We are soon to witness one of the greatest con-jobs ever played out in our countries history. It goes like this.
Since his election President Obama has been called by Republicans and the right wing, among other things, a failure at every single thing he, or the Democratic Congress, has proposed or passed. Every single thing. This is so even though some of what is being criticized was passed under President Bush (the bank bailout) or has been shown, by experts outside of government, to have worked (the stimulus).
Now, I've talked about the fact that President Obama's name has been linked to the word "Failure" many more times in 18 months than President Bush in 8 years, here. I still think that this is a deliberate effort to, at least in the minds of the voters, make this President out to be a failure well before even his first term ends. The Republicans, of course, hope that by this effort there will not be a second term.
That's all well and good for the politics, but what of the actual health of the country? As I said above, the fail at everything trope just doesn't stand up to reality. Of course, lets not forget that the right wing in our country believes that they can make their own reality. And that's just what I'm afraid of.
In their campaign to discredit the Democrats at every turn, the right convinces more and more people that the policies of the administration are failures when, in fact, much of what has been done, like the stimulus bill, hasn't had an effect ... yet! The stimulus was designed to provide monies for various goals and projects over a longer time period than just a year and a half. But, with the voting public having the attention span of a gerbil, that year and a half is well past what most people either can, or want to, pay attention to. So, fail, fail fail is what we hear.
But, is it possible that all this failure talk could actually cause failure, rather than just report it? Are we in the grip of a self fulfilling prophesy? Lets look at some, you know, facts.
Fact, unemployment remains in the 9.5% range with millions of Americans out of work.
Fact, manufacturing and construction are at an all time low point since the end of the Great Depression.
Fact, housing values have declined by 25 to 30 percent and are still going down.
Any sane observer could reach the conclusion that the economy is still in a bad place. Thus, Obama = failure.
But there are other facts that need to be accounted for. For example, in an article in the September 6 issue of Time magazine we learn that, in the second quarter of 2010 alone, Apple sold 3 million of its new iPad devices and 8 million iPhones. The iPhone sales were 60% higher than the year before. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't put iPhones and iPads on my list of necessities like food and medical care. These, and many other so called luxury items, are selling well, filling corporate coffers and making some folks a whole lot of money. That doesn't sound like a failing economy to me.
But, I have gotten well off topic here. The snookering being done to the Democrats, and to the country, is simply this:
By the time of this November's election we will have heard 21 months of failure talk. I think that it is having a depressing effect on the country. Not the presumed failures, mind you, but the talk of failure. This has slowed recovery far more than deficits or bailouts ever could. But the Republicans are anything but stupid. They know full well that the actions of the administration will take time to work. So here's the old rope-a-dope.
The Republicans will take over the House and maybe the Senate. They won't, however, be able to actually do anything with these majorities, either due to Senate rules or the Presidential veto. But low and behold, things will start to get better. The back loaded parts of the stimulus will begin to have an effect on employment and credit markets will begin to loosen, at least a little. And, I imagine, the Republicans and their various talking heads (I'm looking at you Fox News) will declare for all to hear that they, the GOP, has stepped in to save the day!
So, there you have it. Two years of finger pointing at the Democrats followed by two years of taking credit for what the Democrats actually did resulting in, may heaven help us, President Palin. Poor President Obama. Snookered, pure and simple.