Sometimes, we forget just how momentous this past election was. It was momentous because it culminated in a rejection of the politics of the past eight years, and also, to some extent, an understanding that a very new direction was required given the gravity of the many crises facing the US and the world. The only reason Barack Obama is at that podium is the crisis we are in. In any other time, Hillary would be standing there, or McCain. He was elected to change things profoundly, and as he took office, the hurricane forces of economic collapse strengthened. We all know this. Without this context, none of it makes sense. With this context, everything makes sense.
And what does Obama's response to these multiple crises look like two months in at this point? It looks to me like relentless, detailed, reasonable pragmatism. It is what I hoped for. The Geithner package is neither right nor left: it's about solving the problem within the existing structures as far as possible.
Will it work? I cannot know. But it is not dividing one half of the country against another; it is resisting the most radical and irreversible move; it is part of an entire package designed to move the world economy out of a dangerous abyss; if it fails, nationalization remains a list-ditch option. I see it as a good faith effort, and prepared meticulously in the time-table dictated by the crisis and simple human competence....
I said it in the campaign and I'll say it again. He has flaws; he deserves pushback; he needs criticism. But we're lucky to have him right now, in my fallible judgment. Extremely lucky.I agree with Andrew here, except that I am more skeptical about the economic team of Summers and Geithner because of their backgrounds. I am open to be convinced otherwise, but I need actions and not just words for that.