lonelyhearts:
History can be funny sometimes, can’t it? And if a slight smile didn’t cross your face at times as you watched or heard the president’s speech to both Houses of Congress on Wednesday night, I’d be worried about you. I mean: who ever would have thought that a) Joe Biden, of all people, would one day be president; b) that he would be elected with slim Democratic majorities in both Houses after a close election; and c) that he would then unveil the most brazenly leftist, spend-and-borrow agenda of any president since, er, Nixon? I mean seriously. Until a couple of years ago, I sure didn’t.
You might have fantasized about an Obama presidency, perhaps, sailing on a generational wave of optimism, radically transforming American society by bending the arc of history toward moral justice, or whatever. That’s a much more intuitively appealing narrative — and quite a few people tried to squint their eyes to make it happen. But history fucks with you. It decided to land the first black president with a quintessentially conservative disposition, the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and two never-win wars, neither of which he was able to end. Revolution was never on the agenda, however fetid the fainting spells of the far right because of a black man as the symbol of America.
I just might be engaging in a bit of self-serving hyperbole, on the above characterization! But read this paragraph a bit further on in his ‘political story’ :
Today’s huge swing leftward is therefore in part a consequence of the GOP’s abandonment of fiscal conservatism. I mean: if the GOP can gleefully borrow trillions to give the plutocrats a handout during a boom, why can’t the Dems do the same to pay for childcare and education for those struggling in the wake of an American pandemic?
The first sentence, in this paragraph, might leave an inexperienced reader/interpreter of Andy’s political vignettes a bit confused. The toxic political mirage that ensorcelled both the Republicans and the New Democrats was Neo-Liberalism, that precipitated the Crash of 2008. The Pandemic simply magnified the utter failure of Capital, and its cadre of political operatives, to a reform of that Capital, in any cogent way. Dodd-Frank was the Corporatized ghost Glass-Steagall! Andy’s political ‘evolution/de-evolution’ can be described by this ungainly triptych: Thatcherite/Neo-Conservative/Neo-Liberal. The bit between his teeth, Andy proceeds at full gallop, noting that ‘I’ is the noun that dominates this essay. No Surprise!