Everyone here is flummoxed about why the president is in such a fine mood.
The dollar’s crumpling, the recession’s thundering, the Dow’s bungee-jumping and the world’s disapproving, yet George Bush has turned into Gene Kelly, tap dancing and singing in a one-man review called “The Most Happy Fella.”
“I’m coming to you as an optimistic fellow,” he told the Economic Club of New York on Friday. His manner — chortling and joshing — was in odd juxtaposition to the Fed’s bailing out the imploding Bear Stearns and his own acknowledgment that “our economy obviously is going through a tough time,” that gas prices are spiking, and that folks “are concerned about making their bills.”
He began by laughingly calling the latest news on the economic meltdown “a interesting moment” and ended by saying that “our energy policy has not been very wise” and that there was “no quick fix” on gasp-inducing gas prices.
“You know, I guess the best way to describe government policy is like a person trying to drive a car in a rough patch,” he said. “If you ever get stuck in a situation like that, you know full well it’s important not to overcorrect, because when you overcorrect you end up in the ditch.”
Dude, you’re already in the ditch.
Boy George crashed the family station wagon into the globe and now the global economy. Yet the more terrified Americans get, the more bizarrely carefree he seems. The former oilman reacted with cocky ignorance a couple of weeks ago when a reporter informed him that gas was barreling toward $4 a gallon. [complete article]
Editor’s Comment — I imagine Bush learned his happy-go-lucky trick some time in his adolescence. It’s a familiar ruse everyone remembers from the classroom. There’s a kid who’s mediocre but proud and he thinks he can avoid being embarrassed by his poor performance. He parades his lack of seriousness as though to say, “You know I could really excel if I wanted to, but none of this matters to me so I can’t be bothered. You can study and I’ll party.” This is Bush’s exit strategy from the White House. He wants to tell us he fooled us; that when we thought he was doing badly because we thought he was incompetent, in truth he wasn’t even trying.