Friday, March 16, 2012

Prediction and suggestion

Prediction: That This American Life will ultimately come out of this Mike Daisey fiasco looking better for having so seriously addressed a problem most media organizations sweep under the rug.

Suggestion: Embracing the same logic that the public wants to support organizations that do the adult thing when confronted with a mistake, President Obama should take direct responsibility for high gas prices in 2012 - even though the responsibility isn't really (or even practically at all) his. By declaring that he's big enough and mature enough to accept responsibility for a bad thing, he'll look so vastly different, better, more elevated than whomever his GOP opponent will be - and especially in comparison to the spineless Mitt Romney. Congress is historically unpopular because of partisanship - this isn't just some Brooksian-centrist fantasy voter we're talking about, but one who, like most adults, thinks the worst of her elected officials these days.

And anyway, if you want to blame Obama for high gas prices, you're going to do it whether or not he accepts responsibility. It's not clear who he'd lose by saying "I take full responsibility for not keeping your gas prices as low as possible, because I believe we have more urgent priorities and we all have to confront challenges like this together." But I think there are people on the fence, part of the original Obama coalition who've been feeling disenchanted lately, who expected him to be the kind of West Wing President this would be typical of.

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