We find ourselves dealing with the frightening realization that with the Obama administration, there is no Plan B.
There are a lot of unemployed folks out there. A lot more are worried about their jobs, a lot more are wondering how they’re going to pay their mortgages, their rent, their grocery bills. Last year, when people first started to really worry, they elected Barack Obama to the presidency. Not my choice, but I hope he can make the situation better instead of worse.
Obama’s first crack at improving the economy was the stimulus, and we’ve lost three million more jobs since it passed. Now he’s announcing a “jobs summit” at the White House, and a “listening tour.” You’ve officially run out of good ideas when your plan to help people who can’t find jobs consists of listening to them tell you that they can’t find jobs.
If they had better ideas, the Obama administration would be trying those instead.
Looking back, it suddenly seems clear that Democrats thought we were in a slightly-worse-than-normal recession and that we would have started to see unemployment begin to recede by now. Instead, by most measuring sticks, things are still bad, and perhaps getting worse – the number of people working part-time when they would prefer full-time, the number of long-term unemployed, the number of people who have given up looking for work. Look at the industries that are still reeling from a serious blowup last year – the financial sector, real estate, the auto industry, media, and publishing. I had no idea, until recently, that the Garment District in midtown Manhattan was rapidly disappearing.
On Iran, the Iranians keep making clear that they don’t want to talk and make a deal. On Afghanistan, the administration clearly thought the initial increase in troops would be sufficient; we’ve been in a holding pattern for three months while they rethink a warning from the commander on the ground that the situation will be lost within one year. China is willing to offer photo-ops, but no real concessions.
Polls show the nation evenly divided or worse on the health-care proposal, but the administration pushes forward. The Blue Dogs are nervous, but the response is to figure out how to get that magic 218; to heck with the 30-some Democrats who just can’t be persuaded the bill is a good idea and will improve things.
On front after front, Obama’s proposals have slammed into the hard concrete of reality, and the response has been . . . keep doing the same thing and wait for things to get better.