It happened quick, just like our deployment to Iraq. We bailed-out some unpopular people. We implemented a surge to stimulate change. We attempted to wrestle into line an entity that we do not fully understand, and now we’re all wondering what the hell to do next.
The economy is the new Iraq.
Detroit is still producing cars nobody wants. AIG is still handing out bonus money like candy. Unemployment is reaching numbers Jimmy Carter would envy. And it feels so familiar.
It feels like Iraq.
Remember? GW Bush was gonna get those folks. Obama was gonna rebuild the economy. Both endeavours were uncharted territory. Both brazen actions required cooperation from both our political parties. And now both hopeless crusades are receiving equal parts disdain from a cringing and fed-up public.
Weirdly, strangely, bizarrely, the Obama Administration is responding a lot like Bush & Cronies. It’s working! The economy was worse than we thought! We didn’t have all the data! Give it time.
Unfairly or not, we didn’t give Iraq time. Why should we give the economy time?
With Iraq, we were promised instant results. We were told we’d find dangerous nuclear weapons, uncover a terrorist plot, and be welcomed as liberators. None of that happened, and now George is exiled to Dallas and his lieutenants tell everyone who will listen (i.e. FOX News) that they never said what they said, but even if they did say it, then they were right.
Obama & Buddies are headed down the same rickety, dubious, sinister path.
We were told that the Stimulus would create jobs, yet we’re marching on 10% unemployment. We were told that bailing out corporations like AIG would restore our trust in Wall Street, yet only a handful of money managers seem to be reaping the rewards. We were told that $800 billion would get us out of this jam, and now Warren Buffet is admitting that the amount was like “taking half a tablet of Viagra.”
Talk about a boner.
Maybe we should give Obama’s Economy a chance. Maybe we should have given the Iraq War more than a couple months to succeed. Perhaps we truly are a Nation spoiled rotten by instant gratification. We can’t pretend that a pile of money will staunch the bleeding of a wounded economy any more than we can expect to force freedom on a people who barely recognize the concept. Perhaps both daring missions – Bush’s Iraq and Obama’s Economy – can never be fully accomplished.
It is quite possible that we’re all old men frustrated with the state of things, shaking our fists to the sky and demanding that the youngsters get off our lawns.
I didn’t wait for Bush’s Iraq because I never believed. I wanted to believe in Obama’s Economy because, well, quite frankly, $800,000,000,000 is a shitload of cash. It didn’t seem real. It was like dropping a mysterious chemical into a petrie dish just to see what it would do. So far, the economy remains inert. And the Republicans do what they do best: prophesize doom while offering no alternative solution outside of the usual menu of tax cuts.*
And if we’re not careful, the Republican Party, the party of Palin and Bush and Joe Plumber, are going to look like geniuses.
So we watch Obama and Biden and Geithner put on their figurative flak jackets as they tour Main Street, claiming victory as they cluelessly stroll past the Out-of-Business signs. We’re not losing soldiers, we’re losing jobs. We’re not losing the respect of the world, just the confidence in our government. We haven’t been guaranteed an easy victory over a godless hoard, but we have been promised mastery over a bleeding animal.
Feels like Iraq all over again.
* Had to blast the Republicans to retain my Democratic street cred – Straight Talk’in AC