Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton believes we're supposed to be impressed by the idea of putting her husband Bill, in the Associated Press's words, "in charge of revitalizing the economy." Yep, the old "2-for-1" offer from the early 1990s is back.
In 1993, President Bill put First Lady Hill in charge of health care. Fortunately, nothing tangible resulted, but we did get an early lesson in the extremes of Clintonian secrecy and stonewalling. This time, a President Hill would put "First Dude" Bill — as the AP's Lisa Lerer and Catherine Lucey, brazenly stealing Sarah Palin's description of husband Todd while she was Alaska's Governor, prospectively described him on Monday — effectively in charge of the economy. Here's the big problem the press is virtually certain to ignore: Bill Clinton guaranteed in 2012 that the economy under a reelected Barack Obama would not need revitalization by now.
As his final term wanes, the New York Times is making excuses for the economy’s performance under President Obama, with the president himself guiding the way. Economics reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin’s interview of Obama for the cover of the Times Sunday magazine dug in in defense of Obama. The subhead: “Eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is at 5 percent, deficits are down and G.D.P. is growing. Why do so many voters feel left behind? The president has a theory.” And Sorkin let him unfold the tale without journalistic pushback. And reporter Mark Landler gushed of Obama's self-defense: "Many historians agree."
Just in time for tomorrow's first-quarter economic growth announcement from the government, Bloomberg Businessweek's Economics Editor is telling readers: "Don't Sweat America's Upcoming Microscopic GDP Growth."
Besides, Peter Coy writes, people need to get used to the supposedly inescapable fact that "Normal growth for the U.S. economy is just a lot lower than it used to be." Americans shouldn't worry, even if tomorrow's GDP figure shows a small contraction (perhaps indicating that Mr. Coy has been tipped to the fact that it will be). The key, the glib Mr. Coy contends, is to understand that "Happiness is all a matter of lowering expectations."
It's so predictable.
Whenever a government or leader follows the left's playbook and the results "uexpectedly" don't turn out to be anywhere near what was desired, it isn't the policies' or the leader's fault. No-no-no. During the Mayor David Dinkins era in New York City, it was because Gotham had become ungovernable by any human being – until Rudy Giuliani took over. During the Carter Era, the conventional wisdom was that America had become too unwieldy and ungovernable — until Ronald Reagan righted the ship. We're now hearing a similar refrain about the U.S. economy after seven-plus years of Keynesian economic policies, except that, as we'll eventually see, it involves recycling. On Friday, Jacob Davidson at Time.com engaged in a lengthy excuse-making exercise (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
It appears that there's an effort underway to expand the definition of "deniers" beyond the realm of climate change/"global warming."
Ideally, in leftists' minds, a "denier" would be "anyone who doesn't accept leftist dogma without reservations." That definition would apparently extend to anything relating to the economy, if Associated Press White House reporter and dedicated Barack Obama groupie (yes, I mean "groupie") Darlene Superville had her way. Her story's headline, as she covered President Obama's remembrance of the wonders of the "Recovery Act" — formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and informally known as the "stimulus plan — directly targeted those who dare to disagree with Obama, and even attempted to concoct another phony version of "consensus" clearly intended to eventually stifle historians' dissent:
At the Associated Press, in a Friday morning writeup, the wire service's headline writers and reporter Martin Crutsinger demonstrated extraordinary auditory powers.
The headline writers somehow heard the entire U.S. economy start the year off "with a bang." Meanwhile, Crutsinger, continuing to earn his designated title of "worst economics writer" given by Kevin Williamson at National Review almost three years ago, picked up the sound of consumers who "roared back to life" in January. Those of us in the real world utterly failed to detect these things. What would we ever do without the extraordinary talents of the people at AP?
If form holds, the Democratic Party's presidential candidates in the U.S. will continue to spout various forms of socialism and class warfare as the answers to this nation's woes in hopes of buying enough "free stuff" votes to hang on to the White House.
Venezuela's apparent imminent economic collapse poses a problem for this strategy. The country's problems are the direct result of 15 years of socialism gone wild at the hands of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro. So how is the left-favoring press going to handle the meltdown? If coverage of that nation's recent gas-price hike at the Los Angeles Times is any indication, they'll avoid describing the country as "socialist," and they'll try to downplay the unfolding disaster as much as possible.
CNN host and Washington Post columnist Fareed Zakaria lived up to his reputation as someone who’s always willing to trash conservatives and praise liberals at the top of his Sunday morning CNN program by blasting the GOP’s “unwillingness to produce serious proposals” verus the “responsible” Democrats who “buttress their policy with real research.”
Joan Walsh, who after a long tenure at Salon.com is now National Affairs Correspondent at far-left publication The Nation, is responding as leftists usually do when their favored candidates and causes are in trouble: immaturely, and by smearing recalcitrant people who, in their fevered minds, should be supporting them.
Walsh is a big fan of Hillary Clinton, whose legal and electoral situations seem to get more dire with each passing week. In Walsh-World, Mrs. Clinton is having problems garnering "white working class" Democrats because of racism. But of course, she won't directly say that. Instead, she issued the following passive-aggressive tweet, followed by the oh-so-predictable "Who, me?" response (HT Breitbart via Instapundit):
Poor President Barack Obama.
Juan Williams, in a Monday column at The Hill, insists that "the president is not to blame for the rancor and polarization that have characterized his presidency," and "is not responsible for the unprecedented obstructionism employed by (Mitch) McConnell’s Senate Republicans." Why, In Williams's world, Obama has apparently been the very model of civility, while Republicans "have let anger and extreme voices define their party."
The Associated Press's coverage of Friday's deep U.S. stock market dive in two Friday afternoon reports engaged in the reality avoidance longtime readers here have come to expect.
An item by Stan Choe ("Get used to it: Big drops for stocks are back again") spent most of its verbiage on "volatility," and only cited "China's sharp economic slowdown ... Tensions in the Middle East ... the plunge in prices of oil and other commodities" as reasons why the "volatility" will continue. (AP seems to believe that "volatility" is a synonymn for "decline"; it isn't.) Separately, Alex Veiga's more detailed coverage, after an analyst's insistence that "Oil is the root cause of today," didn't get to Friday's awful economic data until his ninth paragraph, and then only vaguely descrbed "some discouraging economic news." Meanwhile, a CNBC columnist, using a word amazingly not found in either AP writeup, warned that "A recession worse than 2008 is coming."
On Friday's Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN, during a segment devoted to discrediting President Ronald Reagan's conservative credentials and painting modern Republicans as far right, host Erin Burnett proclaimed that Republicans "would hate that guy," and joined with CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley in suggesting that Democrat Hillary Clinton's views on some issues are closer to Reagan's.