Feeling Good About What You've Bought

The Americans United coalition has cut the first post-ARRA television ad; it'll run on national cable and in Washington, D.C., according to a spokesman. Why the need to tout a bill that's already been signed? One calls to mind Charles Grodin's character in Dave, wondering why the country needed to spend money making Americans feel good about cars they already bought?  The answer, I think, lies in two words: "first step."  They were used by President Obama today at the bill signing. They're used by Obama in an e-mail to his presidential campaign list. And they're in the new ad. The goal, I think, is to condition elites, and then the American people, to see the economic recovery act as one of several significant, expensive, complicated (or, to keep the metaphor, high, risky and precarious) steps that the government needs to take in order to right the economy.   

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Politics

Just In