That's quite a speech. Granted, it was more-than-a-little presumptuous of Obama to suggest that his words said as much as the words of the Declaration or MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. But cut the guy some slack for a little campaign puffery. He was exactly right to say that the first order of business for a liberal president was to restore the public's trust in activist government. Even a confirmed Reaganite (who knows in his bones that government is the problem rather than the solution to our problems) had to admit that Obama was making a pretty good start of it
Flash forward to August 31 of this year, when these words appeared:
“I’ve stopped pretending that the president’s jobs speech scheduled for next week is going to matter. I’m tired of speculating about what it will contain and whether its proposals will be big or small, bold or timid.Pop Quiz: Which pundit is rolling his eyes at the prospect of another Obama speech delivered at another alleged “inflection point” in our public affairs? Is it someone over at National Review or The Weekly Standard with an ideological axe to grind?
“Here is what will actually happen: President Barack Obama will give a speech. It will include a mixture of ideas the administration has pushed for some time (extending the payroll tax cut, investing in infrastructure, passing trade agreements) and some modest new additions (a tax cut for companies that hire new workers, for example). . . .
“Obama’s speech will achieve nothing. It will go nowhere because it has nowhere to go.”
Answer: No, it’s Ezra Klein, one of the president’s more intelligent and devoted supporters. To my knowledge, he has never given the slightest appearance of doubting that intelligent public administration can solve our most pressing problems. Nor does he need to be advised that words matter. He's just another guy who has just stopped thinking that Obama’s do.