According to Bruce, the situation is getting dire.
I first met Bruce in Central California within a week after the President was inaugurated. At that time I was still full of optimism about an economic rebound and the future prospects of this country. Several months later, in May of 2009, he and I ran into each other in Houston, and my hopes were still high about the nation being able to “work around” Obama; although it was clear by then that this President was not going to perform a Clintoneque pivot to the center, I still had the starry-eyed view of someone who had lived through the Carter presidency, and saw that as the lowest-possible “floor” of presidential performance. Bruce reminded me that I had spoken, in California, about Americans as being “neurotically productive,” as a way of explaining my optimism, my feeling that no President could really hold us back. After all, it had taken FDR so much work to prolong the Depression, and much as we love to lionize him publicly, surely we weren’t going to make those mistakes all over again.
“I stand by that,” I told him. “We’ll work around this guy.”
I should listen to my elders.
The next two years are going to be very painful, and we may spend another decade after that undoing all the damage from the Obama presidency.
There are tough times ahead: at the very least, this is the beginning of a full-scale depression. We will be very lucky to avert a very bloody war, of the type that isn’t fought via surgical strikes and drones in a land far away.