General quivering optimism from television experts that Congress republicans have had their bit of fun, and will come to heel on Thursday, possibly voting for the same bill they rejected yesterday. And all will be well, after a fashion.
Even if they do perform this backflip, McCain is now a dead man walking and the Republican Party has lost the election, so what's in it for the renegades? In fact, if they have judged the mood on their reservations correctly, this might be the only way they get to keep their jobs. It's all very well for the American Chamber of Commerce to speak in general terms about those responsible being punished by the electorate:
"The US Chamber of Commerce said the vote had caused "uncertainty and turmoil" in the markets, destroying billions of dollars of household wealth. "Make no mistake - when the aftermath of congressional inaction becomes clear, Americans will not tolerate those who stood by and let the calamity happen," it said."But if the local electorate is as stupid as their chosen representative, which is likely, the culprits will be rewarded, not punished.
The other words being used are 'failure of politics' - not politicians, or policies, but politics itself, as opposed to business, the military and the church. Is it any wonder? One of the many lessons which may or may not be learned is that politics is not a tap which can be safely turned off for years and still do its job, it is a muscle which has to be constantly used to stay useful.
It would seem that this principle would be second nature to the Thatcherite self-improvement-manual-consuming gymnauts of the sadoku generation. 'Use it Or Lose It' is their dreary motto. But only as far as maintaining the machinery and instincts needed to be an efficient, ruthless, consumer and colleague backstabber, which are the opposite of those needed to maintain and advance a modern society. Fine for a nomadic hunter gatherer tribe, but obsolete since civilisation began in pre-historic Babylon and the Indus delta.
Societies have to keep making decisions which matter, or they lose the ability. The dictatorship of the markets has reduced politics to the status of a desk-clerk in the corporation. A nobhi in Human Resources addressing envelopes and running the stationery trolley; which is yet another echo of 30's Britain, especially, when a series of inert governments and shameless capitalists made the rise of militaristic authoritarianism inevitable.
Then, Britain had to look back two generations to find a politician who still had political blood in his veins, and the cavalry-era Churchill only knew how to wage war, which was why the sensible British people got rid of him once it was won. But who are the politicians of today who still remember how to govern from the front? Who will take the market bunko artists by the hand, take away their snake oil, and find them a desk where they can lead useful lives, with suitable rewards for their efforts and talents? Why should an expert on money be a hundred times more valuable than an expert on curing cancer or an expert at cleaning the sewers? Which is more important to the basis of civil society?
Another term being used is 'market free-fall'. Namely, the gap between now and any decision by Congress when marketeers and politicians will be doing what they need to do, assuming that there is a decision in Congress. If not, the Rosh Hashanah Massacre will be a fact, and a new economic Ice Age will return - according to most experts, of all political persuasions. (All news of any optimists extremely welcome.)
China is being suitably Confucian at the moment. Deng Xiao Peng He say:-
"Confidence Is More Precious Than Gold."
Fat lot of use that is.