Another article in today's Times today gushes how "buoyed" Obama is now that there is some real bipartishit coming out of Congress. Apparently, the fact that the Uniparty can agree to impose suffering on the masses and enrich the corporations is cause for celebration. As long as it puts the president in a good mood, what more could we peasants ask for? To further lift him out of his doldrums, the aptly named Moody's is walking back its Debt Ceiling Doom rating threat.
The "Headwind" headline is ripped straight from the obsessive-compulsive brain of whatever White House PR hack writes the speeches. The president can't get enough of the temporary headwinds buffeting the economy and which, of course, are merely passing zephyrs in his Panglossian world vision --- the Japanese earthquake is still sending shock waves across the ocean, says he. Then there are those rising gas prices, which actually started falling even before he unnecessarily released the oil reserves. And those misleading, increasing unemployment numbers, which are always flukes and always so much shockingly higher than expected, even though teachers by the thousands are being laid off this summer, when school's out and nobody notices.
But this excerpt is the real giveaway that Leonhardt's piece came indirectly from
The clearest statement of this idea has come from David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s top political adviser. “The average American does not view the economy through the prism of G.D.P. or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Mr. Plouffe said at a recent Bloomberg Breakfast here. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate. They’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’ ”Actually, it wasn't the Republicans who first seized upon Plouffe's ham-handed bluster. The Progressive blogosphere glommed onto it first. A recent phenomenon I have noticed is that whenever liberals take Obama to task for his latest outbreak of conservativism, Republicans seize upon the criticism, making Obama their instant victim without having to expend much effort themselves. Not much we can do about that, except to say over and over again to David Brooks and William Kristol and Charles Krauthhammer: Take him -- he's yours! He wants to rip up the social safety net as much as you do. He is embracing the latest Baby Grand (son of big Grand) Bargain from the Gang of Six or Seven even though he hasn't even read the thing yet. It is still in its fetal stage: two pages of bullet points.
Not surprisingly, Republicans seized on the comment to say the White House was out of touch. They are preparing to follow the path of not only Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign, but also — in slogans, if not policies — Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign, which coined “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Nowhere in his article does Leonhardt mention the pushback against Obama from his former supporters. As of 7:30 a.m. today, all 19 reader comments posted to the Leonhardt story were Obama-negatives from the usual liberal crowd. And not one clothespin (hold your nose, lesser of two evils) voter among them. More and more, it's not the Economy Stupide. It's the fact that a Democratic president is thinking about cutting Social Security and Medicare and other domestic programs during what is increasingly looking like a Long Depression.