GOP Govs Succeeding in Spite of Obama’s Econ Policies

On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released disheartening statistics showing that the nation’s employers added many fewer than expected jobs to their payrolls in May.  The unemployment rate ticked up for the first time in almost a year, from 8.1% to 8.2%.  The stock market suffered its worst day all year, and the dip in Friday’s Dow Jones Industrial average completely erased 2012’s gains.

Democrats’ constructive response to these dismal numbers was to accuse Republicans of being happy the economy was tanking.

Hey Democrats: Republicans don’t want the economy to fail, we want you to fail.  Hoping for the economy to sink is Democrats’ métier: Democrats do better when there’s more poverty and misery, because that gives them more of an opening to step in and “help,” and more of an impetus to never let a serious crisis go to waste.

Republicans expect that the economy will struggle under your Democratic policies, and we take bittersweet satisfaction when our predictions are proven correct—because it proves we’re not crazy, as you accuse us of being—but we take no joy in mass unemployment and despair.

The less-discussed flip side of Democrats’ narrative is that pointing out glimmers of hope in the economy equals endorsement of liberal economic policies.

Lately the mainstream media have been claiming that modest economic recovery in Republican-led states puts GOP governors in a bind, because they can’t showcase their states’ success without bolstering the case for Obama’s reelection.

Take the recent Time article “A Tale of Two Economies,” in which author Michael Crowley writes, “The President’s campaign argues that the economy, while still troubled, is clearly and steadily improving…  And he has gained some unlikely support: Republican governors in critical swing states like Ohio.”

Crowley reports that Ohio’s John Kasich and other Republican governors in battleground states such as Virginia, Florida, Nevada, Michigan and Wisconsin are touting their states’ recent economic improvement.  He implies that these governors’ defense of their policies constitutes indirect campaigning for Obama.

There’s just one problem with this formulation: These states are improving despite liberal economic policies, not because of them.

These states have begun recovering only recently, and were doing crummy like the rest of the nation until their governorships changed parties midway through Obama’s tenure.  Yet Democrats are banking on undecided voters being dumb enough to think that their states’ economic reversals are due to consistent implementation of Obama’s plans rather than thanks to the partisan changes in their governors’ mansions.

Saying that newly elected Republican governors can’t point to recent growth in their states without giving Obama credit is like saying there’s no difference between federal and state government.  This line of thinking suggests that all 50 states move in lockstep and are entirely controlled by the decisions Congress and the president make.

The fact is that the economy is improving markedly in many states that recently switched from Democratic to Republican governors.  Ohio’s unemployment rate, for example, dropped from 9.5% in December 2010, before its newly elected Republican governor took office, to 7.4% in April 2012.  Wisconsin’s unemployment rate plummeted from 9.3% to 6.7% in the 16 months Scott Walker has held office. Michigan’s sunk from 11.1% to 8.3% under Rick Snyder. (Swing state Florida’s rate plunged, too, from 12.0% under fiscally liberal Charlie Crist to 8.7% under Tea Partier Rick Scott.)

Contrast that record with a state like Hawaii – which hosts one of the few governorships Democrats managed to pick up from Republicans in 2010 – unemployment has stagnated at 6.3%, and New York, which elected a new governor in 2010, but one from the same party as his Democratic predecessor, unemployment inched up from 8.2% to 8.5%.  Other Democratic-controlled states such as California and Colorado have witnessed piddly declines in their unemployment rates in the past year-and-a-half.

If I were a Democratic campaign strategist, I certainly wouldn’t push the nasty narrative that Republicans are glad the country is floundering, because voters in those recovering swing states aren’t suckers. And I certainly wouldn’t count on undecided voters in Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and other recovering states being snookered into thinking that their modest growth over the past 16 months is due to Obama’s economic policies finally succeeding.

