The Grim Repeater

Wall Street Journal, Thursday, April 19th, 2012:

Wonderland by Daniel Henniger, Deputy editor, editorial page,

 It’s 1936 All Over Again

The Obama 2012 campaign is channeling the ghost of Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Depression.

 With a small group of credulous millionaires joining him at a White House séance the other day to support the Buffett Rule, the Conjurer-in-Chief called forth the spirit of Ronald Reagan, who the president averred would have supported his magic tax on “millionaires.” There have been 43 other presidents of the United States. The last one you would associate with Barack Obama is Ronald Reagan.…

FDR’s 1936 speech, however tough and accusatory, had Roosevelt’s natural personal buoyancy. Barack Obama has no such gift for popular uplift. Reagan and Bill Clinton had it, and it was an underestimated piece of George W. Bush’s two successful presidential runs.

Barack Obama is, frankly, a pretty grim guy. He does try to mitigate the downer mood—”This is also about growth”—but ultimately his audiences always hear about the ditch someone else put them in and the superhuman effort “we” have to make to pull out of this deep hole.

Barack Obama is grim because he believes, and has always believed, that dark forces are actively at work in America to shaft the middle class. So do his closest supporters. So you run on anger and antipathy.

Can you re-run Roosevelt’s Depression strategy without Roosevelt? In tough times, some voters will buy it. But I don’t think enough will to produce a majority of the beleaguered.

Barack Obama is asking people to cast a less-than-hopeful vote in November. Resentment is not something most people in 21st-century America carry around in the front of their heads. Once Barack Obama stirs it up, as he’s doing now, he has to sustain it for six months. He is asking people to vote out of something resembling, well, depression. (emphasis mine)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: