Faster, faster, always faster: That’s how we roll today. And the ever-valuable Feiler Faster Thesis helps to explain why, barely six weeks after Obama’s inauguration, there’s a media catfight about The Terrifying Leadership Vacuum of the Republican Party. Who’s in charge? Nobody’s in charge! Rush Limbaugh is in charge!
Nothing can be allowed to evolve as it did in the past. We need Instant Answers, Instant Leaders, advance tracking polls telling us how Demographic Slice X will react to Plan B even before Plan B has been announced.
Nobody cares about these things, but if you go back and study the period right after any party, Dem or Pub, has been wiped out in a presidential election, you’ll find the party boat lacks a rudder for a while. Nobody really knows what to do. Remember, a year before he announced for Pres, almost nobody outside the insider-est Dems knew who Barack Obama was.
In the current case, of course, the Repubs’ Identity Crisis is even more acute than we normally find post-wipeout, because Bush’s 8 Years of Insane Spending simply vaporized one traditional element of the Republican Identity–a sense of fiscal responsibility, some institutional dislike of pumping billions into every problem. That’s gone. Finito. As noted here before, the “debate” today is between those who want to spend trillions and those who want to spend billions.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m certain that vast quivering towers of marbled fat could be hacksawed out of Obama’s StimPak and his Budget. No doubt. But today’s Repub kvetchers have spent too much for too long to have any credibility on the issue. The public no longer believes them, so we line up alongside the cliff beside Obama, ready to leap into space, hoping he will knit together a parachute on the way down.