Friday, February 22, 2013

Crisis Fatigue

I guess I ought to say something about the sequester, but I'm not entirely sure why.  According to various polling groups, most Americans are not paying a hell of a lot of attention.  More than anything, that seems to be due to crisis fatigue.  Americans have approached the edges of too many cliffs in recent years, and seem most inclined to close their eyes, put their fingers in their ears, and sing, "Lah lah lah lah lah I can't hear you!"

40% of those who might be paying attention, according to the pollsters, think we just should go over the cliff and see if we bounce.  The economists say we won't bounce, but might not leave too deep a dent behind.  The biggest losers are likely to be defense contractors, so a lot of liberals don't much care.  A lot of conservatives just want less government, and they're not too particular about how it happens.  The fact that sequestration was designed to be stupid and mutually destructive to both parties apparently has been forgotten.

Then there are the politics.  It looks like more people will blame Republicans than Democrats for whatever damage is done, but the truth is that the battle was lost by the Democrats in 2010 — when Republican candidates won over so many state legislatures and control over redistricting.  Far too many of those Republican House seats are far too safe now, and will be until 2020.  Maybe, had Obama been less of a "compromise seeker" and more of a populist, that wouldn't have happened.

You can't "postdict" the past any better than you can predict the future.  All we can say right now is that most Americans are sick of it.

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