Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Presidential Fluffery

I still think that we should give President Obama the benefit of the doubt in general, but he is making it hard.  From his relatively inept (shall we say Bushian) handling of the stimulus bill and bailout to his righteous furor over what Wall Street is doing and kowtowing to labor unions, he's not looking like an FDR or Reagan at this point in time.  That could change of course, but who knows what the next several years will bring. 
One thing I do know is that the President isn't too busy to sit down with ESPN and dissect his bracket.  By all means, be angry about what AIG is giving its employees with some of the bailout money you provided, but if you are going to employ your bully pulpet in that manner, you might want to pull the beam from your eye first.  Mr. Obama's supposed to be making sure that the taxpayer doesn't get shafted from the trillions in bailout money flowing through the system, so it seems like a better use of that interview with ESPN might have been to get on the horn with James Dimon or somebody from Treasury and figure out what's going on today. 
I agree completely that he should be able to relax and enjoy himself, but he's doing precisely what AIG is doing - being an idiot about the use of his time.  He opens himself up to a whole host of attacks because in this time of want and woe, the last thing the American people want to see is a Commander in Chief who is rolling up his sleeves...to fill out his NCAA bracket.  By all means, fill it out, have fun, enjoy yourself - but don't do it in public while unemployment is worse than it's been in over a decade. 

3 comments:

Cheeth said...

Reagan is so super-duper overrated (someday I want to write a Reagan myth-busting manifesto, but for now Beirut and Iran are good exhibits - and no, monolithic communism killed itself).

Sure, the stimulus is a circus, and the outrage that the companies arbitrarily supported by the government would squander money (were they expected to mend their ways and start eating their vegetables?) is obviously a populist sham.

But I think the president should spend a little time on frivolous things, just like we do. If he wants to do it on ESPN, fine. I completely disagree that it's improper for a public figure to have fun when things are crappy for a lot of people. I had no problem with Bush visiting his ranch a lot (and I don't recall too much opposition from you on it either), despite the wars we were in, etc., and I have no problem with this.

The biggest beef I have right now is with Republicans, who bitch about the stimulus but make sure their earmarks are in there, too. At least the Democrats admit they are spendthrifts.

Sorro said...

I'm not disagreeing that he shouldn't spend time on frivolous things...it's important to have downtime. At the same time, spending the time he did on the ESPN article is the modern day equivalent not of fiddling while Rome burns, but announcing a concert while Rome burns. It's so public after his equally public outcries against people wasting the taxpayer dime that it reeks of hypocrisy.

Jeremy Miller (jeremy@walkermillerllc.com) said...

The problem is that this isn't just fiddling while Rome burns (a nice metaphor, but grossly overused), this is "scheduling the White House tennis courts while Americans are being held hostage in Tehran" bad. (Jimmy Carter - history's greatest monster) If the economy is as bad as the Obamiacs are claiming (i.e., uncorrectable catastrophe is Obama's plans arent implemented), then spending ANY time in public not dealing with the issue is not only gross incompetence, but is borderline dereliction of duty. Now I'm not one to hold a grudge for no good reason, but it seems that Obama talks a good game without actually doing anything to fix the problems. (Again, assuming that he actually could do anything) That's the problem with being demoted from the Messiah to a mere President - you get stuck doing small, mundane things, like fixing the economy.