We didn’t see much of the soaring rhetoric that Obama is so good at tonight. Now wasn’t the time for mere inspiration. Instead, his tone was of a sort of national CEO, talking as if he could look at America’s balance sheet, reorganize various departments, and lead us to a more prosperous fiscal year. Judged on those terms, it was a successful speech.
But of course a country isn’t a corporation, and can’t be run like one. Obama’s brand of managerial liberalism blurs that distinction. The continuing ascendance of the notion that the president is the all-powerful boss of the country is more than a little worrying.