As the planet warms faster than the most fearful scientists predicted, as peak oil stares us grimly in the face, as the full faith and credit of the United States government is put at risk in order to bring down that (black) man in the White House, as the middle class craters and all the good in the America in which I grew up is looted, profaned and destroyed, McDonald's will make Happy Meals more healthy. The right moves in disciplined lock-step, seeking and winning a few large victories. The "left," such as it is, remains distracted by innumerable enthusiasms. So the health Nazis win one and gay people can marry in New York. Smokers, but not extremists, have been made second-class citizens. What does this matter compared with the real game that is taking place horrifically before our cow-like stares?
As expected, President Hoover and the corrupt/enervated Democratic Party gave away any tax increases in the debt-ceiling stand-off. The results of this "balanced approach" will be years, if not decades, of economic and social destruction. The Republicans have a partner in their cherished ambition to dismantle Social Security, the Great Society and the New Deal in the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As with the 24 million un- or underemployed Americans in a nation of 301 million, the damage will begin at the margins and not be fully felt for years.
The dysfunction in Washington may be felt much sooner, if the debt ceiling is not raised. Count on the fearsome deficit and debt to go away the moment that President Romney or Bachmann is sworn in. And depend on the right to have ready-made explanations for the chaos and destruction that are now guaranteed whether we get a deal or not. Their superstition and dogma will call for even more government cuts. Unions and public workers are the problem. Business isn't hiring because of too many regulations. Climate change is a hoax. All this will be dutifully reported by the media as if it is a perfectly legitimate response.