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Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by DynamoEAR, Sep 2, 2012.
Figured I get this one going.
Do they go live tomorrow?
I don't envy the Dems this time around. The only thing harder than being a challenger when times are good (Dole, Dukakis, Mondale, Stevenson) is being an incumbent when things are outright bad or are on the decline (Carter, daddy Bush, Hoover).
It will be interesting to see the splits on how much time is devoted to spinning Obama's performance vs doubling down on "Romney is evil." Either way, it will be a tough sell.
Not til Tuesday, I think.
It's not like the Reeps have an advantage here since everyone knows that they created the disaster we're in. The Reep convention was fascinating more for what wasn't in it than what was in it. No, I'm not talking about the "old man yells at empty chair" moment but the Reeps did everything they could to try to obliterate the years 2000 through 2008. I've never seen either party so completely try to erase the memory of their last sitting President. Also AWOL in the Reep convention was Romney's record as governor - and with good reason. 47th in the nation in job creation and he's trying to run on "I'll create jobs"? Really? And running against the Obamacare that Romney created as governor? Ouch.
Anyway, here's why the Dems don't really need to worry about anything as long as the economy keeps growing slowly:
"While Obama gets a negative rating on his handling of the economy and a majority of people don’t think the country is on the right track, voters don’t seem convinced that Romney could do a better job of fixing the economy.
When asked how confident they would be that the economy would get back on track in the next year or two if Romney was elected, 55% said they had little or no confidence that would happen, while 43% were more or less confident it would. Those are almost exactly the same numbers as Obama polled — 56% not confidence and 43% confident.
So it doesn’t matter at this point whether George W. Bush or Alan Greenspan or Barack Obama is more responsible for the parlous state of the economy — or whether the candidate is a fabulously wealthy private-equity investor or a former community organizer — if the two men running for president are seen as essentially the same in their ability to cope with it going forward.
Voters, it seems, are not buying Romney’s argument that successfully running a business makes you an expert at job creation. Or perhaps they are wary of trickle-down economics after it has failed to produce any positive results for them after three decades. Or maybe they realize that you can’t be serious about cutting the deficit if you’re not willing to raise taxes."
If the Dems are smart, they'll try to make Romney and Ryan run on their records. In addition to the Romneyfail mentioned above, there's also Ryan begging for stimulus money - and then flat out lying about it. And those are only the most obvious R/R fails. "Romney is incompetent at governing" will be more effective than "Romney is evil".
Also conspicuous by their absence were the other Republican primary candidates, nearly all of whom had a significant spell at the top of the polls during the second half of last year. I realize that Gingrich spoke with his wife (not during prime time) and Herman Cain & Ron Paul were around the convention, but it just struck me how much the entire primary struggle had been forgotten.
Wow, six entire cases! That's more than enough from which to draw generalizable inferences!
I would love to see the Dems hit the question "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" head on. They need to remind Americans of everything that the Reeps so desperately want us to forget:
In 2008, our economy was in free fall. Our financial system was locked up due to its own excesses and fraud and it was taking the rest of the economy down with it.
In 2008, the private-sector was losing 700,000 jobs per month.
In 2008, the stock market was also in a downward spiral and eventually ended up below 7,000, severely damaging the baby boomers' 401ks.
In 2008, we were seeing record amounts of foreclosures and huge losses in housing prices.
In 2008, we were staring another Great Depression in the face.
In 2008, the GOP had no answers of their own to the crisis and reverted to orthodox (if inept) Keynesianism which they did and still rail against. Bush was just throwing money at the banksters without any accountability on the banks' part.
In 2008, Osama bin Laden was still on the loose and AQ was regrouping.
Flash forward to 2012.
President Obama improved the TARP program started by Bush, stabilizing the credit markets, preventing bank runs and avoiding the oncoming depression. Obama's bailout saved GM, their supply chain and all the jobs that depend on the auto industry and its employees.
The stimulus package that Paul Ryan lied about not asking for money from prevented a contraction in the overall economy.
The DJIA almost doubled in two years.
The private sector stopped shedding jobs and actually started hiring.
Under Obama, Osama bin Laden was killed and, whether Shakey likes it or not, drone strikes have crippled AQ and its allies while not directly risking American lives in the process, thus making us safer.
We also now have at least a half-decent health care plan on the horizon. It's not perfect but it's better than the massively inefficient and overpriced current mess.
So, are you legitimately worried that you'll lose your job tomorrow due to the economy? No? Then you are better off today than in 2008.
Are you legitimately worried about losing your house to foreclosure? No? Then you are better off today than in 2008.
