When Presidents Lose It
Has anybody else been writing “What is he thinking?” in the margins of stories like this?
President Obama’s latest broadside against big banks may have more bark than bite.
Obama’s plan to limit banks’ size and risky trading has spooked investors, but analysts say it would have only marginal effect on institutions like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup – and would be hard to enforce. And it’s not clear the rules would reduce taxpayers’ risk of having to bail out another big bank.
As if on impulse, Obama fired a shot at the finance industry and, in an utterly predictable development, the markets tanked. My theory is that the administration foresaw Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts and wanted to circumvent headlines like “Markets surge on election of Republican.” That would be far too straightforward of a lesson for the Democrats to allow the electorate to learn. (Of course, the electorate is learning the lesson by other means.) Roger Simon appears to agree:
I don’t think it’s accident that the Stock Market is tanking after a very short rally that coincided with the then coming victory of Scott Brown. The business world is scared — as is evidently our Secretary of the Treasury who has wandered about as far off the reservation as cabinet officers normally go, allowing the world to know his skepticism about Obama’s new reining in of the banks. (How long before Geithner goes under the bus now?)
The scary thing is that many of us believe the President hardly knows much of anything, certainly not economics, and is surrounded by an increasingly paranoid and defensive group of advisers. It’s shades of Nixon, but worse. Tricky Dick, at least, knew what he was doing and could accomplish things. Obama is the biggest windbag to ever ascend to the presidency. He has no idea what he is doing and now things are getting rough. Frankly, I’m worried for our country because this man doesn’t really understand what the public is telling him. He just thinks we’re “angry.” He’s wrong — we’re furious and we’re furious because he blames everyone but himself and seems psychologically incapable of taking responsibility. One can imagine a ninety-year old Obama stumbling around in some rest home shaking his walking stick at George Bush. But for the moment Bush is being replaced boy. Now evidently it’s the banks fault. The evil bankers are to blame. It’s capitalism, stupid.
Simon goes on to suggest that Obama has never really faced adversity before and may be unpredictable for the next year. Moreover, I can’t help but think back to those conservatives and moderates who were just positive that Obama would grow and learn once in office, surely coming around to their point of view. An introduction to adversity doesn’t appear to be teaching the president such lessons.