Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Saturday, August 16, 2003

Spinning Failure

Dwight Meredith over on PLA has a very interesting post up about the contrary spin points being employed by the two parties regarding the recession. Democrats are saying that the recession started in March 2001 (which is correct) and Bush is saying that it started in January 2001.

As Dwight points out, however, it would be smarter for them to switch their talking points because:

The argument the Democrats should make is that Mr. Bush failed to fix the problem. The more time Mr. Bush had to fix the problem, the more traction the Democrats will gain.

The Democratic line should be, “Mr. Bush wasted four full years and $2 trillion and the American people still can’t get jobs.”

The more time Mr. Bush had to turn the economy around, the better that argument will sound.

The converse is true for Mr. Bush. The later the recession started, the less time his policies have had to work. If the economy remains sluggish, Mr. Bush will argue that his prescription is right, but the medicine has not yet had time to work. That argument works better if it is made closer to the time the symptoms appeared.

This is correct. And, it plays into what I think is a strangely stupid tactic on Rove's part --- Junior's defensive and whiny tone and a pattern of unwillingness to take responsibility for anything that has happened since he assumed the office. (It's always possible that this is one of those unfortunate things that Rove can't control --- Bush himself may be believing his own hype about having been chosen by God or maybe he is just congenitally incapable of admitting fault.)

Bush and his boys are beating their breasts about all the things that have happened on his watch that he just couldn't help. And, he's right as far as it goes. The downturn in the economy and 9/11 were beyond the control of any politician. But, the man has been in office now for almost 3 years. At this point, the questions must go way beyond the problems (and surpluses) he inherited and unanticipated crises. It's about what he did about them.

This constant refrain of "it isn't my fault" is very unattractive coming from a supposed manly-man, "responsiblity era", straight shooter like Bush particularly one who has had a GOP congress (in practice if not in fact for the first year and a half) and has not issued even one veto. It's not like he had any institutional roadblocks preventing him from doing everything he possibly could.

The 2nd term is a referendum on the incumbent. He has almost nothing positive to show for his tenure. His reactions to economic conditions and 9/11 have been unsuccessful. He has failed to turn around the economy and he has failed to make America safer. In fact, it can be argued that 3 years after the advent of the recession and 2 years after 9/11 we are substantially worse off than we were before.

The Democrats need to emphasise Junior's response to problems (or lack thereof) rather than trying to defend the Clinton era by implying that the recession wouldn't have happened had Bill (or Al) been in office. Clinton's legacy will take care of itself. What they need to point out is that every president is confronted with unanticipated crises and that Bush has mishandled every single one that came his way, from the lack of stimulus in excessive tax cuts for the rich to botched homeland security to post war planning in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He's got a record and it isn't very impressive. It's a mistake to let him get away with framing the argument as if he inherited a bunch of huge problems that nobody could have dealt with, when the truth is that it's his job to deal with whatever problems present themselves.

Real Men don't whine and they don't put on cute costumes and pretend that they did something when they didn't. They solve the problem and move on to the next one.