The other day I ran into a woman of my acquaintance in the neighborhood grocery. She told me, with visible excitement, that her boyfriend was involved in organizing an event featuring President Obama. She said that The White House was specifying details for every aspect of the visit, including the kind of toilet paper the president requires.
My first response was that Mr. Obama was acting a bit imperial. On further reflection it occurred to me that a king or tyrant of the old school, Louis XIV for example, would have had his own toilet paper custom made by artisans with a fleur-de-lys embroidered–and would have brought that with him as part of his equipage.
President Obama, I reasoned, is simply exercising his freedom to choose the brand of his preference. That’s free market behavior, just as Milton Friedman described it. Mr. O is also expressing an almost Reaganesque optimism about the American economy. This is demonstrated by his confidence that his preferred brand will be available wherever and whenever he happens to travel–and his countrymen will be willing and able to supply it. What could be clearer as a statement of belief in American exceptionalism?
Either that, or he’s a sensitive ass.
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