Once again, President Bush started our day with a step-by-step diary of how the nation ended up in an "extraordinary crises" that paralyzed the economy. His old daring, defying voice was absent as he addressed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and much of what he said everybody already knew anyway. It was almost the old excuse that the culprit didn't know the gun was loaded. I am a terrible economist but I do suspect that the perfect storm that shut down our wallets didn't just happen in a few weeks but began to gather with rising force more than a few years ago while the Bush administration sat inattentively on the sidelines to avoid intruding on the wild spree of the free marketplace. And thank you, too, Alan Greenspan. Obviously none of the Bush economic circle chose to heed Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman's warnings when a lot of people were euphorically cashing in on the housing market. It was Teddy Roosevelt, I believe, who referred to the tycoons of his day who by hook or crook made fortunes as "the wealthy criminal class." Sounds about right.
'Todd Purdum's bouncy address to the Akron Roundtable the Tangier caromed nicely between serious reflection on the current presidential campaign and light humor that helped one a bit to digest the salty pork chops on the luncheon plates. Purdum, the national editor of Vanity Fair, described the current campaign as a race between an "egghead and an egg breaker," asserted that race is "the question of the year," lamented the ugly tone of the combat and observed that the official lineup on both sides of the ballot suggested that "any boy or girl can grow up to be president. It's just one of the risks we take." He also expressed his uneasiness with Sarah Palin's presence on the GOP ticket - a "skin cell" from the presidency.
It does seem, well, awkward to me that the Justice Department, as well as John McCain, have fogged up the past few weeks of the presidential campaign with investigations and accusations of mischief and alleged misdeeds of ACORN. There won't be enough time to prove the validity of any of this. But that's not the point, The goal now is to confuse the public even more than it is already confused to create doubt and suspicion about THAT ONE. Add this to the quadrennial GOP complaints of voter fraud, such as the current challenge to tossed-up Ohio, and it soon dovetails nicely with what Republican officials have long told me what they wish for on Election Day: rain, snow, anything that discourages the turnout. Do their lobbyists hang out with the meteorologists, too, on K Street?