In this lazy summer of crushing gas prices, home foreclosures and general misery all around, the President the other day gave a news conference in which he pronounced himself an “optimist”. Things are really not as bad as they seem. Before taking the usual tough questions by the White House press corps, he tried to deflect any criticism that he, the lamest of lame duck Presidents with a lower-than-low—28%, according to the latest Gallup poll– approval rating, is really not out of touch with the state of the American economy:
The bottom line is this: We’re going through a tough time, but our economy has continued growing, consumers are spending, businesses are investing, exports continue increasing, and American productivity remains strong. We can have confidence in the long-term foundation of our economy, and I believe we will come through this challenge stronger than ever before.
I’m beginning to wonder why even have Bush news conferences, given that those who are feeling the pinch of the economy first hand, don’t expect this administration to provide any short-term solutions anytime soon. There is absolutely no political incentive for Bush to announce any new economic plans or bailout measures. We certainly don’t expect any emergency gas price reductions either. As he said the other day:
If I had a magic wand — but the President doesn’t have a magic wand. You just can’t say, low gas. It took us a while to get here and we need to have a good strategy to get out of it.
It’s not about a magic wand, but it is about understanding what the average American has to go through each day. How it feels to go through the whole new benchmark for personal pain –the $100 it now takes to fill a gas tank—and how this affects a host of other industries and aspects of our daily lives. This assumes that the President would admit to the wholesale destruction of the economy based on his own policies, but of course that’s not about to happen in this election year. Congress, which he is wont to blame for this mess, has barely three weeks left in this current fiscal year to pass any bills. But then even Speaker Pelosi took issue with the President this week, calling him a “total failure”.
Well, that should guarantee some cooperation while we continue to suffer through this sizzling summer. No wonder we’re packing them in this weekend for the new Batman movie. Wouldn’t you want to dive into an air conditioned theatre, grab a tub of popcorn, and interrupt reality for 152 minutes too? If not, you can all get prepared for the nationwide “tour of destruction” that Mr. Bush, almost as a farewell, is about to launch. Oh, you didn’t know? This bit of news comes from the clever folks at the Onion: