There is a clear message being sent of “we’ll get this, or else.”
Radicals protesting the G20 summit transmit the message clearly.
Even President Barack Obama has gently used veiled threats and insinuations that he’ll go to any lengths to get what he wants.
“We won” flies in the face of bipartisanship and comity.
When Obama made his “outrage” remarks about the AIG bonuses, that was quickly followed up by Rep. Barney Frank asking for the names of all the AIG bonus recipients.
Then ACORN showed up to protest at the homes of some of those same AIG people.
Yesterday, two Washington Post reporters said the President of the United States is “attempting to harness public anger over the financial crisis” to pass his budget.
Once or twice, the president has lamely, limply, really, tried to mimic FDR’s “nothing to fear but fear itself” speech; but more often than not, “No Drama Obama” has hinted at other emotions beyond calm.
Obama is banking that his strong poll numbers will translate into the public trust and confidence he’ll need to reform, some say overhaul, and some say radically attack the financial system and Wall Street.
But pollster Frank Luntz and others say although the public approves of Obama himself, they reject some of his policies.
Public anger as a political tool? That’s been used before but rarely by the president.
And the use of fear by the President of the United States at this time is disconcerting at the least. Americans have plenty of fear and anger already: after losing jobs, retirement funds, and homes.
What American need is trust. But at a time when trust in Wall Street, bankers and others is at low ebb, the president is talking about fear, crisis, catastrophe, anger and “outrage.”
Laughing on Leno and “60 Minutes” was a lame attempt to blind the facts.
My imagination running amok? Hardly. In Scotland, protesters attacked a bank executive’s home and inflicted thousands of dollars of damage. In Paris the protesters rioted, setting tires on fire in the streets frequented by tourists. Around the world, the economic crisis is turning from simmering outrage to a boil of fear and violence.
The G20 will be something to watch: not just because of the usually boring diplomatic and financial talk. This time there are real issues and differences and the future of the American and world banking systems could surely hang in the outcome.
But added to that is an atmosphere of fear and even violence: and that is not a good way to do business.