Bulls-eye

Noemie Emery in The Weekly Standard gets a bulls-eye with this superb analysis: “Fault Lines”:

A few years ago, you met a dark, handsome stranger, with a cool, remote manner and a smooth line of talk. You didn’t know him well, but he had a certain je ne sais quoi that you found irresistible. He was yourself, only better; yourself, only cooler; yourself, as you were in your dreams. You were a long-suffering liberal Democrat, and he was your airbrushed fantasy president come to life: FDR without polio, JFK without women, John Kerry with brains, Al Gore with charisma, Bill Clinton without those cringe-making vibes from Hot Springs. You swooned and you sighed, you got him elected, and you settled in to see how great life could be with someone like you in the Oval Office. And then things began to go wrong.

At first, the symptoms of trouble were small ones—a stimulus here, a GM bailout there—but the unemployment numbers kept inching up, and people got cross. You called them racists, clinging to guns and to God out of bitterness, but when they began to make up a majority of the country (including a large chunk of the president’s former supporters), reality had to set in. Or rather, reality had to be acknowledged, within limits: Things were bad, and one had to admit it, but at the same time one couldn’t blame him. He was in charge, but not really responsible; he was around, but somehow apart from his government. So the effects of his actions—recession, malaise, distress, unemployment—could never be traced to their source. It was the fault of George Bush, the fault of bad luck, the fault of the universe. Fault had to be outsourced, to external and sinister forces. And the forces you thought up were these:

Read the entire excellent analysis.