John Podhoretz notes that Obama is trying to talk the markets into a panic as part of Obama’s political strategy (emphasis mine):
An enraged Barack Obama just took to the nation’s airwaves to announce his effort to strike a deal with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has fallen apart. Perhaps for the first time in American history, this president is literally using this press conference to create a financial panic over the weekend about the opening of the markets on Monday. He is warning of disaster on Monday. Clearly, he wants to use this as leverage to frighten the GOP into passing the plan proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, which will push the debt ceiling problem into 2013, but it’s still an entirely new and astonishingly reckless gambit.
I agree with the analysis with one big exception, the use of the terms “first time” and “entirely new.”
In fact, talking down the markets and creating a sense of panic is one of the few things Obama has done well.
Recall February 2009, when Obama wanted to push through the Stimulus Plan and created a near panic in the markets which caused even the last bull to capitulate:
There’s an old saying on Wall Street that a bear market has not bottomed out until the last bull capitulates. News flash. The last bull has capitulated. Me.
…. For the first time in my adult life, I am convinced that we have a President who sees capitalism and markets as the enemy. There is no other explanation for the hyperbolic rhetoric Obama has used to create a sense of economic crisis far in excess of reality….
Obama seems to be wishing so hard for a depression, he might actually get it. Obama is well along in the process of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy in which he so talks down the economy, and so shakes markets, that people are paralyzed with fear allowing Obama to push his political agenda of creating a command economy.
So Obama’s friday afternoon press statement was not the first time and it will not be the last time. Crisis and panic are, in the words of Rahm Emanuel, just opportunities.
And in other news, the absolute, drop-dead, we default if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2, uh, um, may not be August 2:
For months, markets have been girding themselves against the possibility that the U.S. will reach the limits of its borrowing ability on August 2 and default on its debts. But researchers at Barclays Capital think the real deadline may not be until a week later.
No one could have seen that coming.
Update: Jeff Dobbs has some more examples of Democratic doomsaying from 2008.