Can you get a loan, especially if you are a small businessperson? Yes? Then you are better off today than you were in 2008.
How is your 401k doing now compared to 2008? Yep, you're better off now.
The Dems need to remind people off all these things and then ask why we should our economy and nation over to the people (many of whom are the same ones from 2008) whose economic policies got us into the mess in the first place and whose "small government" beliefs do not extend into your bedroom.
Here's the shot. The republicans HAD their chance to convince America that things are outright bad or on the decline. I haven't seen polling, but I don't get the sense they moved the needle much. Conventions are usually the chance to get a wild swing in your direction.
The facts tell a different story. Are we better now than four years ago? Of course. We have been adding more than a 100,000 jobs a month on average for quite a while when we were shedding nearly 800,000 jobs a month back then. The economy was contracting at an alarming rate from June 2008 through the first half of 2009 and has been expanding ever since. Republicans will say he is whining, so I don't know if they can do this message, but if you look rationally at the world economy and how we have weathered the storm, we have done pretty well. We could have done a whole lot better with increased funding to the state's to protect jobs for police, teachers and fire fighters and if we would have passed the infrastructure repair initiatives that the Chamber of Commerce have endorsed for several years.
I remember when Obama took office that economists of all stripes were already warning of a jobless recovery. Not because of policy but because of circumstances. Hell, I think even vfish was saying that back then. Not as a shot at Obama but as a matter of opinion shared by most.
Regardless of who wins, things will improve over the next four years. With the recent rogue republicans on several issues and some even standing up to Grover Norquist, I have hope that a second Obama term might achieve some results that both sides can live with.
From a convention standpoint, Obama has got to be thrilled right now. The republicans went first. At best, their drive stalled and they kicked a field goal. More realistically, all they did was gain a little field position before punting. Let's see how it goes, but the DNC is set up well. Biden will handle a lot of red meat. Clinton will attack the republican use of his image and policies and will endorse everything that Obama has done and everything he proposes to do. Then Obama will cap it off by getting everyone fired up and ready to go.
This is how an uninformed voter would respond.
"4 years ago we elected Obama. The unemployment rate is still 8% or 9%. That is too high."
"I still might lose my job. My house payment is still too much. Yeah, my 401k has gone up, but there still might be another collapse."
"So did Obama, and look how rich the bankers became. What accountability he hold them? Look how many lawsuits there are against the banks for fraudulent foreclosures."
"Yeah, and if Bush has the same intelligence, he would have bombed him. Hell, he should have bombed Pakistan, which Obama is afraid to do. Seriously, there are all sorts of bombing still occurring he is withdrawing troops."
Flash forward to 2012.
"He just put the government into more debt, and the rich are still getting richer."
"Businesses were still closing, and people were still getting laid off. How was that preventing a contraction?"
"Again, the rich getting richer."
"Hardly any at all. There are still factories that have not been reopened, houses that are vacant, and the unemployment rate is still much higher than under Bush. "
"Don't you get it? We should not be sending in drones, we should have troops there and removed the governments in place, like in Pakistan or Yemen."
"And it is going to crap all over Social Security and raise the debt even more. And I'll still have to worry about putting food on the table."
As for this last part, it is nuanced. I agree that this should be the message, but it is a difficult sell. On one hand, congress controls the purse. On the other hand, the President is the Leader of the Country, Commander-in-Chief, etc.
Now, I don't think going after Ryan for using stimulus money will work. He voted against the package, but then used the money available to him. In essence, he voted against big government, but supported the "ordinary people."
What I think Obama and company should go after is Mitt being a businessman, not a politician. Mitt thinks of things like profit and loss, but how can a monetary value be put on preventing a heart attack and having a healthy baby? How can leading from the top, being the one to make all the decisions, help when power is separated, and the purse is not controlled by him? (This second point will lead him into his Massachusetts days, which Obama and co. can exploit.) If he thinks that part of the government is not working well, like the post office, will he simply shut it down to prevent losing more money? What about the people who work for that part of the government? What about congress having a say?
The Dems would also be smart to remind people that the improvements we have seen in the last four years were accomplished despite the Reeps in Congress and not because of them.
Biden should be reminding people that the Reeps in general and teabaggers in particular have not only done nothing constructive to help Americans but have done everything they can to actively oppose the improvements we've seen. At best, the Reeps have lied about the programs that helped our economy while quietly participating or at least benefiting from them. In short, they've put their own partisan interests ahead of the interests of most Americans, trying to cause as much pain to Americans as they could in order to reap electoral gains. The Dems need to make sure Americans know this.
