Two interesting developments this week:
First, the Republicans won. Not just the Republicans, but the dumbest sect of the Republicans, the sort of Republicans that even sensible country-club-style voting-for-their-own-economic-interest Republicans hate. Nope, this is the so-called Tea Party that won. A “populist” group that is funded by Texas real estate billionaires. Southern and rural people that make $14,000 a year make up the core of the group, and they are adamant that people that make more money per year than these populist folks will make in their lifetimes deserve massive tax breaks.
They are enraged that the government taxes and spends. I understand. I’m mad as hell that the Cubs lose every year. Then again, one day the Cubs might (not likely) win. Taxing and spending is pretty much the definition of every government that has ever existed ever. Only two systems of government never tax and spend, and both have only existed in theory since, say, the agricultural revolution. One is pure communism, the other pure anarchy. The closest that modern society has been to either of these theoretical extremes would be the Soviet Union and war-lord run Somalia. By my math, if the Tea Party is opposed to taxing and spending, that makes THEM the Marxists AND the Fascists (which, anybody with a dictionary can tell you, are essentially polar opposites).
My theory? We’re looking at 1994 2.0, only worse for the GOP. The 1994 election featured the Republicans roughly in lockstep together, willing to follow Newt to the ends of the earth. Fittingly for a flat-earth society such as the Contract for America gang, Newt lead them right off a cliff. Clinton was easily re-elected, the economy boomed, the dollar soared, and everybody in America except Ken Starr America got laid. This election cycle is different. The Republicans only won one house. The insurgents that swept into office yesterday are not beloved by the traditional Republicans that will be running the show. The Republican Party, an absolute monolith since 1980, will show fissures. Obama will be challenged by a split congress, but I also think he’ll take the gloves off a bit. Boehner will have a tough job too. He’ll have too get a group of buttoned-down establishment conservatives and a new group of crazed malcontents to agree. Though the Democrats have proved themselves excellent at fucking up simple opportunities, I think the American people will be disgusted at watching the “Tea Party” attempt to legislate. Obama will be re-elected. I’ll give him the same NES/NAS bump that prevented Korean War 2 and saved the Big 12.
Regardless, it’s gonna be an ugly couple of years. Not a whole lot of good things will be happening in Washington.
Second interesting development of the last week - Quarter Pounders finally came to Korea. Also, Taco Bell is wildly popular and opening a second branch. Seriously, I like Korean food. However, in my early days here, I often ate it because I had to. Now, between Costco, new Itaewon options, and new local places (Italian, a new burger place, a new Chinese place, a kebab/shawarma place) I can go weeks without eating Korean food entirely by accident.
My point - between the House Republicans and the local QPC, don’t leave the light on for me. I won’t be back soon.