Monday, September 29, 2008

Here come the 1970s again!

Well, the bailout bill failed in the house. Plenty of blame to go around; only 65 Republicans voted for it. 95 Dems voted against (pelosi and co. could have lost 82 and still passed it). What a mess!

Not only does this mess up the economy, at least in the short run, it certainly hurts John McCain. He made a play last week to get this thing passed, and it didn't work. No matter how you spin it, it doesn't help.

If Obama loses this election, he ought to teach classes in how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I'll be very, very surprised if he's not the president. Anybody want to guess when is the last time we had a democrat president and both houses of congress at the same time? I'll give you a hint... the economy was bad, then, too. And gas was expensive. And America got weaker around the world. And Islamic radicals in Iran embarassed us. If you said, "the Carter adminsitration," you win the prize!

I'm cool with that. Lived through the last time, and the eventual reaction (the Reagan Revolution and the 1980s in general) was very much to my liking. I just hope disco and really bad polyester clothes don't make a comeback!

Seriously, I hope that Obama doesn't preside over Carter II. I'd rather be wrong and the country be OK than have the chance to say "I told you so" at the expense of so many folks who would suffer. But I wonder if 2008 might go down as one of those times (like 1928 and 1976) where winning puts you in an impossible situation.

Here's an interesting thought (not original... I read it somewhere last week. Would link, but long since forgot where). George Washington was elected in 1788. Exactly 68 years later, we elected James Buchanan. Not particularly a success (he's my pick for worst-ever). Hello, Civil War. Only 68 years from the end of his term, we elected Herbert Hoover. Hello, depression. From the end of his term, count 68 years, We get George W. Bush. Now this. But here's the good news: following Buchanan, we get Lincoln. Following Hoover, we get FDR. So, by extension, Barack Obama will be on the currency as the next great president!

(OK--if you do the math, you have to count from the beginning of Washngton's term and the end of the other two, and you have to forget that Bush won twice. But it's still fun!)


mbellison said...

history correction: Between 1993 and 1995 (or the elections of 92 and 94), Bill Clinton was president and both houses of Congress were controlled by the Dems.

mbellison said...

grammatical correction: "Democrat" is a noun. "Democratic" is the appropriate adjective.

Pete said...

y'think the "exactly 68 years" thing might have something to do with the fact that elections happen once every 4 years? thus, every 17 presidents?

is there any pattern to depressions?