This should be the setting for a Clark Kent to step into a phone booth and put on a Superman uniform.
A lot of people in late 2008 thought they had spotted Superman. They elected him President. But he has greatly disappointed all but his most diehard fans, and of course the Wall Street banks and the other big money interests.
Barack Obama has failed to take seriously the worst recession since the Great Depression. He has played Nero fiddling while Rome has burned.
Here is a posting from Paul Krugman's NY Times blog that highlights just one area (of many) in which Obama has failed:
I haven’t written at all about HAMP — the administration’s disastrously failed home mortgage modification program, which was supposed to be the modern version of FDR’s Home Owners Loan Corporation. My excuse, such as it is, is that I don’t presume to know the legal ins and outs well enough to devise an alternative.The answer isn't the Tea Party of bringing back the ideological insanity of Bush Republicans. It is to toss out the incompetent, do-nothing Democrats and replace them with fresh blood that will be responsive to the public need. It requires replacing the blowhards and talking heads with people willing to roll up their sleeves and do the hard work required to pull America back from the brink. It means getting Obama out of the way and bringing in somebody how can lead and who understands that leadership means telling people hard truths and calling on them to rise up and face those hardships in united action to create a better tomorrow.
But still: this is a case where the administration had (and still has) the money, $50 billion from TARP. That should be enough to dangle some pretty big carrots in front of lenders. And it could have had sticks, too: it could have advocated cramdown, it could have taken advantage of the popular anger to put pressure on the banks at any time — and especially as the foreclosure scandal has broken.
And HAMP’s failure isn’t news: it has been obvious for more than a year that the thing wasn’t working. I mean, the money wasn’t even being spent, which is a scandal in itself at a time when the economy so desperately needed help. And tales of the Kafkaesque process have been spreading for many months; read David Dayen’s series at Firedoglake.
But there has been nothing; no significant changes, no major rethinks, just excuses.
I really don’t understand the passivity here.