He was a half hour late. His head turned from side to side as if he were attending a tennis match. He practically never looked in the camera, as if he were averting our gaze. And those were the strong parts of President Obama’s disastrous speech.If the Bush economy in 2008 was driving into a ditch, Obama in 2011 is driving us off a cliff. And I'm not just being metaphorical:
It was a bit like a slow-motion car crash. After a while, one stopped listening to the blather and simply watched the stock ticker go down and down. And down some more.
Obama had all weekend and the best he could come up with was a reiteration of his plea for a “balanced” approach to deficit control. That’s right. We have a tumbling stock market, over 9 percent unemployment and a flight to gold (some investment advisers say it will be at $2,500 per ounce by year’s end). All he can do is promise to raise taxes.
Update: Dow down 482 at 2:43 ET. Markets can't close soon enough.
Stock market is now down 423* on the day, almost 4%. Seems like a surreal marketing tie-in for Mark Steyn's new book, After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.
Walter Russell Mead sounds a similar alarm bell, writing about the increasing number of black-on-white, violent "flash mobs" in America (including the recent incidents in Milwaukee):
Bad economic times not only make people less generous and more defensive when thinking about social policy; they undermine public confidence in the wisdom and/or trustworthiness of elites. A national political establishment forced to face the unsustainable nature of the fiscal path it has long followed is an emperor without clothes. Elite commitment to affirmative action and the rest of sixties race policy remains strong — but elites of all races are going to have less and less ability to control the direction of American social policy.
The conditions for a Category 5 hurricane are all there; it is easy to see a political reaction taking shape in this country that would make the Tea Party movement look like a PTA bake sale. They say that great storms start with trivial causes: a butterfly waves its wings and, when conditions are just right, the wind begins to grow.
*Down to 444, in just the time it took me to do this post.