Saturday, November 05, 2011

Today's Must-Read-the art of the possible and the manipulation of history

A great Ezra Klein analysis of the new Suskind book about the economic crisis and Obama's handling of it. Suskind does what opponents, critics and fantasists love doing: he simplifies complex situations, evades hard facts, ignores contradictory evidence, and assumes he would do better than the people he writes about. Economics is a dismal science, politics is an ugly business and democracy is a grueling enterprise, but all three are necessary. Fantasists do not perform well in these fields but they have no trouble writing about the practical people who do the work.

In effect, Suskind and many other Obama critics are impatient, impractical, unforgiving people, with short attention spans and short memories. Obama didn't have the luxury FDR had. FDR arrived when the worst had happened and was given a large majority to put things right. We could have done worse this time around. We may yet do better if we show, wisdom, patience, practical sense and unity.

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