This is an interesting comparison of our two most recent presidents:
I flashed back to the fall of 2001 upon reading the subhead over a New York Times story about Monday's presidential press conference: "He Says That Failing to Act Could Lead to Catastrophe." To rush a complex, ill-considered piece of legislation through Congress, George W. Bush invoked the specter of another terrorist attack. Barack Obama, bringing the change he promised, invoked the specter of economic collapse.
Just as the PATRIOT Act was a grab bag of legal changes that law enforcement and intelligence agencies had been seeking for years, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a grab bag of expenditures that leftish Democrats have long wanted, repackaged for the crisis du jour. In both cases, instilling fear was the key to suspending skepticism and cutting off debate.
We have nothing to fear but presidents who want to make us afraid.