From crisis to catastrophe. Off a cliff. Dark, darker, darkest. Mortal danger of absolute collapse. Armageddon.
President Obama and top Democrats on Capitol Hill are deploying these and other stark predictions of doom and gloom to push through their economic-stimulus package. In terms not heard in Washington since the late 1970s under President Jimmy Carter's watch, the new president has sought to terrify Americans into supporting the $800 billion-plus bailout bill.
While President Bush was accused shortly after taking office in 2001 of "talking down the economy" - and for saying the economy was "slowing down" - Mr. Obama is using ever-heightening hyperbole to hammer home his message. But the strategy brings great risk for the "Yes, We Can" man, who just three weeks ago told America in his inaugural address that despite "a sapping of confidence across our land," his election meant Americans had "chosen hope over fear."
"Mr. Hope has ... become Dr. Doom,"
But then, that's how community organizers organize.
Other Democrats agree:
But he isn't the only Democrat ramping up the rhetoric while talking down the economy. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said last month that our economy "is dark, darker, darkest." Rep. David R. Obey of Wisconsin said, "This economy is in mortal danger of absolute collapse." And Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said of the economic-stimulus bill, "If we don't pass this thing, it's Armageddon."