The Blog

Barnes: Washington's and the 'Recovery Summer' That Wasn't

8:40 AM, Sep 7, 2010 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

How could the Obama administration have miscalculated the economic trajectory of the summer so badly as to have given them what some have called the biggest premature victory declaration since the USS Abraham Lincoln?

Maybe it's that they all live in Washington, a town insulated by its obstinate liberal ideology and the giant job boom a liberal ideology brings to Washington. Fred Barnes:

Washington and the rest of America have grown apart. And the gap has widened as those in Washington and outside have experienced the economic downturn, the Democratic agenda, and the Obama presidency quite differently.

The disconnect isn't new. Only its breadth is. And so is the striking contrast between how the powers that be in Washington see the world and the country's future and how much of the rest of America does.

Washington has often been unpopular, accused of being out of touch and parasitic. One reason is that Washington endures recessions with less discomfort than anywhere else, and that's truer than ever today. The federal government has added thousands of jobs since Mr. Obama became president, making an affluent town even wealthier. The unemployment rate for the metropolitan Washington area was an acceptable 6.3% in July, compared to 9.5% nationally. Though the housing market inside the Beltway has cooled, prices have scarcely dipped at all.

As Fred notes, the only thing Washington and the public actually do agree on is that having Obama on the trail isn't going to win too many hearts and minds. It's as if Americans have absolutely no respect for our great Orataor-in-Chief, who gave the memorable and moving "Slurpee Address" just yesterday.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers