Well not exactly, but close. Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. Daniel Ellsberg is off a few years, but Julian Assange and Wikileaks will do just fine as a stand-in. Earth Day was a few years old, but we still have Al Gore. China took Taiwan's place in the United Nations, but Palestine is standing on deck to make a big splash in September. In any year, The Sting should be required viewing in Washington, DC. Vietnamization was taking place then, and we're getting out of Afghanistan now.
Perhaps the most surprising event of the era was Richard M. Nixon's visit to China. We are certainly watching with amazement as the debt limitation TV marathon winds its ways down to the final hours. And in the time warp concept, Barack Obama makes an excellent stand-in for Tricky Dicky. Why? It was Richard Nixon who famously said, "Watch what I do. Not what I say." While Obama didn't say this, he demonstrates it with each move he's made during this entire crazy-making debt limitation process.
Who else but a hardened anti-communist could meet with Mao Tse-Tung? Who but Democrat Obama could seriously propose "cutting back on entitlements?" In other words, #44 expressed regret just this last evening that he couldn't do "entitlement reform" in eviscerating Social Secuirty and Medicare -- the two castles of what it means to be a Democrat, the left and right ventricles in the heart of the liberal principles.
You may have missed it, but in all of the confusion, the final compromise that is awaiting House approval (as agreed upon by Obama and Congressional leaders) calls for an immediate $395B in cut to Homeland Security and the Defense Department! Up until now, cuts like these have never even been mentioned as far as I can see. I suppose Nancy Pelosi gave this idea to the group. But this is what I read on the Washington Post before I went to bed. Yes, the headlines say no new taxes. But then you get under the hood, and that's what you see. No cuts to Social Security or Medicare, and a Super-Congress to make up more cuts in the future.
We'll all have to see whether the Tea Party people bite on this. The House and Senate can still reject this proposal, and if they do, then Obama will reluctantly invoke 14.4, which in my opinion would still be the best outcome. Certainly as old Tricky Dicky weaseled and hip swiveled his way through the morass of Washington politics, so has Obama played a Nixonian role in this whole debt limitation issue.
To expand the 1973 analogy, it came to me that the TPers could very well stand in for an alternative universe where 87 people from the New Left somehow actually got into Congress back then. Asking myself how they would act if we had Rep. Abbie Hoffman, and the answer is -- probably not too differently than the teabaggers.
Rank amateurism shows with every move they make, and while their outrageous Revolutionary War costumes are as quaint as love beads, neither group would be inclined to compromise in DC. And DC is built on compromise. Therefore, it's easy to predict what will happen to the 'baggers in Congress. Not long for this world, is the answer.
The analogy about the death of the New Right in the near future, and the death of the New Left back then are 100% appropriate. And Barack Obama is 100% appropriate as Richard Nixon. Nixon represented the death knell of New Deal liberalism and the ushering in of the conservative era. In order for him to survive as long as he did as POTUS, it was necessary for him to make concession after concession to the left. Remember, Nixon was our last liberal president, giving us the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission among other things.
The downside of the 1973 analogy is that it was the year of OPEC. Once OPEC started raising the price of oil, the economy started going into the tank big time. As sure as we cut government spending right now, we're guaranteeing as vicious an economic downturn as occurred in 1973-74.
Hopefully, we won't see a repeat of the 1973 Yom Kippur war. But then China hasn't replaced Taiwan in the UN yet, I suppose. Oops! I guess I was talking about Israel and Palestine.