Peter Suderman at Reason gives a world-class review of The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery.
Despite the quasi-provocative title—designed, no doubt to help the book sell—Suderman characterizes the effort (from Noam Scheiber, a writing worker from The New Republic) as a hagiography and an apology for the Administration writ large.
The major players are all professional Democrats and liberals of one stripe or another. Scheiber’s detailed, thoroughly reported account describes their efforts at responding to the faltering economy while pursuing the rest of Obama’s ambitious agenda. In the process, Scheiber takes as a given his protagonists’ centrality to the success or failure of the economy.
It is an assumption that his subjects share. Their endless infighting and many personal differences are what drive the book and furnish its occasional bursts of dramatic urgency. But they are united in a conviction that the system is broken—and that only they know how to fix it.
Of course, they didn’t fix it, based in large part to the oversized and totally unwarranted hubris of the President. Meanwhile, the President continues to blame George W. Bush.
The older I get, the more I see humility as an essential characteristic, something that’s missing from the I, me, my of this Administration.
Read the whole thing. It’s a great review.