The Corner

The Downgrade Begins

As the author of a suitably apocalyptic book to be released on Monday, I’m grateful to Standard & Poor’s for providing the ultimate publicity tie-in. (Junk rating by the time of the paperback edition?) The frivolousness of the political theater in Washington this last month and its mostly fraudulent media coverage did huge damage to the United States. It confirmed to the world, as S&P’s analysis suggests, that Washington is institutionally incapable of genuine reform. This was one of those it’s-the-music-not-the-lyrics moments: As damaging as the specifics of the ”deal” were, the broader sub-text of a political class pretending that it was meaningful was even more so.  

We don’t have till 2021. As I say in my column tomorrow, we have till mid-decade to turn this thing around, or it’s over. That’s where the politico-media Beltway myopia failed the nation. It never occurred to any of the parties or the play-by-play commentators that their dramatically negotiated plans for — what was it now? — $7-12 billion of cuts in FY2012 would not be taken seriously by the world. That’s the heart of the S&P critique – its remarks about ”the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions.” In other words, the “deal” only confirmed the nature of the problem.

Now that it’s happened, it’s hard to argue that there was anything very obviously triple-A about America in 2011. So ask yourself this: If in 2013 we’re still talking in the terms of this week’s deal, you want to bet we’ll still be AA+*?

(*Oddly enough, $&P have downgraded the US to the initials of my book. Thanks, guys!)       

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
NR Webathon

Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed

I  enjoyed the running joke of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in the great Dickens novel Bleak House, back when I first read it. Little did I know that one day I and the magazine that I love would effectively be caught up in a version of that interminable case, courtesy of a litigious climate scientist with zero regard ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More