Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Obama's Moby Dick

Relentlessly pursuing health care reform, the President is looking more and more like a modern Ahab, wounded by but determined to nail what he sees as the killer whale of the American economy at all costs.

Yet, as he keeps harpooning health insurers, even Obama admirers are warning that he risks capsizing the ship of state by, as Bob Herbert puts it, not concentrating on job creation that would ease "the frightening economic insecurity that has put a chokehold on millions of American families" rather than "an obsessive quest to pass a health care bill."

Another New York Times liberal, Frank Rich, warns: "The rise in credit-card rates, as well as the drop in consumer confidence, home sales and bank lending, all foretell more suffering ahead for those who don’t work on Wall Street. But on these issues the president, too timid to confront the financial industry backers of his own campaign (or their tribunes in his own administration) and too fearful of sounding like a vulgar partisan populist, has taken to repeating his health care performance."

The most unlikely political figure to emulate the wild-eyed captain of the Pequod, Obama is out on the hustings calling for "a final, up or down vote on health care," while Congressional action on otherwise healing the economy is hopelessly stalled.

FDIC Chair Sheila Bair is urging borrowers to pressure banks that are not lending to small businesses and consumers by calling them out in public, but from the White House, there is only health care, health care, health care as the Congressional Budget Office raises the projected ten-year budget shortfall to $9.7 billion.

For this President, there is now no turning back on his righteous quest, but there is a growing feeling that he is chasing the wrong whale.

1 comment:

PWT said...

That should be 9.7 TRILLION with a T.