There is one of Aesop’s fables, entitled “The Satyr and the Peasent,”
“A Man had lost his way in a wood one bitter winter’s night. As he was roaming about, a Satyr came up to him, and finding that he had lost his way, promised to give him a lodging for the night, and guide him out of the forest in the morning. As he went along to the Satyr’s cell, the Man raised both his hands to his mouth and kept on blowing at them. “What do you do that for?” said the Satyr.
“My hands are numb with the cold,” said the Man, “and my breath warms them.”
After this they arrived at the Satyr’s home, and soon the Satyr put a smoking dish of soup before him. But when the Man raised his spoon to his mouth he began blowing upon it. “And what do you do that for?” said the Satyr. “The soup is too hot, and my breath will cool it.”
“Out you go,” said the Satyr. “I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.”
Sometimes, it is the oldest lessons most quickly forgotten… So, they get updated for the modern day:
During the fall campaign, Obama mercilessly mocked his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, for declaring, “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Obama’s team painted the veteran senator as out of touch and failing to grasp the challenges facing the country.
On Sunday, economic adviser Christina Romer was asked during an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if the fundamentals of the economy were sound. “Of course they are sound,” she replied.
“The fundamentals are sound in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology,” she said. “We know that — that temporarily we’re in a mess, right? We’ve seen huge job loss, we’ve seen very large falls in GDP. So certainly in the short run we’re in a — in a bad situation.”
Just a week ago, White House Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag declared that “fundamentally, the economy is weak.”
Of course, this modern telling still lacks an ending…
Jim adds: Here’s the Romer video. Watch her twist.
And here is the Obama campaign ad it ran in September criticizing McCain for saying the economy is fundamentally sound. You better be sitting down.
Now … here is President Obama on Friday.
Outrage? Don’t bother. No hope n change, just politics as usual. Get used to it.