Alan Blinder likes Obama’s economic accomplishments, but he concludes they’d be better if (emphases mine) …
… Mr. Obama’s accomplishments in just nine months are palpable and were very much needed. If he seems to have achieved little, it’s partly because he set out to do too much. Too bad he didn’t just “focus like a laser beam on the economy.”
I read the same thing from pundits wishing Obama had been a “laser beam” on Health Care, or Climate Change, or American honor, or Afghanistan (I’m sure there are other recommended targets, but you get the idea).
I know Americans have a memory of about 3 weeks, but this is the so-called punditocracy we’re talking about. Pundits are supposed to have a memory of at least 3 months.
Ok, I see the problem.
Well, for the sake of ventilation, if for no other benefit, let me put this plainly.
Bush, Cheney, Greenspan and the GOP just about trashed America and pushed the world to the edge. They were blunderers at a moment in American history where blundering was particularly dangerous.
Obama inherited a nation in critical care. We’re still there. It’s going to take 10 years to crawl out into a changed world. We aren’t going back to the 1990s, because that path is gone.
Obama can’t “focus like a laser beam”. He’s got to deploy his team on a wide front – holding in some places (economy), strategically retreating in others (climate), pressing the advantage in a few (health care). Obama is not Putin – he has to respond to the chaotic fluctuations of the political environment.
Stuff the laser beams.