That I never wrote about the supposedly impending American default was not only because my computer had been out of action since Thursday lunchtime and will remain so until PC World has had a look at it. It was also because we all knew perfectly well that no such thing was ever going to be allowed to happen.
What, however, has happened? The Tea Party stands exposed. Fox and the liberal media both longed for white, blue-collar America to be like that. So they both lavished attention on the Tea Party, whose events were in reality less well-attended even than those of the Far Left, when they were not simply cancelled for lack of interest. The Tea Party did so badly last year that it was reduced to claiming the victories of candidates whom it had previously denounced, whereas the old Moderate school among Republicans experienced significant victories, including that of its Independent candidate against the Tea Party Republican who had sought to become Governor of Rhode Island.
If it had had any real political principles, then the Tea Party would and could have replaced John McCain with J D Hayworth, having never agreed with McCain about anything apart from the Bush Wars and the Palin Pick. (McCain would then have been re-elected as an Independent, Independents, Republicans and Democrats each comprising almost exactly one third of voters in Arizona. But even so.) It is sweetly poetic that he has now branded them “hobbits”.
We have just witnessed the beginning of the re-emergence of the Republican Party. The party of Eisenhower’s ending of the Korean War, his even-handed approach to Israel and the Palestinians, his non-intervention in Indochina, his denunciation of the military-industrial complex, and his still-inspiring advocacy of nuclear power as “atoms for peace” 10 years after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings: civil nuclear power as the ultimate beating of swords in ploughshares. The party of Nixon’s suspension of the draft, his détente with China, and the ending of the Vietnam War by him and by Ford, an old stalwart of the America First Committee.
The party of Nixon’s belief in wage and price control as surely as in the Clean Air Act and in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, as surely as in the War on Cancer and in the War on Drugs, as surely as in Title IX and in the desegregation of schools in the Deep South, and as surely that the United States should launch no war over the Soviet Union’s treatment of its Zionist dissidents, who have turned out to have been just as unpleasant in their own way as were many other categories of those who happened to dissent from the Soviet regime, and who now constitute a significant obstacle to peace in the Middle East, where they are busily engaged in denaturalising both the indigenous Christians and the Haredi Jews.
The party of the Nixon and Ford Administrations’ stark contrast to the pioneering monetarism and the Cold War sabre-rattling of the Carter Administration, Carter himself having not been above electorally opportunistic race-baiting, and Nixon having been forced out, over something that no one really found shocking then any more than they would find it shocking now (although I suppose that we ought to mourn the passing of a world in which they felt obliged to pretend that they were shocked by it), by the motley crew that had sought to replace LBJ with Bobby Kennedy: the not always mutually exclusive categories of Friedmanites and Trotskyites, white supremacists and Israel Firsters.
The party of Reagan’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 1983, and his initiation of nuclear arms reduction in Europe. The party of James Baker’s call to “lay aside, once and for all, the unrealistic vision of a Greater Israel” and to “foreswear annexation, stop settlement activity”. The party of Republican opposition to the global trigger-happiness of the Clinton Administration. And the party of Bush’s removal of American troops from Saudi Arabia after 9/11, thus ensuring that there has been no further attack on American soil.
A very, very, very warm welcome back.