Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Icarus at Dawn

Some are already wondering if the Obama presidency has "failed." There's a lot of partisan eagerness under many of these claims. and it does seem a little silly to be crying failure just 2 weeks after the Inauguration.

Still, some of the voices sounding this pessimistic note have been striking. Victor Davis Hanson was one. Now, the hard nosed, sophisticated Martin Wolf has taken a look at the economic plans issuing from Washington and come to the same conclusion. It's hard not to see why. The Stimulus Bill will be too expensive and will not stimulate anything except growth in government. Meanwhile, the latest bank bailout - announced to the fanfare of falling stock prices - is too little to do any good.   

I did not vote for Obama. I don't want him to usher in a New Era of permanent Democratic majorities. I certainly do not (and have not) supported any of the bailouts. But, the last couple days have been depressing. The sight of Treasury Secretary Geithner - looking small and tentative - announcing the "new" bailout plan as the Market literally began to plunge as he spoke ... it was hard to watch. The cemeteries are indeed full of "indispensable" men.

Like Rush Limbaugh, I don't want Obama to "succeed" in the sense that I don't want Obama to pass every item on the socialist-progressive wish list. But, I would like to see Obama succeed in taming the financial crisis that seems to have sapped the world economy of its confidence and animal spirits. That hope looks to be increasingly faint. 

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