The Psychiatrist-In-Chief

Fareed Zakaria has a very thoughtful interview on the subject of Obama’s performance regarding the oil spill that I agree with entirely. He argues what I’ve been arguing and what Peggy Noonan has been arguing: that the presidency is completely overloaded, with the latest piece of evidence being Obama’s decision to cave to public pressure and display more emotion. Go read it all.

What worries me is that we have gotten to the point where we expect the president to somehow magically solve every problem in the world, appear to be doing it, and to reflect our anger and emotion. This is a kind of bizarre trivializing of the presidency into some kind of national psychiatrist-in-chief.

We want our president to be a national superhero, and I love his coining of the term “psychiatrist-in-chief.” It’s part of the broader problem we have in this country with not wanting to take responsibility for anything and just be rescued by someone or something that perfectly understands our desires.


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