Today’s editorial in the WSJ by the president of the United States can be understood on at least two levels.
On one level it is an exercise in reasoned persuasion, on the basis of sound evidence and logic, to move the economic policy in a more sensible direction. If this is the intention, it must be judged an abysmal failure. As my annotations at the link below suggest, the reasoning is faulty, the assertions are vague and unsupported - the rhetoric reads like something out of Orwell's 1984 - "newspeak" - terms that mean the very opposite of what they say.
On a second level, this is a rhetorical play – a big one. I have said for a while that one of my biggest fears is that Obama will reinvent himself as a candidate of the “moderate middle” regain the support of the “moderates” and independents and win reelection in 2012. Is seems to me this editorial is all about that reelection. All form and no substance, it is an attempt to appeal to those who are worried about his commitment to a healthy economy. It is an attempt to allay these fears while not alienating the anti-business crowd too much. He is cleverly walking a tightrope, looking right and left and hoping not to fall.
Will it work?
You can find the editorial, together with my annotations, at the link below.