There is the problem with your argument. As a republican, I could care less about the economy of Greece or Portugal or Ireland. I care about the economy of the US. The unemployment rate is too high, my home value is too low, and I have to worry about keeping my job.
I work with some good people, and most are probably Dems, but when it comes to politics, they are simpletons.
This is why the Dems need to inform people. The Reeps are desperately hoping people will compare Obama against an artificial bubble economy and not against where we were in 2008.
The unemployment rate was almost 7% in November 2008, going to 10% in October of 2009. It is now down to 8.3% of thereabouts.
Of the 3% increase in unemployment from 11/08 to 10/09, we've knocked out 2/3 of that increase.
Again, you have focus people on the reality and not the self-pity. Even all the above is true (and it's increasingly false for most Americans), they're still better off than 2008 and shows just what a disaster Reep policies will be if Romney and Ryan are elected. Even if you think you're still in the frying pan, do you really want to jump back into the fire of 2008?
Unfortunately, low information voters cannot be expected to know about TARP, Dod-Frank or FATCA other than when Fox News bashes them but that's exactly why I hope the Dems tackle this lack of information head on such as:
"Why do you think the banksters whined so much when Obama fixed Bush's version of the TARP program. Why are they now whining about Dodd-Frank and FATCA? Why is Wall Street pumping so much money into Romney? What are they trying to buy with that money? They believe Romney will get rid of the reforms Obama has been able to get through even the obstructionist Reeps in Congress. Speaking of which, what have the Congressional Reeps done about the banksters? Nothing. If you want to let the banksters off scot free, vote for Romney."
Only an already committed Reep would make these arguments so I don't think the Dems should go there.
What a theoretical Dems should do if confronted with that is point out that Reeps have been whining that too much "uncertainty" has kept employers from hiring. Romney is already threatening to go to war with Iran. Now THAT would create a shitstorm of uncertainty. If you think gas prices are high now, wait until the bombs start falling on Tehran.
"Which means that even the rich are better off now than they were in 2008, right?" OK, that's a flippant reply but the best response is to ask how the questioner thinks Romney's policies would build more income equality than Obama's other than wrecking our economy and making everyone poorer.
Because even more are opening and hiring. Duh.
Again, who is more likely to change that - Obama or Romney?
I hardly expect such a low information voter to know that employment is a lagging indicator. I'd point out that gaining 100,00 jobs a month under Obama is better than losing 700,000 a month under Bush. I'd also point out that Romney's Massachusets ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.
Again, I don't think anyone but a Reep chickenhawk would argue that. And if they did, ask them how another costly war and occupation will impact the deficit. Like it or not, drones are the most cost-effective solution we have right now.
This can be countered with basic facts. No worries here. It's Roney's and Ryan's numbers that demonstrably don't add up.
The rest of your post demands a separate response which I will have to get to later. Good post, though.
The republicans had a great shot and didn't do much with it. I listened (C-SPAN) to a lot of the convention and what I took away from the RNC was "Don't vote for Obama." It should have been "Vote For Mitt." Instead of building a message of moving the country forward with specific plans and avoiding sequestration in the government, you had a lot of demonizing and "Don't vote for Obama." I understand framing the downfalls of Obama, but there was too much time spent on it and less on how we got there and how we were going to get out. What I do care about is how to avoid it in the future and what plans there are for moving forward.
Marco Rubio did a great job. I liked Jeb Bush and his interviews. If he ever runs, I would vote for him. The Clint Eastwood debacle and Chris Christie stroking his ego stuck out more than Mitt's speech and still overshadows Mitt's acceptance speech. People will remember Dirty Harry's painful ramblings more than Mitt's acceptance speech.
And every time I see the video of Mitch McConnell telling the audience that his Top Priority is to limit Barack Obama to one term, it makes me sad that my sisters stil live in Kentucky. NO. Your #1 priority should be to work with the man that America elected as president of the United States to fix the fcuking mess.
That is why I said they likely can't use this argument, but it is a shame. Anyone who thinks our economy can thrive while the rest of the world sags is an idiot. That's harsh. Let's just say they are willfully uninformed. As to your long post with responses to ratdog's points to be raised -- of course the republicans will say that. Nothing wrong there. That is politics. But they are going to say all of that stuff anyway. The democrats have to get their message out and I suspect they will. The thing that no one in the media seems to have focused on yet is that Clinton speaking will be huge.
