"If you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill."
That was part of Barack Obama's response to an exuberant fan who shouted "I love you!" at a campaign rally.
And so it has come to this. "The One" has gone from messiah to pleading like a teenage boy on a date. "Come on, baby. If you love me, you'll do it."
A gossip website reports that the New York Times is working on a story that the president is depressed. That's unconfirmed. But if he isn't depressed, I'd hope the self-proclaimed "paper of record" would investigate why on earth he's not.
According to the standard calendar, autumn is fast approaching. According to the White House calendar, we're finishing up our second "Recovery Summer." But for the president, this is darkest winter.
When Obama unveiled his first stimulus, he promised it would lift 2 million people out of poverty. Instead, the Census Bureau announced this week that 2.6 million more people fell below the poverty line last year, pushing the number of poor people to the highest level in a half-century.
That stimulus was also intended to jump-start a new economy, fueled by high-paying clean energy jobs. The crown jewel of that multibillion-dollar effort was a solar power company called Solyndra, which not only closed its doors and fired its workers, but has exposed the White House as at best politically incompetent and ideologically blinkered.
Now, in fairness, the Department of Energy considers the bankrupt company a winner. "The project that we supported succeeded," Damien LaVera, a Department of Energy spokesman, told the New York Times. "The facility was producing the product it said it would produce, and consumers were buying the product. The company struggled because the market has changed dramatically."
That's true. If Obama had been able to pass cap-and-trade as the market once foolishly expected, things might have been different. He wanted to make electricity rates "skyrocket," which could have made Solyndra's expensive products profitable. As it is, Solyndra was only marginally more legitimate an enterprise than Paul Newman's bookie parlor in "The Sting." At least Newman only stung one mobster. With this green con job, we're all feeling the bite.