Comments

Polititainment

Stewart talks security at '1600 Jump St'
Jon Stewart brought up the two recent White House security breaches on “The Daily Show” Monday night, seeming both amused and baffled by the entire situation. “Wow! Good thing we don’t treat White House intruders the way we do Cuban refugees because then, when that guy reached the house, put his foot on the ground, […]
Gordon-Levitt eyes Snowden role
Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is expected to play Edward Snowden in an Oliver Stone-directed movie about Snowden’s life, Variety reports. “The Snowden Files” would be based on the book about the NSA leaks written by Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, which is considered the closest thing to a documented account of the events. Stone acquired the rights to […]
'Madam Secretary' wants an ideal D.C.
CBS’s new show “Madam Secretary” may be inspired by some of the most polarizing and entrenched political figures in Washington D.C., but the showrunners and cast say they want to portray a less polarizing and negative D.C. on screen. POLITICO’s Playbook Lunch on Friday featured show creator Barbara Hall, executive producers Morgan Freeman and Lori […]
Obama praises Joan Rivers

President Obama must really want to maintain his popularity in Hollywood. Why else would he write a letter to Melissa Rivers praising her mother and late comedian Joan Rivers, the same woman who called him gay and his wife a "tranny" in July?

TDS: Biden hasn't been out of the house

"The Daily Show" had some fun Thursday night with the VP's recent double whammy of off-color remarks.

White House

Lois Lerner speaks: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Former IRS official Lois Lerner has opened up to the public in a lengthy interview with POLITICO.

Michelle Obama says Americans ‘take for granted’ Obama’s presidency
First Lady Michelle Obama proudly defended her husband during a speech at the opening reception of the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum, telling the audience that people take her husband “for granted.” “Just think about how different our country looks to children growing up today. Think about how our kids take for granted that a […]
Security breaches prompt more White House security
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service tightened security outside the White House after an embarrassing breach in which a man with a knife scaled a fence, ran across the lawn and made it all the way inside before agents stopped him. Increased surveillance and more officer patrols are among the measures that Secret Service Director Julia Pierson ordered. […]
He gaffes again! Biden praises disgraced former Senator Bob Packwood

Ranking Joe Biden gaffes is like running down the deck of the Titanic -- in the end it's just a race to the bottom and no one ever wins. And yet the vice president continues to provide more candidates for his greatest hits.

Joe Biden should never be allowed to support a Redskins name change

Imagine for a moment a tied Senate vote urging the Washington Redskins to change their team name. Into the chamber steps Joe Biden.

Congress

Lawmakers take in $608 per hour for time in D.C.
THE HILL – Congress will be in session for only eight days during a 102-day span between Aug. 1 and Nov. 12, when lawmakers are set to return for a lame-duck session after the elections. Because the annual salary for members of the House is $174,000, their hourly wage for those eight days amounts to $608 […]
House GOP replaces firm handling Obama suit
THE HILL — House Republicans said they’ve hired new counsel to represent them in their lawsuit against President Obama after their previous lawyer backed out of the case over “political pressure.” They inked a contract on Friday with William A. Burck of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart. The New York Times reported that the GOP’s previous attorney, David Rivkin of […]
Convicted felon running for Congress

Edwin W. Edwards recently spent nine years in prison after being convicted for extorting millions of dollars in exchange for riverboat gambling licenses, and now he's running for office.

Rand Paul: Millennials 'aren't as wedded to party'
Sen. Rand Paul (R – Ky.) seems to have the majority of millennials figured out. The presidential hopeful spoke with The Federalist this week about his foreign policy views and the shift toward libertarian views among millennials. “I think the libertarian influence, the libertarian-ish Republican, the libertarian conservatives in many ways is great for the […]
Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz
POLITICO – Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is in a behind-the-scenes struggle with the White House, congressional Democrats and Washington insiders who have lost confidence in her as both a unifying leader and reliable party spokesperson at a time when they need her most. Long-simmering doubts about her have reached a peak after two […]