Writing at AOL News, Reason's Nick Gillespie argues that last night's Oval Office speech by Barack Obama was simply the latest example of the president's "vision deficit," or inability to deliver on the hope and change that motivated voters to put him in the White House.
What can only be called President Barack Obama's vision deficit first came into undeniable, turn-your-head-and-cough, full-monty view fewer than 100 days into his presidency, when he started yammering on April 15, 2009, about making sure that the wealthy pay their "fair share" in taxes. Then there was his bold plan to free the nation's cities from traffic jams with a high-speed rail system that pulled not one smoke-belching car off clogged city streets anywhere on the planet.
When it came time to unveil his bold 21st-century stimulus package, it turned out all he was talking about was cash for clunkers, cash for caulkers, and cash for laying asphalt and paying state and local workers for another year or two…
The spill in the gulf will eventually be capped. Here's hoping that—and an effective cleanup—happens sooner rather than later. What will linger long after the last oil ball washes ashore on a sandy beach in Florida or Louisiana is the memory that President Obama, the great avatar of Hope & Change, was slow in responding and weak on details when he finally did. And that his vision on this topic, like all others, consists of soaring platitudes and cliches that, like Icarus' wings, just aren't up to the blazing-hot sun of everyday reality and the catastrophes that come one after another.
Start your day with Reason. Get a daily brief of the most important stories and trends every weekday morning when you subscribe to Reason Roundup.