Go Ahead, Plutocrats, Make My Day

make my day

Why did the shutdown end? Enquiring minds want to know.

Lots and lots of ink has been spilled linking the end of the shutdown to declining poll numbers for Trump and Republican politicians. I agree that had something to do with it. But let me tell you the real reason. And I am deadly serious about this. But, first, let me ask you a question.

Would you be seriously inconvenienced by a temporary inability to travel by air among New York, Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles? (Maybe add Boston, Dallas, and Houston, for good measure.)

No, I thought not.

But the United States is ruled by people who would be seriously discommoded by such an event. The top one percent travel by commercial airlines. The top one tenth of one percent travel by private jet, but they still needed the air traffic controllers to be up and running.

At the point in time when the top one percent were seriously inconvenienced, they spoke to their lackeys and the shutdown came to a screeching halt.

End of story.

The Dawn of a (Possibly Short Lived) Three Party System

Meanwhile, we learn, Wall Street freaks out about 2020: Many of the nation’s top bankers want Trump gone, but they’re growing anxious about some Democratic presidential contenders. And Mr. Starbucks, Howard Schultz, steps up to throw his had in the ring for the Sensible Moderate Common Sense Pro Prosperity Pro Business Radical Middle Normal Party—an event that has caused some progressive pundits to hurl themselves onto the fainting couch.

As for me, I long ago predicted that a three party system would likely result from our present political debacle. And I say, if Mr. Schultz wants to run, let him run.

The kind of people who will be attracted to the Sensible Moderate Common Sense Pro Prosperity Pro Business Radical Middle Normal Party are the folks who think universal health care is the work of the devil. But I think their string has run out. Most normal advanced market economies have universal health care. There is no plausible reason why we should continue to be different.

And so, if the right is split into a raving ethnonationalist party calling itself the Republican Party, and a Sensible Moderate Common Sense Pro Prosperity Pro Business Radical Middle Normal Party representing the economic interests of the top one percent, I say: Bring it on. Just go ahead. Make my day.

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