Community organizer that he was, Barack Obama has ideas and notions seemingly formed by the experience of issuing directives rather than that of persuading customers. A pity. Some background in business might have fostered appreciation of how the businessperson yearns not for government that costs him plenty and orders him around; instead, for government whose rhetoric and policies say to him, go for it!
We circle back to where we started. Calvin Coolidge probably couldn't have achieved a jobless rate of 5 percent this year, so hard was the economy's fall in 2007-'08. A rate of 9.6, nevertheless? When Obama promised nothing higher than 8, following the stimulus? How come? And what next?
The sovereign voters on Nov. 2 gave a preliminary answer to that latter question. What we need is in some measure what we seem sure to get, thanks to the Republican resurgence: namely, broad political support for the ideal of encouraging rather than stiff-arming those most eager to create jobs, who seek nothing fancier than the chance to succeed. That means lower taxes; it means lighter regulations; it means, on the part of the powerful, friendly words and actions instead of scowls and kicks in the shin.
There's finally the chance to get this unemployment thing right -- hardly overnight, but with good intentions and policies, soon enough to make sure the shin-kickers enjoy a good long rest on the political sidelines.