Dept. of Pots and Kettles

DEPT. OF POTS AND KETTLES…. Either the president’s conservative critics have very short memories, or they assume we do.

From crisis to catastrophe. Off a cliff. Dark, darker, darkest. Mortal danger of absolute collapse. Armageddon.

President Obama and top Democrats on Capitol Hill are deploying these and other stark predictions of doom and gloom to push through their economic-stimulus package. In terms not heard in Washington since the late 1970s under President Jimmy Carter’s watch, the new president has sought to terrify Americans into supporting the $800 billion-plus bailout bill. […]

Brad Blakeman, a senior aide to Mr. Bush from 2001 to 2004, said the new president’s language is immature.

“It’s not presidential. An American leader needs to be hopeful and optimistic — and truthful. Everything he says is parsed; everything he says is searched for deep meaning. When he goes to ‘DefCon 5’ on the economy and says that we’re on the brink of catastrophe, it’s absolutely insane.”

The irony is almost overwhelming. A loyal Bushie, who heard his boss spend years engaging in shameless demagoguery (see “clouds, mushroom” and “uranium, from Africa”) based on nothing but neocon fantasies, believes presidents have to keep their rhetoric in check and never forget to be “truthful.” Sure, Blakeman, tell us another one.

Keep in mind, Obama’s dire warnings about the economy are well grounded in reality. It’s not “insane” to fear an economic collapse given the situation we’re in. The president has a choice — pretend the news isn’t scary, or give honest assessments while vowing to act. Bush preferred the prior approach; Obama prefers the latter.

What’s more, have you noticed the bizarre double-standards we’ve seen emerge in recent weeks?

When Bush uses over-the-top language to convince Americans about perceived security threat, he’s being “presidential.” When Obama issues dire warnings about the economy, he’s being “pessimistic.”

When Bush ignores the congressional minority, he’s being “principled.” When Obama engages the congressional minority but declines to give them what they want, he’s being “partisan.”

When Bush trashes constitutional norms, it’s evidence of “seriousness.” When Obama is in the Oval Office without a jacket, he’s being “disrespectful to the presidency.”

When liberals criticize Bush during a crisis, they’re traitors who are aiding and abetting the enemy. When conservatives criticize Obama during a crisis, they are doing their patriotic duty.

Good to know.

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