364. Obama lost year. a good analysis of why people are so angry, esp on the right.
March 15, 2010 § Leave a comment
Many people do not trust te experts. who have brought war, bank failure, population, and increasinglyly thratening technologies they can’t afford. The anger at lost jobs, children dead in the two wars, all add up. here is some first hand reporting about that world.
George Packer, A Reporter at Large, “Obama’s Lost Year,” The New Yorker, March 15, 2010, p. 4
ABSTRACT: A REPORTER AT LARGE about President Obama and the economy. Martinsville and the county that surrounds it, within Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District, have lost twelve thousand jobs, and the town now has an unemployment rate of twenty per cent—the highest in Virginia, and one of the highest in America. In the middle of January, Representative Tom Perriello, the freshman Democrat who represents the Fifth District, visited the town. The Obama Administration’s agenda was stalled in Congress, and Perriello was at the top of the list of endangered Democrats in the fall election. So it was with more than a little urgency that Perriello wanted to publicize the distribution of ten million dollars in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the stimulus package. One of his aides, Ridge Schuylers, found dozens of nascent projects in renewable energy in Martinsville, all initiated by local farmers and entrepreneurs. Perriello was an emblematic member of the Obama generation—a practical-minded idealist, skeptical of Washington but also eager to make government work on behalf of the farmer, the seamstress, the small businessman. But he expressed frustration over the Administration’s first year in office, and he bemoaned the Democrats’ failure to explain the Recovery Act to the public. His concern was that the Obama Administration was too cautious, and too close to Wall Street. Some liberal economists had argued for direct government spending on infrastructure, but the Administration ignored such calls. Obama had a goal to be post-partisan, and that hampered him. Perriello faulted the Administration not just for the size and composition of the stimulus, but for its lack of imagination. The Administration’s approach to the Recovery Act set the pattern for everything that followed: legislative compromises that watered down the bill’s impact; an immediate campaign by opposition politicians and media to declare the program a failure; a weak, uncoordinated Administration effort to explain and champion the stimulus package; gradual public disillusionment. According to Perriello and other Democrats, a turning point was in mid-March, when news broke that A.I.G. would pay its employees almost a hundred and sixty-five million dollars in bonuses. The Administration could have seized the moment and put Republicans on the defensive, but it chose not to. Mentions Paul Begala and Gene Sperling. For David Axelrod, the Administration’s lapses in communication were almost a point of honor. A year in, Obama’s Presidency resembles in uncanny ways Ronald Reagan’s at the same point. Reagan’s talent for phrasemaking and anecdote derived from having a strong world view, but the same qualities that had allowed Obama to make a case for himself in 2008; his aversion to partisan small-mindedness and ideological oversimplification—prevented him from making the case for his political agenda in 2009. As President, he has not rendered the country’s story in a way that is memorable and convincing. Mentions Dean Price, the co-owner of Red Birch biodiesel truck stop.