Friday, July 9, 2010

The Audacity of Surrender

I join Matt Yglesias's exasperation and weariness at hearing the president repeat fatuous right-wing twaddle as a means, of I don't know, sounding open-minded or whatever. For example, the claim that "government doesn't create jobs" is ...

a ridiculous thing to say. David Petraeus has a job. So does the guy who drove the truck that transported David Petraeus’ uniform to wherever he picked it up. So does the guy who sold that guy his truck’s tires. And so does the guy who served that guy some beer on Friday. And not only do police officers have jobs, but police officers who do their jobs well and make the streets safe create the conditions for economic growth. So do the people who build bridges and the people who man tollbooths. Medicaid pays for poor people’s medicine so they can recover from illness and go back to work rather than staying sick and dying. If the Obama administration feels the government is doing specific things that are not prosperity-enhancing it should draft legislation to curtail those activities, but you hear enough dumb stuff like this on Fox News without needing to hear it from the administration.
Not just Fox News but a few dozen talk radio ravers, countless magazines and blogs, assorted well-funded think tanks, and numberless lobbying and PR outfits are more than adequately repeating hackneyed, idiotic right-wing memes into every available microphone and keyboard. That our not just "liberal" but supposedly even "socialist" president sees fit to incant them before large audiences is a travesty, and as clear a sign as any that he utterly lacks that "audacity" he often mentioned as a candidate.

Instead, he has shown us the audacity of caving in and giving up on the ideals and ideas for which he supposedly stands, even what should be the most easily defensible of them. This is why he will be gone from public life soon, and why he will be so little missed in quarters that once saw promise in him.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

Yeah, and I have a job too (NPS)! And I buy beer, and groceries, and buy my wife an Ipod, which creates a job in ummmm China! ;)