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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Brother David Ignatius Explains it all to You

I don't want to take anything from Ron Fournier, but I think this column by David Ignatius is the perfect expression of village idiocy.

It has it all
1) Ballance.  Ignatius neglects to mention that Obama proposed the sequester when the only alternative was default.  He doesn't mention that there was a debt ceiling crisis in 2011.  He more or less accuses Democrats (all of us) of treason to balance his criticism of insane Republicans.
2) The cult of the Presidency.  Obama should take control "firmly" by making a "Presidential Statement".  Here (my 2nd link to that post) Krugman mocks the idiocy better than I can here.
3) Obama is too mean.  It would work if his statement were addressed to all Americans not just those who voted for him and he is playing the blame game.  Obama is too nice.  He must speak firmly with the Republicans as Ignatius speaks firmly to drunk drivers and take the wheel firmly in his hands.  If I am very charitable and interpret this is a proposal rather than a metaphor run off the road, then I conclude that Ignatius just proposed a coup.  In any case he's doing it wrong.
4) Pompous and very bad writing. OK I write for shit, but I'm not pretentious.  Ignatius uses an simily -- Republicans are like drunk drivers.  He makes a mess of it.  He says Obama should firmly take the wheel (a coup?).  He also says that the thing to do when in a car driven by a drunk is to speak firmly.  Has Ignatius attempted to grab the wheel from a drunk driver ?  I sure haven't.  I don't think that works very well.  In any case, when he gets off his high horse of a metaphor which has run off the rails, Ignatius is back to proposing speech a "presidential statement" which will solve everything somehow.  So what do you do if the drunk just keeps driving and ignores your firm command to hand over the keys ?  I don't know and I don't think Ignatius does.  He's lead into a trap by his metaphor  If someone is in the drivers seat with their foot on the gas and just won't listen, there really isn't much a passenger can do.  Obama isn't just a passenger.  Ignatius chose the metaphor.  It doesn't serve his purposes.  But the dozens of words are too valuable to erase.
5) no consideration at all of the possibility that it might be a bad idea to cut the deficit immediately when unemployment is 7.9% and we are in a liquidity trap.  Ignatius goes off topic to discuss policy.  He thinks that he has explained what is to be done when he suggests cutting Medicare and social security and "modestly" increasing tax revenues.  He didn't have to insert this in a column on how the Republicans in congress are acting insanely and on what can be done about this.

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