The magical thinking of Barack Obama
Are you as thrilled as I am to learn that the recession is over? Heck, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, it hardly happened — well, that’s not quite right. They acknowledge that it was the worst recession “since the Great Depression.” That’s the standard formula isn’t it? But not to worry. It ended ages ago. In June 2009, if you can believe it.
No, I don’t believe it either. Even The New York Times has registered the problem: “Second-Quarter Economic Growth,” blared one column, “revised down to 1.6%.” Meanwhile, nationwide unemployment is hovering close to 10%. In Nevada — so long, Harry Reid! — it’s a whopping 14.4%. The Washington Times put it well when it said "Recession over, but recovery not felt." The operation was a success, madam; unfortunately, the patient died.
Nevertheless, the president thinks that “we’re moving in the right direction.” He actually said that to a lady at a Townhall-style meeting the other day. I like that lady. Here’s what she said to the president:
I'm one of your middle class Americans. And quite frankly I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.
The frozen smile on the president’s face is something to ponder (“Who let her in here? Why wasn’t she vetted?”) His response was of the “Rome-wasn’t-built-in-a-day” variety, and ended up with “we’re moving in the right direction.”
I guess that must be part of the official White House play book. Vice-President Joe Biden wheeled it out a few weeks ago, to universal derision. No matter. Someone obviously likes the way it sounds: “We’re moving in the right direction,” i.e., we’re whistling in the dark to keep up our courage.
During the 2008 campaign, many commentators, myself included, highlighted Obama’s total lack of executive experience. What did he have going for him? A left-wing ideology and a mixed-race background that could be counted upon to appeal to white liberals intoxicated by the multicultural agenda. Noting the contrast between Obama’s high-flown rhetoric and his almost comical lack of substance, many commentators (again, myself included) compared Obama to the Wizard of OZ who nervously tells Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Article printed from Roger’s Rules: https://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball
URL to article: https://pjmedia.com/rogerkimball/2010/9/21/the-magical-thinking-of-barack-obama