Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hitchens: Is the US Turning Into a Banana Republic?

Christopher Hitchens, in a Vanity Fair piece, rails against the recent developments from bailouts to an impotent Congress, from a leftist point of view. I respect him, and some of the arguments he makes are universal, no matter what your stripe. What is happening now is an incredible blow to the credibility of the United States. (read)

And still, in so many words in the phrasing of the first bailout request to be placed before Congress, there appeared the brazen demand that, once passed, the “package” be subject to virtually no more Congressional supervision or oversight. This extraordinary proposal shows the utter contempt in which the deliberative bodies on Capitol Hill are held by the unelected and inscrutable financial panjandrums. But welcome to another aspect of banana-republicdom. In a banana republic, the members of the national legislature will be (a) largely for sale and (b) consulted only for ceremonial and rubber-stamp purposes some time after all the truly important decisions have already been made elsewhere.


Now ask yourself another question. Has anybody resigned, from either the public or the private sectors (overlapping so lavishly as they now do)? Has anybody even offered to resign? Have you heard anybody in authority apologize, as in: “So very sorry about your savings and pensions and homes and college funds, and I feel personally rotten about it”? Have you even heard the question being posed? O.K., then, has anybody been fired? Any regulator, any supervisor, any runaway would-be golden-parachute artist? Anyone responsible for smugly putting the word “derivative” like a virus into the system? To ask the question is to answer it. The most you can say is that some people have had to take a slightly early retirement, but a retirement very much sweetened by the wherewithal on which to retire. That doesn’t quite count. These are the rules that apply in Zimbabwe or Equatorial Guinea or Venezuela, where the political big boys mimic what is said about our hedge funds and investment banks: the stupid mantra about being “too big to fail.”

It's incredible what is happening right now and people are starting to wake up to it. People should be fired, people should be jailed.


  1. I read the entire article by Hitchens. Hitchens will bash anyone or anything. Mother Teresa, Kissinger, Clinton, you name it, this guy calls a spade a spade. Why don`t we have more journalists like this? It`s suppose to be their job to report on government actions, and question what is going on. You may not agree with everything Hitchens has to say, but at least he is saying something.
    The rest of the Pollyanna socialist media, just assume the government is doing a great job.
    Hitchens also has some great books out there, if anyone might be interested.

  2. Yes, his books are great. I became a big fan when I read his book on the Clintons. He was asking questions that none of the media herd were asking. He's a true individualist, and the best journalist out there.