30 October 2008

Make 'em sweat

The Economist, the newsmagazine of record for the Anglo-American ruling class, has issued a "wholehearted" endorsement of Barack Obama for president, with the natural caveat that he not succumb to apostate tendencies.

Our main doubts about Mr. Obama have to do with the damage a muddle-headed Democratic Congress might try to do to the economy. Despite the protectionist rhetoric that still sometimes seeps into his speeches, Mr. Obama would not sponsor a China-bashing bill. But what happens if one appears out of Congress? Worryingly, he has a poor record of defying his party's baronies, especially the unions. His advisers insist that Mr. Obama is too clever to usher in a new age of over-regulation, that he will stop such nonsense getting out of Congress, that he is a political chameleon who would move to the centre in Washington. But the risk remains that on economic matters the centre that Mr. Obama moves to would be that of his party, not that of the country as a whole.
Referring to a post I made yesterday, this is why a sane, level-headed Republican Party is an absolute necessity. With the GOP marginalized and Obama in their back pocket, the Economist editors and the rest of the monied elite knows that any serious opposition to neoliberalism can be contained. Thus the unusual level of enthusiasm for Obama by a magazine which has always struggled to find an American party to consistently support (the Libertarians being inefficient for anything beyond providing the magazine's American subscriber base). There is, of course, the ever-present risk that uppity hippies will seize control of the Democratic Party, but the purchasing power of free-market democracy can probably be trusted to prevent that unwelcome development.

This is a good time to point out that one of the genuinely positive outcomes of a Democratic government would be passage of the Employee Free Choice Act, which Obama has promised to sign. It may need significant majorities in both houses to pass, but it's a good first step.