I've said elsewhere that this was probably the last election where the Republicans stood a real chance of gaining the American Presidency with a program that mainly appeals to prosperous suburban whites and holds little appeal to most women and almost no appeal at all to racial minorities.
If the GOP is to survive, what do you think it would have to look like? What could it possibly look like?
It is exceedingly difficult to gain knowledge about the EU from US and UK sources as these tend to have an anti-EU bias. If you look at the Euro as being an economic tool it is easy to say it is doomed. But that's not the point, it is part of the larger EU project and it would be ahistorical, even unthinkable, to roll back the project in any way. Beer Europe may not be thrilled by the prospect of having to carry Wine Europe, but will continue to do so nonetheless. In a longer term there is a slow moving process of creating a common European identity, which should defuse some of the more rampant nationalism.
In fact, what we are seeing today is an expansion in the power of the EU, prime examples being the fiscal compact, a banking union, and perhaps even EU signoff of national budgets in the medium term. Add to these actions the strong awareness among EU leaders (ex Britain, they are "special") that without closer cooperation they stand no chance against the growing power of the developing world - China, India, and Brazil in particular - and work as a bulwark against the potential danger of a US in relative decline. These are also the reasons why the major EU powers in particular, and the EU as a whole in general, are cooperating ever closer with Russia and Turkey as both are required to stand a chance of balancing in terms of population and resources the other future superpowers.
Think of the EU in terms more familiar, "Together we stand, divided we fall."
If Germany stops propping the Eurozone up. What then? The German people are already wearying of it all, and German leaders are elected, so ultimately they will do what the German people insist they do, not what's best for the "Zone."
What if the US stops propping Mississippi up?
The West Germans have propped up East Germans for two decades now at substantial cost, not entirely without complaining. Greece hasn't actually cost the German taxpayers a cent yet (ex EU fees), and withdrawing support is costlier than the keeping Greece in. And again, it's not only about economics.
Well said, Arcus, couldn't have done it better myself!
Greece hasn't actually cost the German taxpayers a cent yet...
Germans have paid something like $2 trillion to “fix” the East; many German taxpayers feel tapped out and defensive. They suspect that no matter how much they give Greece, and Portugal, and Spain, and Italy — they will continue to be attacked as ‘stingy’ and ‘selfish’ and much of the money will end up stolen or lost.
They are probably right about all this — and that makes it much, much harder for German politicians to tell voters that it’s time to dig deep and pay the piper one more time. (source)
Dude, what the hell?
All i said was that it's not a good idea to lump the whole of Europe together and to judge the whole of Europe based on the peformance of the weaker economies, and that there is more to Europe than just the Euro and Euro Zone.
It's cute to see you put on your debating pants and your "let's have an argument hat", but perhaps you would learn from a conversation once in a while.
They're not stupid about economics, but they know that most of us are - it's the old, tell-'em-what-they-want-to-hear-and-give-'em-what-you-want-to-give-'em trick.
The problem with the GOP is that the future always looks like the past.
Consider the year 2000. Low unemployment. Balanced budget. Strong economy. The Republicans take over, look around, and say gosh, now is the perfect time for:
The result was the near-collapse of the commercial banking, investment banking, and insurance industries, a doubling of the national debt, and the destruction of the real estate market, 30,000 businesses, and 20 million American jobs.
Before the GOP's deregulation scheme, the super-rich CEOs who caused the financial crisis collectively would have received several thousand years in prison. Instead they received million-dollar bonuses and the $700 billion TARP bailout, on top of the massive tax cuts they'd already been given.
Jump forward to 2008. The GOP crackpots look around and say gosh what a mess. So they produce the Tea Party and demand an injection of fresh ideas into conservative politics, such as:
The GOP loses big, and Obama is elected.
Jump ahead to 2012. The GOP looks around and says gosh, Obama really isn't picking up this mess fast enough. We need change for America, something that'll really get this country back on track. So Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan produce a batch a new ideas they say will solve all of our problems:
Jump ahead to 2016. I'm sure Governor Christie and the other "new stars" of the GOP will come up with some kind of fresh, new platform to run on. Care to guess what it'll be?
Carl Bernstein on Mitt Romney's Radicalism
"All we have to do is replace Obama. ... We are not auditioning for fearless leader," declared Grover Norquist. "We don't need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go.... We just need a president to sign this stuff....Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen.... His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared."
I almost pissed myself laughing, thanks!
Plenty more where that came from! ;)