The Long Arc of Obama’s Presidency
Posted on Aug 7, 2011
There are plenty of reasons to shout about Barack Obama’s performance as president, and sharp, strident indictments of his White House failures are in abundant supply. But for those whose ears are ringing, Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen’s gentle dismantling of the major disappointments of the last two and a half years should both calm and edify. —ARK
Drew Westen in The New York Times:
... Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public — a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. Had the president chosen to bend the arc of history, he would have told the public the story of the destruction wrought by the dismantling of the New Deal regulations that had protected them for more than half a century. He would have offered them a counternarrative of how to fix the problem other than the politics of appeasement, one that emphasized creating economic demand and consumer confidence by putting consumers back to work. He would have had to stare down those who had wrecked the economy, and he would have had to tolerate their hatred if not welcome it. But the arc of his temperament just didn’t bend that far.
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