A Glimmer Of Hope

President Obama’s speech today brought smiles to the Bunker. How nice to remember them again.

Admittedly, he gives er, good speech. And his policies to date are more cautious and Warlord-lite than we secretly hoped for despite our skepticisms during the primary and his appellation of ‘Boy King’. So as a summary of his first nearly 100 days it was not earth shattering by any means.

On style, elocution and intellectual presence, he as usual fires on all cylinders. Not only does he explain yet again the Ur Narrative of our economic collapse in accessible terms, but his own internal comprehension of the concepts deployed is palpable.

What we care about most were some of his ad libs. In one subordinate clause describing a post-recovery America (with a ‘c’ and an ‘a’, mercifully) he noted Americans would have to consume less and work harder at earning export currency. A fleeting meme quickly moved away from. Who knows if it was inserted by committee as an intended ad lib and meaningless in terms of actual presidential commitment. Nonetheless, finally, we are seeing someone in American leadership at least *edge* toward speaking an uncomfortable truth: our standard of living necessarily will be lower and debt service obligations onerous.

One Dream

His description of a post-recovery America restructured away from frivolous financial service ‘industry’ parasitism also welcome here — both from an outcome-determinative point of view (ours), but also for its McCain-speaking-in-Michigan “You know these jobs aren’t coming back” faux pas truthiness truthfulness.

It’s just a speech. And like the bank plan, DoJ in some respects and Gates’ DoD pronouncements, Obama’s execution often proves far less insightful, more tinkering at Warlord margins and cautious than his inspired rhetoric.

A useful barometer still might be how much Ron Insana from CNBC viscerally disliked it all. A future not centered on Wall Street ephemera without financial bubbles is unacceptable. A future with a chastened, reduced and even marginalized Wall Street is beyond his frame of reference. And as Insana and others noted, Administration words come and go often within a 24 hour news cycle.

But maybe Obama really does understand there is no going back to the bubble-fueled, foreign-subsidized binge consumer America standard of living. With all of the corruption, narcissism and corrosive effects it portends for a viable, stable liberal democracy. Even in his green techno utopia, Disney-esque ‘World of Tomorrow’. We could live with tacking to tactical prevailing political winds if he knows that’s a reality polestar to steer by.

How nice it would be to believe . . .