Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Only One Bar?

George Will joins the long list — including Howard Fineman, Camille Paglia, Tom Friedman, Jack Welch, Warren Buffet, and all of the CNBC broadcast staff – of people who have had enough of Barack Obama’s “throw in the kitchen sink” approach to governing. We’re only 50 or so days in and we’re already tired — exhausted really — from the sprint through the liberal agenda. Will explains:

The president’s confidence in his capacities is undermining confidence in his judgment. His way of correcting what he called the Bush administration’s “misplaced priorities” has been to have no priorities. Mature political leaders know that to govern is to choose — to choose what to do and thereby to choose what cannot be done. The administration insists that it really does have a single priority: Everything depends on fixing the economy. But it also says that everything depends on everything: Economic revival requires enactment of the entire liberal wish list of recent decades.

A competent treasury secretary would be of help in such a situation. A thoughtful address on private sector incentives to increase employment might be welcome. Something showing that the president understands what the country needs in order to recover would also be well-received. Yet the president is charging through his multi-faceted scheme for changing just about everything in America before the 2010 Congressional elections, seemingly unfazed by the economic dislocation resulting from his policies. Yes, as Will said, Obama is in perpetual campaign mode. But most of all, Obama is oblivious. Will notices:

One afternoon last week, cable news viewers saw, at the top of their screens, the president launching yet another magnificent intention — the disassembly and rearrangement of the 17 percent of the economy that is health care. The bottom of their screens showed the Dow plunging 281 points. Surely the top of the screen partially explained the bottom.

But Obama is in denial. He was supposed to have a Blackberry to prevent him from being trapped in the “bubble.” Well, perhaps his connection to reality doesn’t have enough bars.