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Try Squaring This Circle

Crossposted from Heidi Li’s Potpourri

Two headlines, side by side, at Rasmussen:

Comment: I understand that one could tell a statistician’s story that would make sense of these headlines and some others on Rasmussen’s home page today, such as: Confidence in U.S. Banking System Plummets
Voters Predicted Congress Would Approve Stimulus Package Without Reading It

But to me, this sounds like a population in panic, mistrustful and nervous about its government and its banking system. When people are gripped by fear they do not reason coherently. In any event one could believe the latest measures by our Congress, taken at the urging of President Obama, will do some good but not very much. This is sort of how I think of Jimmy Carter’s entire domestic-side Presidency. Maybe some of what Carter urged did some good, but not very much. And that’s part of why he ended up a one-term wonder. (True enough, the Iran hostage rescue debacle didn’t help either.)

President Obama needs to stabilize the fear that he unleashed in his inaugural address and his primetime press conference. Maybe he thought being grim and scary would ensure action – it worked for Bush when he wanted to send U.S. troops to Iraq – but grim and scared people do not function well in most social environments.

40 Responses

  1. I couldn’t stand Carter, personally.

    But I’ve had my thermostat at home set at 65 for 30 years because of him.

    So I guess you never know. You can agree with them even when they annoy the h@ll out of you.

  2. when uncertain, when in doubt … run in circles scream and shout!

    where’s the all we have to fear is fear itself speech?

    great catch, Heidi … and I have a thread coming up that will co-ordinate perfectly with it 🙂 ie … where was all the reform of the banking and financial system we were promised?

    maybe folks don’t have much trust because nothing has really changed on either wall street or the main street bank … they just have a lot more of our money now and that’s about it!

  3. Obama may have successfully pushed the stimulation through Congress but he hasn’t sold it to the American people.

  4. How about this: Obama says the bill is needed immediately and flies that one guy in via private jet from his mother’s funeral to make sure it passes that night (Thursday).

    Now, he waits 4 days to sign the damned thing.

    Some emergency, huh?

  5. plural, on February 17th, 2009 at 1:12 pm Said:
    I am not a Carter fan either, so I was trying ultrahard to be fair to him.

    Off to afternoon session of retreat. Wish me luck.

  6. i think obama got the party to tow his line on the stimulus, they’re all going to go down together if it doesn’t work shortly

  7. Some emergency, huh?

    It was a public relations crisis

  8. angie: DING!

  9. anytime a president tries to scare the poop out of the public, all you get is a stinky mess.

  10. When will the press start speaking of Obama’s “malaise”?

  11. Obama likes malaise on his arugala and wonderbread sammiches.

  12. obama has just arrived in the land or coronation to sign the save the plebian bill.

  13. OT
    Who lives in Texas? I understand channel 8 has a video of the fireball that streaked across Texas this morning.
    If someone could find it an post it I would love to see it.
    They are not saying that it backtrack flying around as of now,but who knows when the obots will believe he can really fly.



  14. obama has just arrived in the land or coronation to sign the save the plebian bill.

    Will they film him descending from above ala “Triumph of the Will?”

  15. Dak,

    What do you figure the odds are of this working without a fix to the housing sector(which was a large percent of our gdp for what feels like forever)?

  16. here you go helenK:

  17. cwaltz: it’s not going to get to the root of the problem which is the need for reform within the financial and banking systems and correcting the housing sector problems, it’s going to provide a few bandages, perhaps save a few jobs and help out the states, but it’s not going to be immediately noticeable or effective

  18. Obama will levitate his way to pre arranged location, where he will grasp the gilded pen and ensure the well being of ALL. He will then grace the peeps with one of his most auspicious awesomest teleprompting sensation performances to date.

  19. taggles, on February 17th, 2009 at 1:32 pm Said:
    obama has just arrived in the land or coronation to sign the save the plebian bill.

    Did Denver save the big white columns so they could decorate the stage, or is there now a huge replica of the Lincoln desk for him to properly celebrate his great accomplishment.

    I don’t want the economy to collapse around this stimulus bill, but I sure wish people would start to see that this guy is all show and no substance. He creates these events because he can’t get enough of the adoration the crowds bring to him.

  20. Taggles
    Thank you.
    Doesn’t look like backtrack to me but again I am not an obot.



  21. Dakinikat that is the mongolian prudential rule above

    When in worry when in doubt run is circles scream and shout…Fire them Relieve them Kick Them out…

    If I was on team Obama I would not not get to comfy in my new DC digs….

    To Be fired -Secs of: Treasury,Commerce, Labor

    To be relieved: The JCS-technically flag and command officers are not fired but relieved of command

    To Be Kicked Out: The remaining LGBT Service People when Obama doesnot deliver and the rest of the nation not yet under the bus!

  22. ((((Fuzzy))))

  23. personally, i’m more interested in A-Rods presser …madonna could be there

  24. A-Rod needs a teleprompter. I can’t watch a speech or statement without one now.

  25. i would like a personal teleprompter. Can that be part of the bailout package?

  26. I agree with Poppy on the steroids.

  27. i’m still waiting for some one to pay my mortgage and buy me a new car, wasn’t that something Obama was supposed to do?

  28. well homo for lunch what can I say…


  29. Somewhere in Hawaii a village is missing its Idiot!

  30. Marc Rubin has a good post up. He says that if the “stimulous” is going to work, we should see evidence of that shortly. I’m thinking it won’t work any better than last year’s did. Bush started sending out the checks in the spring and by late summer they were saying we need another stimulous. They had proof that it wasn’t working even before the last batch of checks were mailed out.

    Bush was on his way out anyway. I’m predicting that the Dems lose control of Congress in 2010 and BHO is a one-termer.

  31. I think we have to hire a Sec of Commerce before we can fire them Fuzzy. 😉 Let’s see first one had ethics issues(Richardson), second one didn’t want ethics issues(Gregg)……Next up

  32. Heh

    I’d like someone to pay off my mortgage too. We are upside down on our car loan….Do you think we can get someone to cover our “toxic asset” for us and rewrite the loan to what we want it to be?

  33. I have never been on a cruise. I’m due. Pony up, Obama!

  34. Who knew that helping the saltmarsh mouse and ACORN was geared to helping Joe Average?

    I was happy to see the Bristol Palin interview today. I think its great that she wants to speak out about teen pregnancy and maybe she can convince momma abstinence only isn’t the way to go.

    On a sad note, in addition to not getting their income taxes 20,000 California state employees will be getting the ax.

  35. my new thread just posted

  36. angie, I thought them flying Brown in from Ohio was also a note of urgency, or else a bid to have a photo op for O to sign the bill on Pres. Day. But I think what they REALLY wanted was to get everyone to vote for it before anyone got a chance to read it.

  37. Joanie in Brooklyn, I agree with your prediction. It’s a shame that we weren’t able to elect a President with the experience and ability to lead us out of this mess.

    As soon as I started paying attention I could see Obama for the empty suit he is, but even I am stunned at his complete lack of preparedness. He is so slow out of the gate (positively glacial!) when we needed someone who could have hit the ground running.

  38. This guy cannot speak or do anything, without reffering to anotther former Great President (that’s exclude Clinton in his mind of course). He is only concern by his position in History and among the other presidents. He could care less about the American people per se. We are just tokens of his Legacy (lunacy).

    He just forget that all those former presidents were innovators not copyers.

  39. Before taking bets on who is going to take Congress in 2010, I am taking bet on superinflation by the end of 2009 and the colapse of the dollar shortly after.

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