"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true," observed a character in James Branch Cabell's 1926 novel "The Silver Stallion."
We're reminded of this quote by some of the postelection commentary we've been reading, though what we've observed has a bit of a twist. Whereas liberal optimists are proclaiming that we live in the best of all possible worlds, conservative optimists are asserting that things are (or are about to become) unspeakably horrible.
An example of the former: "Tuesday's surprisingly emphatic victory [for President Obama] could prove more consequential than most had dared to dream," writes Bob Moser of The American Prospect. "Americans made foundational choices in this election," he claims, by which he means that the voters rejected a straw man: "the most radical right-wing agenda a major political party has ever offered."
It's standard lefty cheerleading and demonization of (now vanquished) opponents. But the passage that caught our attention was an aside in the course of predicting a glorious second term for Obama: "It also won't hurt that Democrats will now get to take credit for the strong growth that most economists believe will occur over the next four years."
Hang on here. Wasn't that already supposed to have happened by now? Obama himself said in February 2009 that if it didn't, his presidency would be "a one-term proposition." As it turned out, his prediction was mistaken in two ways: both too optimistic about the economy and too pessimistic about his own political prospects. ...More HERE