Wolffian economics

Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, promoted his book recently in an interview on BBC Radio.  After boasting that the book spells the end of the Trump presidency – just like all the other phenomena that brought about the end of the Trump candidacy and presidency in the past – Wolff was asked whether Trump deserves credit for America's current booming economy.  He delivered himself of this gem of analysis:

He hardly has a staff anymore, since most people have left the White House.  And it may be that he will do nothing.  The economy is booming possibly because you'll have someone who's not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation.

I contend that these few sentences should receive far more attention than has so far been the case.  They tell us what Wolff – and really his whole media class – consider the role of a competent and functional White House.

That role is to impose policies and regulations that will throttle the economy.

After all, this is the one task at which Obama – the ideal president in the view of Wolff and everyone else in his class – managed to succeed.  He couldn't enforce his line in the sand.  He couldn't stop the growth of ISIS.  He couldn't keep Putin from annexing Crimea.  He couldn't prevent the terrorist acts of the week that we had to get used to under his leadership.

But Obama could throttle the U.S. economy.

Moreover, this is the one task at which Hillary would have succeeded – if the American voter had opted for throttling the economy rather than liberating it.

So there can be little doubt that in the mind of Wolff, this is what a president should do.  Trump is a failure as a president, in the world of Wolff, precisely because the economy is booming.

Any observer who understands this truth will recognize the real purpose of Wolff's Fire and Fury.

Tom Riley is widely known as a poet of the formalist school and is the author of Translations from the Ogrish.

Michael Wolff, author of Fire and Fury, promoted his book recently in an interview on BBC Radio.  After boasting that the book spells the end of the Trump presidency – just like all the other phenomena that brought about the end of the Trump candidacy and presidency in the past – Wolff was asked whether Trump deserves credit for America's current booming economy.  He delivered himself of this gem of analysis:

He hardly has a staff anymore, since most people have left the White House.  And it may be that he will do nothing.  The economy is booming possibly because you'll have someone who's not capable of actually implementing any policies or regulation.

I contend that these few sentences should receive far more attention than has so far been the case.  They tell us what Wolff – and really his whole media class – consider the role of a competent and functional White House.

That role is to impose policies and regulations that will throttle the economy.

After all, this is the one task at which Obama – the ideal president in the view of Wolff and everyone else in his class – managed to succeed.  He couldn't enforce his line in the sand.  He couldn't stop the growth of ISIS.  He couldn't keep Putin from annexing Crimea.  He couldn't prevent the terrorist acts of the week that we had to get used to under his leadership.

But Obama could throttle the U.S. economy.

Moreover, this is the one task at which Hillary would have succeeded – if the American voter had opted for throttling the economy rather than liberating it.

So there can be little doubt that in the mind of Wolff, this is what a president should do.  Trump is a failure as a president, in the world of Wolff, precisely because the economy is booming.

Any observer who understands this truth will recognize the real purpose of Wolff's Fire and Fury.

Tom Riley is widely known as a poet of the formalist school and is the author of Translations from the Ogrish.