Barack’s magical mystery tour

President Obama announced tonight that “our day of reckoning has arrived.” How will our new president respond to this epoch-making challenge? If tonight’s speech is any indication, he will respond with wishful, and indeed magical, thinking.

Thus, Vice President Biden will ensure that the Democrats’ porkfest results in no wasted money because “nobody messes with Joe.” Solar energy and other “renewables” will solve our energy and environmental problems. The goal of providing health insurance for every American (which economists estimate would cost roughly $200 billion) will be accomplished, to the extent that Obama said how, through greater efficiencies resulting from the increased use of computers.

Nor is this all. We will have the world’s highest college graduation rate by 2020 because Obama has told the youth of America that “it is no longer an option to drop out” of school and that it is their patriotic duty to commit at least one year to some form of post-high school education. Along the way, we will find the cure for cancer. And as for our national security, Obama “won’t allow terrorists to plot against us.” This overly ambitious goal — more audacious than that of President Bush who merely wanted to make sure we weren’t attacked — will be achieved at no cost to anyone’s civil liberties.

Oddly, I think Obama is so gifted an orator that he can sell this nonsense, at least on this night. His magical mystery tour is coming to take us away, and plenty of Americans are dying to be taken (Nancy Pelosi certainly is — she looked to be in something like the state in which some of us used to listen to the Magical Mystery album). Many more Americans are willing to suspend their disbelief for a little while.

Will Obama eventually be the victim of his own over-promising? Not necessarily. Most Americans won’t care very much if we don’t cure cancer or if the high school drop-out rate remains where it is. They will be happy enough if their 401k rebounds. In that event, the fact that Obama has no clear idea how to bring this about (does anyone?) won’t matter either.

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