Don't forget the naughts, because this decade, no matter what anyone on the right might say, was conservatism on trial. You want less taxes? You got less taxes. You want less regulation? You got less regulation. Open markets? Wide open. An illusuion of security in place of rights? Hey, presto. Think we should privatize war by handing unlimited power given to military contractors so they can kick butt and take names? Kiddo, we passed out boots and pencils by the thousands. Everything, everything, that ever showed up on a drooled-over right wing wish list got implemented -- with a side order of Freedom Fries.
Hat tip to Digby.
I predict that the Republicans will do well in elections this year, though it won't be a repeat of 1994. If they do well, it won't be because the public is ready for another round of their snake oil, but because all the new and casual voters who turned out for Obama in 08 will stay home. The Great Recession lingers far into our future, and voters will grow increasingly frustrated. Our political mandarin classes appear remarkably oblivious to the dangers of mass unemployment over a long period of time.
The people in the best position to take advantage of the coming crisis are those on the far right. They are masters at exploiting fear and resentment. Their whole movement is built around spite. And if double digit unemployment continues, there will be fear and resentment in abundance. The left still cherishes the quaint Enlightenment notion that people are rational beings and can be persuaded by simply presenting the evidence and appealing to reason.