There is far more to fear from this administration than its amateurism in governing. The urgency with which it has rushed through a monumental spending bill, the actual spending of which will not be completed even after 2010, ought to set off alarm bells among those who are not in thrall to the euphoria of Mr. Obama’s presidency.
The urgency was real, even if the reason given was phony. President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, let slip a valuable clue when he said that a crisis should not go to waste, that a crisis is an opportunity to do things that you could not do otherwise.
Think about the utter cynicism of that. During a crisis, a panicked public will let you get away with things you couldn’t get away with otherwise.
A corollary of that is that you had better act quickly while the crisis is at hand, without congressional hearings or public debates about what you are doing. Above all, you must act before the economy begins to recover on its own.
The party line is that the market has failed so disastrously that only the government can save us. It is proclaimed in Washington and echoed in the media.
The last thing the administration can risk is delay that could allow the market to begin recovering on its own. That would undermine, if not destroy, a golden opportunity to restructure the American economy in ways that would allow politicians to micromanage other sectors of the economy the way they have micromanaged the housing market into disaster.
Amen to that.