26 February 2009

Americans are Kinda Wussy

President Obama (who is, again, the Anti-Christ or Hitler or whoever) delivered a pretty impressive speech the other night, but I'm not sure how this presidency is going to turn out. Obama is treating us like we're grown ups capable of taking action that is in our best long-term interest; this could be his fatal mistake. Behold, Greg Burns of the Chicago Tribune:
Feeling confident yet? Didn't think so.
Despite mostly upbeat reviews about President Barack Obama's pep talk to the nation, reality intervened Wednesday.
Investors went back to selling stocks as more bad news about the nation's shaky finances overshadowed the administration's efforts to lift the gloom.
Speeches, it turns out, only go so far in restoring confidence.
"In essence, the market has said, 'So what?' " noted Gary Gehm, a principal at Legg Mason Investment Counsel in Chicago. Economists generally put a lot of stock in confidence, the belief that things will get better, not worse. That's what makes investors invest and consumers spend....
So despite the president's hopeful message, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 80 points, closing near the lows of 1997, with no sign of a comeback....
At the moment, though, it's tough to get money moving. As Legg Mason's Gehm encourages wealthy individuals to entrust their assets to his professional managers, he said, he's hearing a lot of the same concerns: "I'm scared. I don't know what to do."
"It makes it so much more difficult to get people to commit to a program."
This is just ridiculous. Why are we relying on Obama for our spine? Is that why conservatives love/d Bush? Because he made the morally dubious decisions that they didn't feel complicit in--all the while shielding them from any real sense of sacrifice. Obama can give us hope, and he can call on us to do the difficult things, and we'll like it. As long as it's rhetoric. When we have to do some difficult things for ourselves, well, then we don't feel confident. And that, of course, is our President's fault, not our own.
Of course, Obama does difficult things, like sartorially kicking a union leader in the balls:

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