On the metro this morning, I caught a glimpse of the headline on the front page of the express: "Stimulus Called 'Road To Hell!!!!!!'"
(exclamation points may be my own dramatization. bear with me.)
This got me thinking. There's been a lot of criticism about this whole recession thing and the different ways Barack Obama and gang are going to deal with it. A lot of media scrutiny.
A lot of people are hurting. A lot of people are desperate for something to stick, for something to make the economy function like it did during the nineties. Some of these people would just like their jobs back.
There's a lot riding on this. And maybe its good that there's so much scrutiny; maybe it'll make a better stimulus, a better bailout for the country.
But just to play devil's advocate here, how is this different from January-March 2003? A time when criticism of the government's actions was unpatriotic. A time when the criticism of the country meant that you were criticizing and therefore hurting the morale of the troops?
Compare to now: constant financial news on the television. The Dow is closely monitored as a barometer for how Barack Obama is doing. People are being shown foreclosed upon. Daily numbers about job losses are posted.
Anxiety and depression about job loss, money loss, home loss correlates to the recession suicide spike.
People's lives and livelihoods are at stake, possibly exacerbated by the intense media scrutiny. What is so different about the 2008-200? recession from the lead up to the Iraq war that makes it completely vulnerable to media and other party criticism?
Both have a lot of money invested. Both have human lives and livelihoods invested. Both have had elections won and lost over them.
What is it about war that makes it uncriticizable?