Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Follow Your Leader! NOT!

Obama makes a speech. Geitner makes a speech. The markets tumble.

Surprise! Why?

Where Ali Baba once had only 40 thieves, now he has 40000 and they are too old to learn new tricks. They want the money. They don't want conditions.

It was the wrong speech. Obama was selling fear and when it gets right down to it, people will be angrier with the man who took their hope than the men who took their money. He is still, when off teleprompter, a bit too much the minority professor who did well and feels entitled to respect because he won. Washington doesn't work that way. Heck, the world doesn't work that way. The big guns in the financial world and the Republican Party are looking at him and saying "Whatcha got? Whatcha gonna do about it?" and they mean in terms of real consequences. Otherwise, they stand back and let him posture.

Did we think this was going to be a Beach Party with Moondoggie making up with Annette and then everyone boogaloos to Dick and The Dervishes? Or does Erick Von Zipper dress in a suit and suddenly his gang becomes civilized? This is the scene in Gone With the Wind where the young men have parties with young women all gaily dressed thinking they are going to a summer lark called The Civil War. This is the beginning. It won't be civil.

Welcome to the reality of what the Kennedy Administration was like, not the rose-colored view in the rearview mirror through the fog of generational wish fulfillment. He was young, brash, occasionally out to lunch and all the world wondered if the kid had any moxie or plans. Enemies moved on us, the markets were a roller coaster, and the social agendas were all pushed at one time. It was scary. Then he was killed and the Beatles came to America to distract us and Johnson dulled us into self-medicating a generation.

By contrast, this isn't that bad. Feel better now?

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