Ready for bleak days ahead

Red State/ Blue State • DAVE SIMPSON & GREG BEAN

Dear Greg:

I’m writing this before Election Day, so I have no idea what the outcome will be, other than the delirious conga-line dance going on over at MSNBC, which has been under way for about a week now.

(I knew how dedicated that network was to balanced political coverage when they hired “Air America’s” Rachel Maddow to follow those two bastions of Edward R. Murrow impartiality, Chris “Thrill Running Down My Leg” Matthews and Keith “The Lunatic” Olbermann.)

It’s OK though, old friend. Don’t worry about Red State Dave. I’ve steeled myself for whatever might come. I’ve packed my knapsack for my years in the wilderness if your wild-eyed Democrat friends take over everything — which appears likely at this point. And when they arrive at my door to redistribute what’s left of my wealth, I’ll have already headed for the hills.

I’ve got my flint and steel set, so I can start a fire to stay warm in the cold, bleak years of do-gooderism to come. I’ve got my Boy Scout manual, so I can track wild game and build a snare to catch snipe, if need be. I’ve got a down parka so stuffed with feathers that I look like the Michelin Man. And I’ve got a signal mirror, in case I spot a fellow ExxonMobil stockholder being chased by enraged liberals with clubs and torches, so I can direct him safely to the Underground Railroad for conservatives.

I’ve got a coffee can and some duct tape so I can bury my money in the backyard. And the flamboyant beige minivan is stuffed with Ramen noodles, so I can survive until at least the mid-term elections, maybe longer. I still need to stock up on water-purification tablets.

This would be tougher had there been any conservatives around anymore. But, as I’ve said before, the choice these days is between the Big Spenders in your party, and the Lying Big Spenders in my party. At least your guys are honest about wanting to shove money down rat holes. My guys say they won’t, then they turn out to be bigger rathole stuffers than your guys.

What’s a frugal guy to do, Greg? I’m alone in the wilderness, old pal.

More and more, I hear people saying, “I hate ’em all,” and maybe that’s the start of something positive.

But, miracles do happen, and maybe my Lying Big Spenders can still pull this off. The outlook is bleak, but probably no more bleak than the view from the Hanoi Hilton.

And I still like that nifty Sarah Palin, despite your smug derision. (I heard on the radio the other day that Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits cost $6,000 apiece. Funny thing is, the mainstream media never got around to that story.)

If the impossible happens Tuesday and McCain wins, I figure I’ll still need the knapsack, Greg, to survive the angry liberal “you cheated!” riots that will make 2000 look like a walk in the park.

In closing, I hope you remembered to vote on Tuesday, old pal — my vote won’t cancel yours out if you didn’t.
Kindest regards,
Red State Dave

Dear Dave:

You can rest assured that I voted in the election, although we’re at a bit of a disadvantage having to write this before the results are known.

Going with all the polls, however, let’s assume for the sake of argument that Barack Obama and Joe Biden whipped John McCain and Sarah Palin like a pair of rented mules. Let’s assume they kicked the dog slobber out of them, in spite of the Hail Mary pass the Republicans pulled at the last minute by accusing everyone who has some liberal leanings of being a socialist at best, or the direct descendants of Uncle Joe Stalin at worst.

If that happened, and the Democrats won, I don’t think you’re going to need all your survivalist gear, you won’t be building any fires with flint and steel, and you won’t have to gut a snipe and eat it like that guy Bear Grylls in “Man vs. Wild.”

As a matter of fact, old friend, you can rest easy because you’re going to be better off than you were under your fellow Republicans. Not only has eight years of “conservative” Republican leadership squandered our reputation in the international community and given us the biggest budget deficits and national debt in history, it brought about the near collapse of our entire economy.

That’s because the current crisis in the mortgage industry, the banking industry, the investment industry, the stock market and the lending market can be laid squarely at the feet of your Republican friends.

We simply wouldn’t be in this mess if the first Bush administration hadn’t sought to expand the Credit Redevelopment Agency to prop up the housing bubble because it was about to burst.

We are at a crisis because eight years ago Phil Gramm — a Republican from Texas — pushed the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, which prevented regulation of credit default swaps, thus keeping it out of the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (it also created the Enron loophole, allowing for oil speculation). Those credit-default swaps hid the declining value of collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) held by banks and brokerages. Those credit-default swaps have come due and caused the subprime meltdown, the credit crisis and our other national economic woes. This is very complicated, but I can point you toward some excellent analysis if you’re interested. You might start by Googling an article headlined “Foreclosure Phil” that appeared in Mother Jones magazine. It’s damning stuff.

John McCain was a part of the group who brought this disaster down upon our heads, and once they’re gone, I think we’re all gonna be a lot safer and better off. I don’t think you’ll have to take your money out of the bank and hide it in your mattress, and I don’t think you’ll be out there alone in the wilderness.

I don’t think any wild-eyed liberals will show up at your door to redistribute your wealth or berate you for your ExxonMobil stock (that’s a topic for another column). As my kids say, “Chill out, dude! It’s all good.”
Your magnanimous friend,
Blue State Greg