How arrogant is Eric Holder? Before I sat down to write this, I caught snippets of the hearings on Capitol Hill. AG Holder is so smug; such an elitist. His supreme condescension to United States Senators was nothing short of stunning! A topic for another day certainly!
We all have our favorites. My favorite Democrat is James Carville. To be completely candid, I don’t really know why. He has been my favorite Democrat for years! Maybe because he is married to the very sane, intelligent, and polar opposite, Mary Matalin. Maybe it is because he is so smart and frank when he speaks. He always seems to be speaking what he considers to be truth — unvarnished. Yeah, he always seems to have a chip on shoulder, but his humor is right there at the surface! It very well could be because he is a U.S. Marine (“Once a Marine, always a Marine”). But I think a lot of it has to do with his face. Seriously though, every time I see him on TV, I smile and sometimes I laugh out loud. I love that guy! For some odd reason, he reminds me of one of my favorite Spielberg films of all time: ET. Don’t you just love Carville?!
Politico yesterday published an piece titled, Democrats want change in Obama’s message. In it, James Carville co-authored a paper with Stanley Greenberg and Erica Seifert attempting to influence change in Mr. Obama’s errant campaign message (the problem is the messenger!). This quote from Politico about the paper sounds as if it could have been written by Republicans:
“These voters are not convinced that we are headed in the right direction. They are living in a new economy — and there is no conceivable recovery in the year ahead that will change the view of the new state of the country,” the memo reads. “They actually have a very realistic view of the long road back and the struggles of the middle class — and the current narrative about progress just misses the opportunity to connect and point forward.”
Wow, what a revelation! And its only June!
Household net worth has dropped to the lowest levels in 20 years. Adjusted for inflation, wages have been flat since Obama took office. And a disappointing May jobs report signaled things might be getting worse.
Meanwhile, the Buffett rule is dead. Obama’s jobs bill mostly went nowhere. Things don’t look so hot for student loan subsidies, either.
That leaves Obama with a message that’s hardly the stuff rallying cries are made of: Romney doesn’t want to help you — I do, I just haven’t been able to.
“The good news is, the American people generally agree with our vision,” Obama said Tuesday at a fundraiser in the Baltimore suburbs. “If you just put in front of them, issue after issue and you present the Democratic approach and the Republican approach, we win. The challenge is because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that it’s enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault.’ And, you can pretty much put their campaign on, on a tweet, and have some characters to spare.”
Regulars to this website know that I have been calling Mr. Obama and team desperate for many weeks. Now, sadly, he is sounding pathetic. Mr. Obama’s almost daily shifting themes are now accentuated by what appears to be his attempt to convince his own base — or is it to convince himself? We could not make this up:
“If people ask you, ‘What’s this campaign about?’ You tell them it’s still about hope. You tell them it’s still about change. You still tell them it’s still about ordinary people who believe that in the face of great odds, we can still make a difference in the life of this country. I still believe that,” Obama said.
Then he reached back even further, to the 2004 convention speech that first made him a star.
“I believe this country is not as divided as our politics suggests. We have more in common than the pundits tell us. I believe we’re not Democrats or Republicans first, we’re Americans first. Most of all I still believe in you,” Obama said, “and I want you to keep believing in me.”
And THE BEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK?
“At some point, it’s hard to spin your way out of a trash heap,” said Drew Westen, an Emory University clinical psychologist who studies the role of messaging and emotion in politics.
The Carville memo continues,
“We will face an impossible economic headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative, one that contextualizes the recovery but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class,” they wrote.
The Romney campaign, a bit more gleefully, has also hammered the Obama campaign for its message confusion.
“President Obama doesn’t have a message. He can’t run on his abysmal economic record, so there is no rationale for his candidacy,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.
Oh, and if this is not enough, the Dems want Mr. Obama to start focusing on his strengths now. What are those? His negotiating skills with Congress? This is what a “top economist” said (he actually said this):
Jared Bernstein, a former top economist for Vice President Joe Biden, pushed back — to some extent.
“This is not the time for some shiny new idea for him to fight with Congress about,” he said. “This is the time for him to explain to the American people how he understands the workings of the economy.”
Financial Times published a piece yesterday titled, Agile Romney gains momentum, also quoting the Carville memo:
[...] said in a report released on Tuesday that convincing voters the economy was “good enough” for people with jobs “is a fools’ errand”.
“[Voters] want to know the plans for making things better in a serious way, not just focused on finishing up the work of the recovery,” they said.
“We are losing these voters on the economy, but holding on because Romney is very vulnerable. . . ”
Mr. Obama’s leadership void, combined with a sheer lack of an understanding of economics, has resulted in a campaign of desperation, teetering on panic, devolving to pathetic. Let the whining begin!
To see the latest in Mr. Obama’s brilliant economic vision, click here (compare the chart to Obama’s latest assertions) ——–>
The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page published the Op-Ed, Laffer and Moore: Obama’s Real Spending Record.
President Obama shocked us the other day when he said, “Since I’ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest pace in nearly 60 years.” Having heard him champion the “multiplier effects” of deficit-financed stimulus spending, we saw him as an enthusiastic supporter of throwing other people’s money at just about any problem.
Thus began our quest to see where we had strayed from the straight and narrow. Here’s the picture.
After taking office in 2009, with spending and debt already at record high levels and the deficit headed to $1 trillion, President Obama proceeded to pass his own $830 billion stimulus, auto bailouts, mortgage relief plans, the Dodd-Frank financial reforms and the $1.7 trillion ObamaCare entitlement (which isn’t even accounted for in the chart). While spending did come down in 2010, it wasn’t the result of spending cuts but rather because TARP loans began to be repaid, and that cash was counted against spending.
Keynesians, of course, are advising more deficit spending and easy money. But the most amazing feature of the nearby chart, which is rarely ever noted, is that when spending declined sharply the economy boomed under President Clinton, and when spending soared under Presidents Bush and Obama, the economy tanked.
Maybe Keynes was wrong and Milton Friedman was right when he warned that government spending is taxation and that government can’t tax an economy into prosperity. Friedman made it clear time and again that restraining government spending stimulates the economy by liberating private resources.
The right point of focus is not at what pace spending has grown under President Obama but instead how much more he needs to cut spending from its bloated levels to bring the economy back to health. The huge increase in spending as a percentage of GDP under Presidents Bush and Obama is the reason we are experiencing the slowest recovery since the Great Depression. As Milton Friedman understood, an economy cannot spend or tax itself into prosperity.