Unlike the republicans who seemed allergic to Mitt Romney in their speeches, Clinton will talk about what it means to be a democrat but fully within the context of the Obama presidency. His strong endorsement will help put a lot of people at ease with their vote for Obama. It will raise the enthusiasm of democrats and independents who are leaning Obama and will help drive turnout in the long run, particularly if he continues to campaign for Obama in swing states over the next two months, which I suspect he will.
And for Stilton who said my post was the most mind-numbing he had ever seen on BS because I suggested Christie was up there running for 2016 and wanted Romney to lose to help his chances, I will raise the same thing here. Hillary will likely be too old in 2020. Her best shot is if Obama is re-elected and things go well over the next four years. Bill will help make that happen.
They should keep running against Bush 2, that has worked very well. Maybe nickname Romney Bush 3. (well Bush 4 since McCain was Bush 3).
If you really think things are better now than when Obama was elected, you need to get your head out of the sand.
Regardless of his ability to influence it, Obama will have a hard time overcoming the $4 per gallon gas prices as well.
The "are you better off than you were 4 years ago" question made sense back in November 2011, or April 2012.
But now? All a politician has to do to defuse it is take the dates literally. Every Democratic politician should hope they get asked to compare the situation in Sept/Oct/Nov 2012 to the freefall of Sept/Oct/Nov 2008. And there's no need to mention any politicians in that previous period by name to drill home the point, just mention their policies since they are identical to Romney.
And it has the added bonus of being accurate.
Hey, since the Reeps want it to be a comparison between Obama and the bubble, Dems have every right to make Obama versus Bushromney.
I agree, makes good political sense.
That chart is bullshit, we have not reported real unemployment rates for a very long time, so yes real unemployment under Obama is higher than the official but so were the Bush unemployment rates real vs official.
Edit: this chart adds underemployed.
Some of the RNC speakers, including Romney himself, seemed to make direct appeals to those independents and centrist Democrats who voted for Obama in '08, still like him personally and don't question his motives, but don't believe he's the man to get the economy humming again. I'm curious to see whether the DNC will explicitly reach out to these voters. Wouldn't surprise me if the political advisers instructed Obama and his surrogates to not even acknowledge this scenario, but although risky, I think it might pay off to directly appeal to this group. Will the argument that the Republican House obstructed Obama and therefore you can't truly measure his performance based on the state of the economy work with this demographic? Or perhaps just driving home that Romney/Ryan are pushing for the same Bush policies that drove the economy into the ditch in the first place? To be honest, I'm not sure what would work. But I'll be paying particular attention to see if any of the speakers address their argument directly to the people who still like Obama but our leaning toward not voting for him again.
Absolutely, it's a standard anti-Obama trope to pretend that the way government measures unemployment magically changed in January 2009. The part where workers who are not actively seeking work aren't counted in the statistics has always been the case, at least in the past few decades.
Or else my old gen ed economics textbook was lying to me.
So please enlighten us on how gaining 100,000 jobs per month is worse than losing 700,000 jobs per month. I can't wait to find out how a stable, slow recovery is worse than an economy in free fall.
The IBD Op Ed page? Seriously? That's TPfish territory. The article is just a bunch of warmed over GOP talking points surrounding a misleading graph.
Even worse for you, it doesn't really change anything because if the higher "real" unemployment is true for Obama, it was also true for Bush and will be true for any President until the participation rate goes back up which, considering it has been declining for 30 years, is not likely to rise enough to make a huge difference.
A more intelligent view of the labor participation rate is here:
"The number of people the BLS lists as "not in the labor force" but also lists as "persons who currently want a job" has increased by 1.7 million. Indeed U-5 unemployment, which takes normal unemployment and adds in "discouraged workers, plus all other persons marginally attached to the labor force," sits at 9.5%. Discouraged and marginally attached workers, and the U-5 unemployment rate that incorporates them, are designed to give us a measure of those not in the labor force who want to come back into the workforce but have given up looking. Perhaps this will be our best measure going forward of this phenomenon?
Here's a chart from the Kansas City paper of how the unemployment rate looks forecasted:
Obviously, despite Obama having staved off a Depression and partly reversed the crisis brought to us by the same people now advising Romney, the unemployment situation isn't ideal and much work remains to be done. Considering the magnitude of the crisis and the headwinds caused by slowing growth around the world that hampers growth here, we've done an OK job. The situation, however, deserves a more intelligent analysis than the article you linked to and a better solution than the same old tired nonsense of "cut spending, lower taxes and loosen the regulatory stranglehold on business" that is the Reep knee-jerk answer to every economic situation.
Only if Hurricane Isaac (the worst hurricane since who knows how long) doesn't flip a big U-Turn and need Obama to save the gulf coast.