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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 7/13/09

The Boiling Frog

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The little cartoon of the boiling frog is a constant reminder to readers that some things happen too slowly to be "newsworthy" or a stimulus to action, even though the action is necessary for survival. It is in such a pathetic situation we find ourselves right now.

Paul Krugman's column this morning tells you why hypothetical frogs sit in the pot until it is way too late. Paul's answer is that even Nobel Prize winning frogs see a situation so complex that even they do not know which way to "jump."

We know that our environment is resilient and may have recovery properties we do not yet know about. We cannot be sure that the opposite is in fact not the case-that the environment is less resilient than we currently understand and that as a matter of course a tipping point situation develops and the whole shebang hurtles off some cliff into oblivion.

Likewise, our economy is such a complex of rules, forces, individual and group actions, that virtually no one agrees completely about what will happen if X is done, but Y is not. Krugman (and I and MANY others) believe that we are currently at one of the tipping points that foreclose future options and that Obama's public policy of ignoring these points will be disastrous.

Just so that we are on the same page, Obama and Rahm Emanuel (and perhaps a few others) have this idea that Democrats are in a once-in-a-lifetime position to take control of government for a very long time, but that to do so means that the currently existing political center must be incorporated into the Democratic constituency. The way to do that is to play politics that either attracts the hopes and dreams of "centrists" or at a minimum lulls them into a sense of political security.

Meanwhile, of course, political Liberals and Progressives ... like Paul Krugman and Jim Brett and many others ... find ourselves being herded off stage. Our voices are ignored and our worries about the frogs we see boiling away are dismissed as alarmist. Rahm's tactic and goal is very much like doubling down on a mediocre hand in poker. From the outset the chances of success are not good, perhaps illusory. Also from the outset the chances of boiling the frogs is doubled and, frankly, the amplification of those consequences is suicidal.

That's why we need to get rid of Rahm Emanuel and, if necessary, Barack Obama. Rahm believes this stuff and Barack believes Rahm.

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James R. Brett, Ph.D. taught Russian History before (and during) a long stint as an academic administrator in faculty research administration. His academic interests are the modern period of Russian History since Peter the Great, Chinese (more...)

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