Michelle Obama made a campaign appearance in Nashville today. She said:
This President has brought us out of the dark and into the light.
One wonders: do Mrs. Obama and her speechwriters really not understand how discordant this sounds to most Americans? The messianic bit was over the top in 2008, but now? Now, with unemployment up, employment down, the economy stagnant, the debt exploding, the “green jobs” program a fiasco, our foreign policy in disarray? Do they seriously not comprehend that many Americans, maybe most, recall the Bush administration more as a golden age than an era of darkness? Even the comedians have tumbled to the fact that everything is worse under Obama.
Professor Jacobson reminds us what Obama’s backers expected from his administration, back before they had their crushing encounter with reality. The perennially clueless Matt Yglesias looked forward to the era of balanced budgets under Obama the miracle-worker; the headline was “Barack Obama, Deficit Slayer:”
If you look beyond the very short-term, the deficit situation will begin to turnaround next year, that is, before the  election. Under current forecasts, the deficit will fall by a record amount from 2009 to 2010. … [T]he big change in the right direction will give the White House the breathing room it needs and alter the politics substantially. Anyone want to bet that there will be a cover story somewhere next year calling Obama the deficit killer?
As the economy recovers, tax revenues will rise, social safety net outlays will fall, and stimulus measures will begin to tamp down. If we can assume further growth in 2011, the complete expiry of Recovery Act provisions, and the winding down of the Iraq War, that’ll be further deficit reduction.
Deficit slayer, indeed! Virtually every liberal must be dismayed by the vast gulf between what they expected from Obama and what he has delivered, but how many of them are willing to admit it? Don’t hold your breath waiting; but in the meantime, the administration and its spokesmen should put the messianic shtick back on the shelf.
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