The nauseating sensation of being in a surreal, waking dream is becoming the daily reality of the Obama Administration. Unlike the crude affront to sanity that was the Bush nightmare, the dominant feeling of the Obama era is the insidious feeling that things are not right, but that everyone is pretending that they are.
Consider the GM bankruptcy. This historic event has been ignored by the stock market, which actually staged a rally. The arithmetic of massive auto industry job losses and wiped out government investments is obvious, but nobody wants to run the numbers. Instead, all we hear from the press is numbing, repetitive assurances that everything is going to be fine. Obama sends in a handful of inexperienced functionaries to apply crude measures to hold the remnants of GM together for another year or two, and we are supposed to believe that we are going to get an automotive technology renaissance.
This is government by bull$hit, not a new era of competence. When FDR took things in hand, he gave the people straight talk and new structures staffed by competent people. Obama is blowing smoke and dodging accountability. We have seen this pattern in the financial “rescue,” as Geither and Summers ducked, weaved, and dodged around every issue. Now we are seeing it in industrial policy.
If the Bush administration did not give us an adequate lesson in the pernicious consequences of wishful thinking and ideological fantasies, we will certainly learn this lesson under Obama. Liberal fantasies are no less pernicious than those of conservatives. Reality will not be denied for much longer.