So here, as if on cue, it being a new day and all, came the Obama administration Monday to announce new arrangements for the way the country does business.
The new big idea: Tell all those banks how much they're going to be allowed to pay executives; let them know the gravy train leaves the track here and now; Washington has their number.
"The [bank pay] proposal," says the New York Times, "is part of a broad set of regulations on executive compensation expected to be announced by the administration as early as this week."
Father knows best, so sit still, kiddies. We bought, last election, into this arresting new way of living. It will be with us for a while. Until ….
Until, perhaps, the cut of the emperor's new clothes becomes clear. Can't say exactly how long that will take, but if I were high in the councils of the Obama administration I would be reading the Greeks for insights into the payback for hubris -- that being the administration's foremost product, evidenced as often as not in silken oratory.
The decree on executive compensation -- which is to apply even to banks that have paid back their TARP loans and extricated themselves from the worst consequences of government oversight -- is more of the same from the temple of Obama. More pride, more promising, more hubris: We'll renew the auto industry and build fuel-efficient cars we defy Americans not to buy; we'll knock together the Arabs' and the Israelis' heads; we'll substitute water and wind for oil and coal in our energy calculus; we'll "prepare every child, everywhere in America, to out-compete any worker, anywhere in the world."
And of course -- naturally, you bet -- we'll make health care available to every American: the project our do-everything administration has put on the fast track for this summer.
Various voters may wave their hats in the air and cry hooray. A different kind of sentiment overtakes others: the impulse to look for a storm cellar, because, brother, days of reckoning, when they arrive, aren't pretty.
It seems pretty clear that just such a day will dawn soon for the Obama crew. Exact predictions are vain, but the Democrats, against their own reading of the case, are staring disaster in the face. They can't deliver on all this: the harder they try, in instances such as health care, the graver grow the likely consequences for them, starting with loss of moral and intellectual credibility.