Anybody see our president lately? He seems to have gone missing from the pages of the newspapers we read. We know there have been a few sightings of him out on the hustings as he shuttles from one fundraiser to another, making interesting comments like “We can’t wait for Congress.” (Curious thought, that. Does he really have a choice?)
We’re a little disappointed. We had thought that one of the purviews of a leader was to give at least the appearance of leadership; few if any of our political observers can inform us of what Obama might be leading these days, other than the occasional cheer on the rubber chicken circuit. “Yes, we can!” seems to have given way to “Well, maybe we could if they’d just let us,” and grand visions of a restored economy and a renewed national vigor have dissolved in the hard cold rain of reality: bullet trains and ephemeral investments in the sun god notwithstanding, we don’t seem to be heading anywhere warm and fuzzy, and the people are restless indeed.
Equally interesting is the emergence of a new champion for the downtrodden. Nature abhors a vacuum, and that part of our nation that requires a spokesman seems to have despaired of the notion that Obama is that person. Hence “Occupy Somewhere,” that messageless and amorphous pseudopod of the body politic, which seems to have flowed almost effortlessly into the space once occupied by the people’s President. As is Obama, the Occupy folks are disgusted with the banks, angry at Wall Street, scornful of “the rich” and apparently without any useful ideas about what can be done about all this, other than to hurl ever-edgier invective in the general direction of anything remotely commercial. Here’s a great example (thanks to our friend Bill, who posted it on Facebook):
This fellow seems to think he can bring the banking system to its knees by sending it pieces of roofing material. You can get a pretty good idea of his place on the food chain just by checking out the shirt/tie combination he’s sporting. But at least he’s out there trying, and he’s not asking for a billion dollars to re-elect him.
One supposes that the President will emerge from his rope-a-dope sooner or later, and watching the Republican candidates batter each other with pugil sticks isn’t the worst strategy he could pursue (as he has already aptly demonstrated). We wait with wonder for his reappearance, and his latest nostrum for the national condition. We’ve had green jobs, light rail and infrastructure that pays for itself (as long as “itself” means “somebody else”). What strange new wonders may he unveil?