We’re at O-Minus-11 Days until the Obama inauguration, and some are wondering if the honeymoon is over before the bride and groom have picked up their first bucket of ice at the Holiday Inn Express.
You got Dems squabbling over bailouts, tax cuts, lightly seasoned CIA chiefs and more. You got a poorly-vetted Bill Richardson, who really looked good with that beard, bailing out with scandal-sooted hands. You got editorial boards around the country saying juuuuusssst a minute on some of these “shovel-ready” projects. You got Netroots loyalists lamenting the Lost Revolution as one Clinton retread after another heads back to power. You got possible shoes to drop when the Pay-to-Play tapes are all made public, with bigfoot O-men possibly enmeshed in Chi-Town sleaze.
Okay, I’m not saying it’s all O-ver now. Anyone who has visited these digital pages over the past few months knows I have a high regard for Obama’s abilities and reasonable confidence (as opposed to messianic faith) that he will make more things better than worse.
But the case for a Pre-Inaugural Flameout makes at least some sense when seen in light of the Feiler Faster Thesis popularized by ur-blogger Mickey Kaus.
Essentially the FFT, which stems from James Gleick’s 1999 book Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, holds that life today happens much faster than it did even ten years ago (reasons why here), and that includes news cycles and presidential honeymoons.
We get so much info so fast these days, and see it masticated and reshaped and rebutted and recanted so quickly, that we lack the patience we once had to see how things play out. (This was perfectly illustrated on Election Night; when Obama was a few electoral votes from going over the top, one TV host asked an Obama supporter how she would feel in the next five or six minutes. So she told us how she would feel, sparing us the agonizing five-minute wait.)
Whether he embraces the FFT or not, you can tell that Obama knows the Faster Faster pace is his enemy. He starts every speech by reminding us how looooooong it took for all these problems to build up, and how looooooonnnnngggggg it’s going to take for him to make a dent in them. I wonder: After he’s been on the job six months and many of these problems are not solved, or, quite possibly, have gotten worse, will people have the patience to wait a bit longer?