Democrats' current and potential candidates for their party's 2016 presidential nomination continue to complain about various aspects of the economy. They continue to make no connection between their complaints and the fact that Democrat Barack Obama has been in the White House for over six years. Obama has for the most part operated either under the conditions created by the 2009-2010 Congress or, when resisted, by unilaterally ruling through executive orders and arbitrary regulatory actions.
Establishment press outlets, likely recognizing the candidates' hypocrisy, mostly fail to carry their complaints — and when they do, they make no attempt to note that the candidates are citing areas the Obama administration has either failed to address, or has attempted to address counterproductively. This pattern of behavior became so obvious yesterday as a result of Vice President Joe Biden's appearance in Pittsburgh that National Review and IJ Review contributor Stephen Miller tweeted the following:
The Associated Press has done its level best during the past several days to prove Miller right.
Regarding Biden, there was an obvious pull quote from his speech to labor leaders in Pittsburgh. After telling the audience how unfair the tax code and the concentration of wealth allegedly are and how easy it would be to reduce the deficit by $4 billion (a rounding error) while providing "free" community college, he then said:
I'm hot ... I'm mad. I'm angry.
Of course, that quote wasn't in Ken Thomas's Associated Press writeup early this morning. Including that quote would have caused readers to wonder where he and his boss have been the past 6-1/2 years as the conditions he described worsened. (Readers should also know, as commenter Gary Hall reminds us, that the gap between CEO and worker pay first widened considerably during the Clinton administration, narrowed under Bush 43, and has again widened under Obama.)
As to Sanders, you almost need to have a searchlight to find economy-related coverage of the Vermont socialist's rising campaign at the AP. A search at the wire service's national site on the Senator's full name (not in quotes) returns 19 items. Add the word "economy" to the search, and only two results remain. One is a collection of interviews with potential Ohio voters which makes no reference to Sanders' economy-related complaints. The other is an August 30 item primarily about the candidate's generic willingness to use military force. In paragraphs 5 and 6, reporter Kevin Freking at least acknowledged the existence of Sanders' economic gripes:
Sanders comments came during an interview that aired on ABC's "This Week." His campaign has focused on the economy and gained momentum. His chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, served as secretary of state for about four years. Sanders was asked why national security and foreign policy are missing from his campaign's website.
"In all fairness, we've only been in this race for three-and-a-half months. And we've been focusing, quite correctly as you've indicated, on the economy, on the collapse of the American middle class, on massive income and wealth inequality," Sanders said.
The middle class's collapse is not a completely recent phenomenon, but the truly serious deterioration began during the second year of the 2007-2008 Democrat-dominated Congress, and accelerated significantly during Dear Leader's reign. Real median household income is still about 4 percent below its January 2008 peak. Every other recovery since such stats have been kept has seen this metric return to where it was before the related recession and continue to go up — except this one.
Searches at the AP's main national site on "Hillary economy" and "Hillary right track" (neither in quotes) return nothing relating to Mrs. Clinton's highly dubious statements on the current economy and what she would do.
So Stephen Miller is right, at least as far as the AP, the country's de facto national news gatekeeper. They mostly identify candidates' specific complaints, and when they do, they don't tie those complaints to the dismal economy seen since the Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy began during late spring in 2008.
We all know how it would work if the situation involved the country's other major political party. The press would be all over a Republican or conservative candidate's citation of the economic failures of an incumbent Republican or conservative administration.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.