Let’s talk about bubbles. Did you ever blow bubbles as a kid?
Well he’s back in town and he wants your new number (sorry, couldn’t resist).
But really, I have a point to make today about The Next Bubble. Before I get to it, however, I think we should review Bubbles Past…
The Dot.com Bubble rose in the late 90’s, when everyone with the foresight to incorporate, get a website, and write a business plan on a napkin could raise millions in an IPO. We saw that Bubble burst around the turn of the century, when people realized that the business plan was really wing sauce and the vast majority of the websites lacked cool things that were needed for long-term success, like customers.
Then the Real Estate Bubble rose when the banks started writing mortgages on discarded napkins left over from the Dot.com Bubble. It rose in conjunction with the Financial Bubble, where traders started packaging the napkins so that some stained with blazin’ sauce were bundled with napkins bearing mild sauce, and then they sold the mixed napkins as actual wings with medium sauce, and investors ordered them like they were manna from heaven. Nobody worried about heartburn. They spelled relief A-I-G.
Ha ha! You might say. Nobody is that dumb! And you would be wrong. Those bubbles also burst when the blazin’ sauce ripped the financial industry a new asshole. Which is kind of amazing considering it was pretty much all asshole to begin with. That, my friends, is a lot of rippin’.
We are close to the point of popping for The Next Bubble, and I for one can’t wait to see it go. So what is The Next Bubble?
For over a decade I’ve been watching as the political discourse in this country became bloated with misinformation and hypocrisy. Sure, that’s just the nature of politics and it’s always been like that…but risk was also the nature of investing and lending, until it was taken too far, spawning an unnatural beast.
The Political Bubble rose as Republicans called foul on Democrats for doing things the Republicans themselves did a couple years before. The Democrats denounced every idea to originate from a Republican simply because it originated from a Republican, even if the idea had merit. Then they all gave themselves raises and went on recess.
Eventually the GOP started using churches to broadcast its message; I’m assuming that they did this because they couldn’t get any airtime on TV due to the liberal bias in the media. With politics on the pulpit the Religious Bubble started to grow, inflated because of the with-us-or-with-them rule that made it so easy to identify the bad guys (HINT: it’s them).
It has come to such a head – the distrust so great, the stink of the mud slung so foul – that political discourse in our country is now a caricature of itself. Really, US politics have jumped the shark.
The most recent evidence – not the first piece, and I know it won’t be the last – is Rush Limbaugh accusing the Obama administration of politicizing the disaster in Haiti. Limbaugh said, "this [earthquake] will play right into Obama's hands. He's humanitarian, compassionate. They'll use this to burnish their, shall we say, 'credibility' with the black community -- in the both light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country. It's made-to-order for them."
Really. Tens of thousands of people dead, and he reduced a show of support to a made-to-order grab for street-cred. He couldn’t think for a second that they are sincerely trying to help people in desperate need.
Of course Obama has yet to actually politicize this, but that’s okay. Rush already did it for him, so now whatever Obama does will be political by default. Of course, Rush politicized his own heart attack, so can we really be surprised that he would stoop this low?
The problem is that many of Limbaugh’s listeners agree with him. Here is a transcript from his radio show last week:
Justin of Raleigh, North Carolina: "Why does Obama say if you want to donate some money, you could go to whitehouse.gov to direct you how to do so? If I wanted to donate to the Red Cross, why do I have to go to the White House page to donate?"
Limbaugh: "Exactly. Would you trust the money's gonna go to Haiti?"
Rush: "But would you trust that your name's gonna end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?"
So these two “absolutely” believe that if you donate to Haiti via the White House website, not only will they pocket your cash, but they will then proceed to SPAM you to death.
It is worth pointing out that at the time of the call transcribed above, Obama’s website linked directly to the Red Cross.
Of course the Left can’t let Rush have all the fun…I’ve read opinions denouncing George Bush’s efforts to help, too, just because he’s George Bush.
The Political Bubble is going to burst soon, mark my words. The Religious Bubble might burst in tandem with the Political Bubble, like the Real Estate and Financial Bubbles did. After all, Pat Robertson had to jump into the mix and claim that the earthquake was the result of a pact with the Devil made by Haitians hundreds of years ago. And you know what?
Some people believe him, too.
But I think the majority of Americans are reasonable, intelligent, responsible citizens. We’re just quiet. And one day we will take the microphone back, and you know what that will sound like?
I can’t wait…