Sunday, January 25, 2009

Getting used to change

In "It's a Wonderful Life," after a highly eventful day at the office, newlywed George Bailey gets a buzz from his altered life condition when he's told that "Mrs. Bailey is on the line" and realizes that it's his wife, not his mother, calling.

I got a similar frisson from the very ordinariness of this lede:

Jan. 25 (Bloomberg) -- White House officials warned Americans that economic prospects are darkening as they sought to ensure rapid Congressional approval of President Barack Obama’s $825 billion stimulus package.

Vice President Joe Biden told the CBS program “Face the Nation” that “it’s worse, quite frankly, than everyone thought it was.” Larry Summers, Obama’s top economic adviser, said the economy faces “very difficult” months, speaking today on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

"White House officials" triggers a conditioned reflex: skepticism, wariness, brace for outrage. Don't want to entirely let go of that. All administrations spin, and screw up, and yield to the wrong pressures. But the distrust reached pathological proportions over the past eight years -- across the political spectrum, eventually. Now hope is fresh that most of the time at least we'll credit the rationality and good faith of what we hear from "Administration officials."

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