We’re back from a hiatus since the election.
Having fervently hoped for change we could believe in, that hope is slowly fading. We were looking forward to watching a thorough house cleaning — put Madoff in jail for a start, put someone relentlessly honest in charge of Treasury for Pete’s sake! The list was a long one. Mark to market and get this slow motion train wreck over and done with.
Sadly, it sure looks as if we’re just treading the same wornout paths as everything collapses around our ears. Perhaps that old Republican speech writer Peggy Noonan captures it best in her WSJ op-ed:
“Meanwhile, the inquest on President Obama’s great stimulus mistake continues.
His serious and consequential policy mistake is that he put his prestige behind not a new way of breaking through but an old way of staying put. This marked a dreadful misreading of the moment. And now he’s digging in. His political mistake, which in retrospect we will see as huge, is that he remoralized the Republicans. He let them back in the game.
Mr. Obama has a talent for reviving his enemies. He did it with Hillary Clinton, who almost beat him after his early wins, and who was given the State Department. He has now done it with Republicans on the Hill. This is very nice of him, but not in his interests. Mr. Obama should have written the stimulus bill side by side with Republicans, picked them off, co-opted their views. Did he not understand their weakness? They had no real position from which to oppose high and wasteful spending, having backed eight years of it with nary a peep. They started the struggle over the stimulus bill at a real disadvantage. Then four things: Nancy Pelosi served up old-style pork, Mr. Obama swallowed it, Republicans shocked themselves by being serious, and then they startled themselves by being unified. But it was their seriousness that was most important: They didn’t know they were! They hadn’t been in years!”