Thomas Frank turns in his last column for the Wall Street Journal today, and he’s feeling a bit depressed. Back when he started writing for the paper, the financial crisis had just hit, and though it was a terrible time, he took solace that “at least we were finally going to be done with the farcical intellectual and political consensus of the preceding decades.” Journalists and politicians would at last quit worshipping the markets, CEOs, and investment bankers.
What happened? Somehow the Republicans didn’t renounce their tattered philosophy, they doubled down on it, somehow blaming the government for everything. “That they have succeeded with such a strategy in these years of financial crisis, mine disasters, and oil spills, is testimony to their political brilliance.” Besieged, the supposedly “socialist” president, meanwhile, “took pains to demonstrate his loyalty to the exhausted free-market faith.” The audacity tank is empty, and nothing has changed.