THE PLANK SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson argues, in today's Washington Post, that President Obama took advantage of the economic crisis to enact health care reform:
America has an ongoing crisis -- an economic crisis of rising unemployment and negative economic growth. Obama clearly believed the economic emergency would give him the opportunity to do anything on the progressive agenda that he wished. Actually, it gave him the burden to do one thing well: respond to the economic emergency. Insofar as health reform is seen as complicating this task -- particularly by the addition of massive, inflationary debt -- the narrative of crisis will continue to work against Obama instead of for him.
Right -- it's unfair for Obama to take advantage of an economic crisis to try to ameliorate a major cause of wage stagantion, job lock and economic anxiety. A president's actions, Gerson believes, should respond to the crisis at hand in the most narrowly-tailored way possible. Like, for instance, responding to the 9/11 attacks by pushing through more tax cuts for the rich.