Obviously, it's no surprise that Peggy Noonan blames President Obama for the sequester situation; she thinks -- actually, a lot of right-wingers think -- that the president just creates crises out of whole cloth, for sport or political advantage. (Noonan is, of course, having a convenient case of amnesia about that destroying-America's-full-faith-and-credit thing Republicans tried to pull back in 2011, which is the reason we have a sequester situation.)
But that's not why I'm talking about Noonan. I'm talking about her because, in addition to believing that nonsense, she also believes that people aren't spending money in America at discount superstores because their animal spirits have been depleted by the evil Obama. I'm used to hearing right-wingers (and centrists) advance the (nonsensical) idea that businesses aren't expanding because the confidence of CEOs has been undermined by "uncertainty" (there was Tom Freidman saying that again over the weekend, and here's David Brooks saying it again today) -- but now we're supposed to believe that poor and middle-class and lower-middle-class people aren't opening their wallets because of ... the national mood?
As opposed to not opening their wallets because, y'know, they're flat broke?
Nope -- sorry. According to Peggy Noonan, the refusal of businesses and minimum-wage workers alike to spend because is an Obama-induced mood disorder, nothing more:
... government by freakout carries a price. It wears people down. It doesn't inject a sense of energy, purpose or confidence in those who do business in America, it does the opposite. The other day I was in a Wal-Mart in southern Florida. It was Sunday afternoon on a holiday weekend but even accounting for that the mood and look of the place was different from what it was two and five years ago. Then, things seemed dynamic -- what buys, what an array of products, what bustle in the aisles. This time it seemed tired, frayed, with fewer families and scarcer employees. It looked like a diorama of the Great Recession. What effect do all the successive fiscal cliffs, ceilings and sequesters, have on public confidence? On the public's spirit? They only add to the sense that Washington is dysfunctional and cannot possibly help us out of the mire.Yeah, that must be it. It must be a spirit disorder.
It can't possibly be that, as Charlie Pierce says, people got not jobs and people got no money.