When he's in the mood no one writes better about Soviet history than John Batchelor. In his post for today he dredges up a tale about politics, Stalin-style, to illuminate the current vicious mood in the Grand Old Party.
(The ellipses I've added refer to photographs Batchelor added to his post, including the lovely pastoral scene of Stalin at play.)
John Batchelor on November 6, 2008
Reviewing A Model for the GOP Purge Coming Like Winter
When Josef Stalin ... heard that his chief Bolshevik Party rival Sergey Kirov ... had been assassinated in the middle of the night at the Smolny Institute Party headquarters in Peter (Leningrad), the dictator took the night train to the scene and set up a drumhead court.
This was 1934, weeks after the Nazi Party's night of the long knives in Germany had jettisoned the untidy Brown Shirts. Stalin, quick to learn from the ambitious Hitler, aimed to outperform the Teutons when dealing with Kirov and the potent Leningrad Party.
The numbskull Kirov shooter, an NKVD hireling and stooge Nikolaev, was dragged in and quickly condemned to death by firing squad that night.
"But Comrade Stalin, they made me do it!" Nikolaev complained of his NKVD bosses, who had of course directed Nikolaev's gun hand under orders from Moscow and Stalin.
By 1937, everyone who had anything to do with Kirov's assasination -- families, allies, NKVD sadists, jailers, witnesses, drivers, friends of the families, children, too -- had been destroyed or sent to the Gulag. Stalin purged, and then he purged the purgers.
"When making an omelette, you must break eggs," is the proverb.
First The Bankers
The first targets for the Republican purge must be the modern Kirovs, the bankers, especially Hank Paulson, his toadies at Treasury, Ben Bernanke, his toadies like Timothy Geithner at the Fed and the SEC's genius Christopher Cox, ... and the big nine bank bosses who took money from the bailout on October 13, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley (... Morgan's John Mack), Wells Fargo, Citigroup (... Citi's Vikram Pandit), Bank of America, J.P.Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street.
What wreaked havoc on the GOP in 2008 were a flimsy candidate, an absent president and petulant vice-president, an aimless war and of course the collapse of the credit markets worldwide and Lehman Brothers in specific on Black Swan weekend, September 12-14.
However, even with all that, John McCain was competitive in the polls right up until the Lehman Brothers failure and the panicky, half-cocked and self-dealing Paulson plan was pushed onto the Congress September 28 to October 3. At that point, the Republican party collapsed into hysteria, doubt, whining, denial, incoherence, knuckleheadedness and selfishness.
John McCain showed himself not a winner, not a leader, not a visionary, when he broke from the trail on October 1 and claimed he wouldn't debate the innocuous Mr. Obama until it looked like he was leading the Republican Party and Congress in rescuing the collapsing markets. Complete foolishness and a final judgement on John McCain as a fiscal steward.
However, the Republican president and vice-president as well as the Republican Senate and the Republican leadership in the House all went along with the fairy tale that the Paulson bailout was a solution. Not only were they all wrong, the plan didn't work. Enough reviewed. Guilty.
In the first phase of the purge coming, first we get rid of all of the bankers in the party who had anything to do with the bailout, and then we get rid of everyone who took money from the bailout.
What is a Republican Party without bankers, financiers, hedgies, bond traders, fund managers, investment polymaths, Goldman alum, and Treasury groupies and the attendant billionaires, high-net-worthies and masters of disasters? The answer is, Liberated.
The Party is in mortal danger of meaninglessness, so let's try freedom from the meaningless bankers when were so smart they beggared the planet.
"But Comrade Stalin, they made us do it!" they will scream as they are led to the firing squads. Shoot them now. We will turn to the Republican Party pols, collaborators and deserters by name next: who is to be shot, who goes to the Gulag, who just disappears.