Remember when it was a sign of Obama’s extraordinary leadership ability that he was calm and unflappable during the campaign when the financial crisis hit? Never had so much been staked on an appearance of equanimity. Colin Powell endorsed Obama partly because he’d seemed steady. Obamacons endorsed him–and piled wish upon hope on him–for the same reason. It became a key element of the narrative of the campaign. Now, facing the first real political headwinds of his presidency, Obama has traded calm and unflappable for shrill and alarmist. We’ll see how it plays. I’ve always thought one of Obama’s great (and underappreciated) rhetorical abilities is for derision–recall some of the put-downs of Hillary in the primary campaign. We saw some of that in Obama again yesterday. It’s great in a candidate, but might seem inappropriate in a president. One thing I don’t think makes much sense is Obama criticizing failed policies for running up the deficit and the debt–in the course of making the case for adding a trillion more to the deficit right out of the box. I guess he just needs every argument he can possibly muster for this monstrosity of a bill. In today’s column, I take on his “I Won” argument (with a title borrowed from Ring Lardner’s delightful story, “The Young Immigrunts“).