Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford must appear in court two days after running for a vacant congressional seat to answer a complaint that he trespassed at his ex-wife’s home, according to court documents acquired by The Associated Press on Tuesday. > more ... (0 comments)
From Townhall, naturally:
What we find is that the recovery from the bottom of the recession in January 2009 through June 2009, the official end of the U.S. recession, can only be attributed to policies implemented during the Bush administration, as no policy implemented by the Obama administration could have had any meaningful effect upon the economy during these six months.
That trend of improvement then continued during much of the period of overlap between the times when policies implemented during either President Bush’s or President Obama’s tenures in office could have affected the monthly employment data. In fact, if this were a trend in a stock price, a technical analyst would have been screaming to go “all in” at the time because of its upward momentum!
However, we see that the trend of improvement established during President Bush’s administration dies out toward the end of that overlap period, as the trend in the employment situation in the U.S. during the period where only policies implemented during President Obama’s time in office would have a stronger and stronger effect.
I thought Mitt Romney said we were supposed to consider the amount of jobs created since January 20, 2009, which proves once and for all that Obama is a job-killing failure.
ONCE AND FOR ALL!
Oh, yeah, about that…
This, to put it simply, is not good for Mitt Romney:
I’m sorry, but in an election centered around the economy, a 1.7% advantage on the question of who’s better going to handle the economy is simply not going to get it done against an incumbent president, especially since that advantage has shrunk and the trend is going the wrong way. It’s bad enough for him that the public sees Obama as a stronger leader and sees him as vastly superior on foreign policy and on middle class issues, which in the first two cases is really freaking rare enough. But the economy question, specifically, being this close is a disaster for Romney, and you have to give the Obama Campaign props for being so effective at sewing doubts as to whether Romney is going to do better on the economy after the past few years we’ve had.
We keep hearing about this blitz of negative advertising that the Romney forces are going to unleash on Obama down the pike. But unless he can put some gap back into this chart, this guy is sunk. And what new information is he going to present the public in order to change our minds? None so far as I see. Maybe we really are winning.
I liked Mark Schmitt’s comparison of Barack Obama’s electoral brilliance to the often less-than-brilliant strategery we’ve seen from the man as president, but this is a pretty odd thing to say:
But we should also use this opportunity to recognize that being good at campaigns and elections and being good at politics in office are, however unfortunately, very different things. That’s not a surprising insight—spend a little time around Congress, especially the Democratic caucus, and you’ll see dozens of people who have mastered the art of winning elections even in a hostile constituency, but can’t figure out how to do much more when they’re in office than avoid losing reelection. (Consider Senator Max Baucus, for example, who has won six statewide elections in conservative Montana, by an average of 25 points, and yet lives in such constant panic that he’ll lose the next that he’s accomplished almost nothing of significance.)
Oh, but he has. Sadly. Baucus helped shepherd the Bush Tax Cuts through Congress, which is bad enough. More than anyone else, he was responsible for the failed strategy of endless outreach to Republicans long after it was clear it wouldn’t work. Baucus’s career really exemplifies the post-rational embrace of bipartisanship, and the fact that he lent Obama his former Chief of Staff to be White House Deputy Chief of Staff ought to be at least mentioned in a discussion of Obama’s obsessiveness over getting broad bipartisan support when it wasn’t at the time even necessary.
The other thing I think needs to be mentioned here is just how poorly the Administration handled issues related to the financial crisis. I mean, in one sense, sure. The world’s economy hasn’t collapsed, so it was successful. But there was no consideration of social justice, no consideration of the fallout, no straightforward look at the politics of the thing, which would have been helpful. After all, without that albatross, perhaps later stimuli would have been politically possible? But on the TARP and financial reform, the President listened almost exclusively to Sec. Geithner, who not only didn’t understand the political ramifications of just giving money to the banks with no strings attached, but almost thought it was obscene to consider them in light of a possible global collapse. Ultimately passing a financial regulatory reform bill that does little to reform the financial sector, but does a lot to enhance the power of the Treasury Secretary, didn’t fix the political problems associated with the bailouts. By shutting out anyone not trusted by the financial establishment, Obama’s priorities reflected almost entirely what a combination of rich people and centrist policy wonks wanted to see (bailouts and then deficit politics for the former, modest stimulus and healthcare cost-cutting for the latter), and people who had different ideas were not listened to. It’s interesting to think of what the political situation would look like if the Administration had made housing a top priority, but that’s the point (and yeah, I know, the stimulus did help normal people, but not really in any way they’d be able to see themselves, in such a way that Democrats could use to connect with their policies). Not much else to say about this, but I do recommend reading the full article. He talks about a lot of the same things I do, only because it’s Mark Schmitt, it’s even better.
Let’s “pause for two beats” and pay homage to the “ruthless killing machine that is the” Obama campaign, says Mark Halperin at TIME. ”They have parceled out their opposition research in a manner both strategic and tactical,” ensuring that the Bain story and the controversy over Romney’s unreleased tax returns remain almost constantly in the news. “And, make no mistake, the Obamans are sitting on even more research that they will unfurl down the road.” It’s no wonder Republicans are complaining.
It has been suggested that the attacks on Romney hearken back to the brilliantly ruthless blows to John McCain in 2008. There’s a similarly thrilling element to them I admit, but overall 2012 just doesn’t feel much like 2008. What I remember most about 2008 was how much fun the general election was. It was fun to watch Obama lay into the dumb, shopworn arguments of McCain, and he seemed to be having fun doing it. Obama’s being barely able to restrain his laughter while mocking Phil Gramm’s “nation of whiners” complaints (ironically, a whine in and of itself) was just the best moment of the campaign for me. To have someone out there saying all the things that you’d been thinking for eight long years, and doing it in a way that didn’t suggest bitterness but rather optimism, was really just this amazing thing. There was nothing like it.
This election is just very, very different. The ruthlessness is still there, but it doesn’t feel the same. There’s just an overwhelming grimness about the whole thing, even though Obama is again saying a lot of things that are, from a progressive perspective, correct and undersaid. But nobody’s having much fun this time. Obama isn’t cracking up while mocking Romney surrogates, his party isn’t jubilant over the prospect of massive change (because the prospect isn’t there, except for an entitlement-shredding “grand bargain” that I don’t even want to think about). But ultimately this isn’t anything new–with the onset of the financial crisis, suddenly the whole situation took on a different air. Obama’s inauguration speech was famously sober and grim, no doubt because he was just becoming aware of how much shit we were in. I’m convinced at this point that the financial-then-economic crisis was what led to Obama’s self-consciously serious and dour attitude during much of the first term, and also what was behind his insistence on working with Republicans. Because, after all, the country comes together during a crisis, don’t we? Like after 9/11 (for like two months). One can understand his Administration’s early, cool disposition toward the left through this lens–don’t these folks realize that we’re in a crisis, and this is no time for politics? To which the general response was, tell that to Republicans. Obama’s self-presentation was what he thought the country wanted to see, but I think it was not that great for morale.
Neither was the crappy economy, of course, and that probably has a lot more to do with setting the nation’s mood than anything else. Just something I was thinking about today.
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