|July 30, 2008|
|Feeling a Little Glum? Don't Worry, Help is on the Way|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|Are you feeling a little out of sorts? A tad blue. Cheer up. The Economist thinks it knows what is bugging you.|
The lede editorial in the British weekly says the U.S. “normally the world’s most self-confident place, is glum.” It just doesn’t just blame the “hapless George Bush” for the blues, though his “approval ratings are sub-Nixonian.” [Run out and get a copy of Rick Perlstein’s “Nixonland.” It’s a great book that gives “Tricky Dick” his due.]
The Economist frets that “many are not concerned about a failed President as about a flailing nation.” It trots out the laundry list of America’s woes. Plummeting house prices, collapsing banks, job losses, skyrocketing energy outlays, threats of inflation/recession, quagmire in Iraq and slippage in Afghanistan made the cut. Things have gotten so bad that tiny Belgium is taking over America’s “King of Beers.” Talk about a slap in the face. Wonder how the great Budweiser boycott is going?
The Economist reminds readers that America has been in funks before. Sputnik soured the `50s, Watergate/Vietnam and the oil embargo spoiled the `70s and Japan soiled the `80s. Thank God, we had the Clintons in the `90s. The Economist that the U.S. could lash out or behave dangerously because of its dark mood. It need not fret.
In less than 100 days, a new President will be elected, promising to change the “my way or the highway” attitude of the current White House. You sense feel the excitement.
Neither Obama nor McCain are going to follow the war-without-end policy of President Bush. As the Economist noted, both are committed to closing Guantanamo Bay prison camp, which is the biggest global stain on the reputation of the U.S.
Much more than McCain, an Obama Presidency will energize America. It would also go a long way in ridding Washington of the stench of corruption. That stench fouled the air today with the indictment of powerful Republican Senator Ted Stevens. The longest serving Republican, Stevens, 84, apparently had his house fixed up compliments of Veco, a pipeline company. What galling chutzpah!
The stench was evident in the words of White House spokesperson Tony Fratto in his comment about the report about politicizing the Justice Dept. The inspector general report found that civil service laws were violated and people were hired as long as they mouthed the conservative line involving “God, guns and gays.”
Fratto said of the report, “There really is not a lot new here.” That leads one to believe that law-breaking and corruption have been “business as usual” practices for the past nearly eight years.
One can hardly wait for Election Day.
(Photo: The Economist)
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