Some Precursors of Obama's 'Yes, we are better off!'

President Obama has doubled-down on the absurd claim that somehow Americans are better off than four years ago, and is now running advertising with the preposterous message. While I -- along with the millions of people who are jobless or facing foreclosure -- gaped in amazement at the ourageousness of this claim, I found myself humming "it seems to me I've heard that song before". Claiming victory in the midst of the ruins of defeat is an old political ploy; it is the ubiquitous little black nothing of propaganda. One fondly remembers Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, the Iraqi information minister, confidently proclaiming that Saddam's forces would annihilate American troops while U.S. tanks roared past him. Some of Obama's precursors are worth recalling by way of comparison. The ultimate eponym is the Barmecide feast  from the Thousand and One Nights, in which a wealthy man invites a starving beggar to partake of a nonexistent dinner: When the Barmecide had done rubbing his hands, he...(Read Full Post)