Later, the White House press corps pressed spokesman Jay Carney on whether Obama would be unveiling a deficit reduction plan "in a form of being scorable by the Congressional Budget Office." When Carney demurred, Politico's Glenn Thrush asked: "You said he will be contributing to the process, talking about the super committee, but he won't be leading it. He is the leader of the free world. Why isn't he leading this process?" Carney responded: "Glenn. Look, this President, his leadership on these issues is quite established."
Quite established to whom? After Obama's statement, the markets fell another 210 points. Obama is unwilling to call Congress back from its August recess and push for a larger stimulus agenda because he fears alienating already skeptical independents. But he can't bargain constructively on deficit reduction with Republicans because liberals will abandon him if he pushes for real entitlement reform. As a result, Obama is paralyzed politically. All he can do is watch the market, and his reelection chances, drop.
Obama is a non-entity, and it seems like he isn't even trying.
President Obama: Please resign. It's obvious you don't really want to be president anymore, and we're pretty sick of you as well.
Update: Obama is so out of his depth.
Socrates taught that wisdom begins in the recognition of how little we know. Mr. Obama is perpetually intent on telling us how much he knows. Aristotle wrote that the type of intelligence most needed in politics is prudence, which in turn requires experience. Mr. Obama came to office with no experience. Plutarch warned that flattery "makes itself an obstacle and pestilence to great houses and great affairs." Today's White House, more so than any in memory, is stuffed with flatterers.
Much is made of the president's rhetorical gifts. This is the sort of thing that can be credited only by people who think that a command of English syntax is a mark of great intellectual distinction. Can anyone recall a memorable phrase from one of Mr. Obama's big speeches that didn't amount to cliché? As for the small speeches, such as the one we were kept waiting 50 minutes for yesterday, we get Triple-A bromides about America remaining a "Triple-A country." Which, when it comes to long-term sovereign debt, is precisely what we no longer are under Mr. Obama.
Then there is Mr. Obama as political tactician. He makes predictions that prove false. He makes promises he cannot honor. He raises expectations he cannot meet. He reneges on commitments made in private. He surrenders positions staked in public. He is absent from issues in which he has a duty to be involved. He is overbearing when he ought to be absent. At the height of the financial panic of 1907, Teddy Roosevelt, who had done much to bring the panic about by inveighing against big business, at least had the good sense to stick to his bear hunt and let J.P. Morgan sort things out. Not so this president, who puts a new twist on an old put-down: Every time he opens his mouth, he subtracts from the sum total of financial capital.