All throughout today, and likely through the weekend, we’re going to hear from the left-leaning mainstream press that it’s working, that the actions taken by Barack Obama and the Democrats have finally made a dent in this bad economy.
Citigroup has recorded a profit and according to its chairman will not likely need further taxpayer money, Bank of America expects a profit, retail sales are not as poor as expected, and Barney Frank found a shiny nickel stuffed in his soft cushions alongside crumpled mortgage industry campaign donation receipts and empty bottles of lube.
All is well in Obamaland today. Our Dear Leader has a spring in his strut and, somewhere on Capitol Hill, Nancy Pelosi is smiling. (We think.)
Honestly, if this truly is the beginning of the recovery, if what appeared to be fiscally irresponsible policies advanced first by George W. Bush and the Republicans and subsequently taken up by Barack H. Obama and the Democrats truly are working as designed, I will be the first to happily say that I was dead wrong. I’ll even congratulate both Bush and Obama on being so steadfast in the face of opposition from both nincompoops like me and other nincompoops much louder, much smarter, and much more important than I.
I hope I’ve been wrong. I hope that Bush and Obama have been right all along, that we truly could spend our way out of debt. Most importantly, me being wrong would be excellent for America, not to mention for Jeff Schreiber — after all, in a little more than a year from now, I need to sell my house. My goodness, I’d LOVE to be wrong.
But I’m not. Two days does not a recovery make, and with the amount of capital which has been infused into Bank of America and Citigroup, they had better be close to a quarterly profit. What we’re seeing now, what we’ll be seeing all throughout the day and probably throughout the weekend, is a knee-jerk reaction by a mainstream press that, though they’ve been a little uppity recently, never quite lost that wonderful flutter in the chest and thrill running up the leg.
Every day, people on both sides of the aisle have been watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average like a schoolkid watching the clock during detention. Every day, we look at what’s happening on the “big board” when so-and-so is talking; I’ve even caught myself looking at the numbers before and after an Obama news conference, a Bernanke hearing, a Geithner screwup, just to see if there was any notable change. The Dow, in essence, has become Wall Street’s own feedback dial, like those used by pollster Frank Luntz during the election.
Is it any wonder that a media so obsessed with President Obama, so full of journalists like MSNBC’s Chris Matthews who feel as though it is their job not to report the news but to make the Obama presidency a success, would take a few honest-to-goodness good days and run with them as though it were the great turnaround? I don’t think that’s too much to ask from the mainstream press.
Another possibility besides the overreaction of the biased mainstream press is a concerted effort by Obama and the Democrats to enter into an era of optimism because, well, they’ve made the most of their opportunities from doom and gloom and crisis, and need to work on the next part of their agenda, for which such a glum outlook simply will not do. “The worst economy since the Great Depression,” after all, gave the Democrats a $787 billion so-called “stimulus” bill, a $275 billion housing plan, and a $410 billion, pork-filled omnibus spending bill. Now, as they push for major–and majorly expensive–reforms of healthcare and education and major increases in the tax and regulatory burden on businesses and those who drive the American economy, it has become apparent that such projects simply cannot thrive in economic crisis and therefore require a fair share of optimism.
Nobody in their right mind, for example, would willingly push for industry-killing cap-and-trade legislation while the economy is perceived to be in a continued downward spiral . . . so the president added a little wink and a smile.
Maybe I’m being overly cynical. I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that I would absolutely love for this president and his predecessor to have been right. On this, however, they were not. For lasting change and true recovery, we need a sea change as to our approach to taxes, spending and scope of our federal government. Instead, we’ve seen more of the same tendencies which put us in this situation in the first place.