The president of the United State traditionally bolsters the confidence of our nation.

It is part of the job of the president to say that the greatest nation on earth can meet her challenges, if only the people have courage.

One thinks, for example, of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s saying that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. But that was then. This is now.

Could it really be that President Obama is trying to trigger a stock market panic to get his way in the current impasse? In President Obama’s CNBC interview yesterday, the president seemed to many observers to be pulling for a selloff:

Obama's remarks indicated to some observers that he is trying to push investors out of the relative complacency they have shown so far. Futures were broadly lower Thursday, indicating markets may be taking heed.

Do you grasp the import of this, if it is true: the president is trying to spook the markets? Certainly this is the first time in American history that a president has tried to harm the markets, and with this the retirement funds of millions of Americans. But this president wants what he wants.

Allahpundit writes:

In order to strengthen his hand in negotiations, the president’s decided to try to kickstart a hopefully not-too-damaging market sell-off over the debt ceiling. The more the Dow drops tomorrow, the more Boehner and other moderate Republicans will think twice about letting this process play out all the way up to the deadline on October 17th.

And if the market doesn’t dive sharply enough — maybe “only” 200 or 300 points — he can always nudge it again next week with more dire rhetoric. It might take losing a thousand points or even two, but damn it, if that’s what it takes to teach these tea partiers not to scare the hell out of markets by behaving irresponsibly, then oh well.

That we can even contemplate the possibility that the president would harm all of us to get his way shows the depths to which hope and change have sunk.