The most annoying thing about this episode is how firmly the host (Dubner) assumes that his listeners believe that the president matters. It’s not as if he is addressing a diverse crowd with a wide range of opinions who are curious about his argument. Personally, I tuned in to that episode with a belief that the president matters very little, and became gradually convinced that he might matter more than I had assumed. But I resented every second of being treated as someone who will be scandalized by the merest suggestion that the president may not matter all that much:
"Now that the presidential primaries are finally underway — which means that rather than taking up 90 percent of your daily news coverage, the election will now take up 100 percent — there’s a question I think is worth asking. But let me say this: you probably won’t think this question is worth asking.
... if you happen to hate a particular president and I ask you “How much does the president matter?”, you’ll probably say the president matters very much, because it’s tempting to blame every bad thing you see on this person who seemingly has infinite power. And what if you happen to love a particular president? You may well give the same answer: they matter very much, you say, because you’ll attribute all good things, all signs of progress, to your president
Once you’ve calmed down a bit, drop us a line ... and tell us just how infuriating this episode was. But do try to calm down a bit first."