Q. What do the Danish pre-existentialist philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, actor/comic Steve Martin, and this year’s voters have in common?
A. All took, or will take, a leap of faith. That was never more clear to me than it was this morning as I listened to Obama’s chief economics brain grope his way through questions about just what Obama would do about this out-of-control economic cataclysm. He sounded about as knowledgeable and trust-inspiring as I would after skimming a couple of papers and checking out The Economist for thirty minutes. And you do not want me micro-managing the economy.
Because this is a blog and it’s an election year, I know I’m supposed to insert something insulting, preferably obscene here about Obama or McCain. (That’s why half the blogs out there have “Rant” in the title.) But I don’t want to insult them. I feel sorry for them. I just don’t think either side has any kind of “fix” for this, and I’ll just bet that inside the Oval Office, there is no magic panel of dials and levers that economic advisers use to adjust the economy. “Now be sure that one is set on 3, Barry. Put it on 1 or 2 and you’ve got too little regulation. Go up to 4 or 5, and you are way over regulated.”
Take Obama’s money guru and McCain’s. Give both a big shot of truth serum and I think we’d hear them say in unison: “This is scary as hell and we don’t have enough sure fixes to fit on a bumper sticker. We’re going to blame and discredit each other until Election Day when–oh, my God–one of will be elected. Then we’ll get in a conference room, pull down the blinds, erase the white board, stare at it and look around and say, in the immortal words of Robert Redford in The Candidate, “What do we do now?”
That’s enough for today. The plate is full. Let’s not even think about Iraq, immigration, energy, the environment. . . If you feel absolutely certain in your heart of hearts that Mac will do a better job with these massive problems than Obama, or Obama will do better than Mac, I envy your certainty. And I’ll have whatever you’re drinking. Make it a double. The rest of us will take that Leap of Faith November 4th.