The Hope Train is about to pull out of the station

My post yesterday (and previous posts suggesting there’s a remote, outside, long-shot, possibility that we’re *not* headlong into an economic Apocalypse) riled* a few people who believe the role of the President should be to scare the hell out of us, because (can’t I see?) this is one of the absolute worst times ever in the history of America which I assume means right up there with the Civil War when 200,000 Union and Confederate soldiers killed each other in battle and 700,000-1,000,000+ died of disease and which I assume also means worse than during the Revolutionary War when the Colonialists had no money whatsoever, and no access to debt, so citizen Robert Morris underwrote the war with personal debt and (I’m snipping lots here) ended up being thrown in prison because he couldn’t pay his debts or when, believe me, I haven’t even started.

Anyway, I appreciate the sentiment and the need some people have to believe the new President’s role is to scare us with their perception of reality .

Rather than lecture me, some people have emailed me a link to , a satirical search engine picture dabove. It’s been around a while, but I had not seen. It’s funny. Thanks for sending me the link. You can stop now.

And for the record: I believe President Obama will begin a new rhetorical tact beginning tonight. He’s going to be more "Bill Clinton/FDR/JFK" and less Jimmy Carter. And when he does, please send the email to him, not me, with your disappointment that he’s back riding on the Hope Train.

*Note to those who don’t realize I’m over-stating the response the post got: I’m over-stating the response the post got.

  • Not sure if you have seen my last comment on your previous post but the gist of it is this: Obama can afford to go down the gloom road in a way Carter never could because he has the skills to bring the hope when he needs to – Carter not so much. Also – given the nature of the info-climate we live in I just don’t think the president holds as much sway as in years past. He has to play to a general perceived reality – even as he tries to mold that perception into something else – because if he doesn’t he looks like he’s out of touch. Carter’s sin was more egregious because at that point in time the president has much more control over the social tone – he could have played up the hope because his bully pulpit was a bit higher.

    Anyhow – I agree with you about tonight’s speech – I think he’ll bring the hope – but I don’t think it will make much of a difference either way. The din of the datasphere will drown him out. As soon as the next bank goes under, or the next jobs report is released, or the next negative data point, or rueful economic indicator is dredged up by joe reporter or jim blogger all that hope will dissipate.

  • Hudge

    Given the timing of the speech, I think it’s only appropriate to reference T.S. Eliot’s poem Ash Wednesday

  • Hudge

    Apparently, the message is taking effect: