First, the good news. Rasmussen shows the race still tied, with O 1 in likely voters and it exactly even when “leaners” are added in. The numbers aren’t moving despite the kitchen sink offensive from Team Obama and its MSM allies
Better yet, this snapshot of absentee balloting in Ohio ought greatly to encourage GOP enthrusiasts everywhere as it confirms that Republican enthusiasm is very high and Democratic enthusiasm has fallen off greatly from the peak of 2008 levels. The Obamaians in MSM land will find a way to stand with Quinnipiac/Marist turnout models, but of course that is simple boosterism. No one –no one– can defend those samples as producing a predictive result, and the pollsters themselves don’t even try. The Manhattan-Beltway media elite, however, jumped on the plane to Absurdistan. This would never have happen if Jonathan Chait was alive. (For yet another take on what happens when samples are not skewed D, read the results of this encouraging snapshot of Iowa as voting gets underway there.)
That’s the good news. The bad news is that the country is in really, really bad shape, at home and abroad, and millions and millions seem intent on refusing to deal with the crisis.
Leave it to Charles Krauthammer to provide an accurate and devastating summary of the reaction of President Clueless to the past three weeks. “Obama seems not to even understand what happened” is Krauthammer’s chillingly accurate summary of the president’s reaction to Benghazi, though it might also apply to the president’s grasp on events in Egypt, Israel, Syria and Iran. Perhaps he understands Greece and Spain….well, maybe not.
It is also true about his attitude about the economy. He’s got very secure income prospects for the balance of his life. He’s not worried –at all.
If the prospects for the United States of four more years under the president were not so grim, it would very interesting to see how disconnected he could become and how great his hubris could grow in a second term.
But the prospects are grim. Read James Pethokoukis’ blog over at AEI for snapshots from the cavern of the American economy. Among his many terrific posts on the ongoing collapse of growth is “‘It’s All Unraveling’: Is This the last Quarter of Recovery?” which includes this summary photo:
Which brings me to the “Found 400,000 Jobs.”
If you missed it, yesterday the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced it had found 386,000 more jobs than it previously thought existed in the United States.
Now, I don’t know if the unicorns found jobs will impact the unemployment rate next week, but whether or not they will, they have already impacted the left’s “It’s not so bad” narrative. See, for example, the reliable Matt Yglesias. “More Americans are employed today than were when he took office,” proclaimed Matt. There’s more:
And that can help us explain things like “why has the unemployment rate been falling despite weak payroll growth?” or even “how can Mitt Romney be losing with the economy doing so poorly?” The payroll growth maybe wasn’t quite as weak as we thought, and the economy overall was perhaps doing a bit better.
Spin in a box: The economy is not nearly as bad as you think and feel it is. Ignore that GDP report and for goodness sakes don’t let all those economists Pethokoukis quotes disturb your GOTV efforts.
If you watch the new movie “Won’t Back Down” you will glimpse the wellspring of Obama support and the motivation to proclaim that “down” is “up,” and to trumpet “found jobs” in the face downward revisions of GDP. The jobs of millions and the access of thousands depend upon President Obama’s re-election. The millions are the the government emplotyees at all levels. The thousands the Manhattan-Beltway economic elites and especially the permanent class of the access-dependent media elite and their organizations.
There are 2.8 million federal employees. Slightly more than 5 million people work for state governemnts, and just over 14 million work for state governments. (I am using Politfact numbers so as to avoid getting the left spun up about specifics.) These 22 million government employees are the heart of Obama’s legions and their determination to re-elect him is based on the simple fact of self-interest.
The New York Times’ Ross Douthat has been writing about the wealth of D.C. and surrounding areas, and his focus on just how well the government has done during bad times is very timely and very useful.
While that wealth can help explain the enthusiasm of the Manhattan-Beltway media elite for the president –a rising tide lifts all boats in the nation’s capital and its dependencies to the north and seems to suggest that those who did good since 2008 will do so again if O is re-elected– it doesn’t explain the ferocious attachment to a failed president by the millions of Team Obama contributors and volunteers.
“Security” does. These 22 million government employees have far more security in their jobs and thus in their oiverall economic condition and quality of life than do the vast majority of Americans living thorugh the truly awful Obama economy. Sure, some teachers are on the margin because of some isolated layoffs, and some government workers have seen their jobs cut back or disappear. But the vast, vast majority of government employees have the same jobs they did four years ago, and at the same rate of pay or close to it. (And many have achieved raises because of the simple operation of seniority and “step increases.”)
It is perfectly rational behavior for these 22 million to cling to Obama as a breakwater against the reality of the collapsing economy and the economic realities that would engulf them if they lost tenure or the protections of public employment. The dialouge among teacher uniuon organizers in “Won’t Back Down” is fascinating, very accurate, and, by the way, it isn’t secret or imagined. It is carried every day in public in every labor dispute with public employees, most recently in the Chicago teacher strike, but all across the country as well.
The 22 million don’t want to live in the world the rest of America lives in when it comes to job security. They know Obama will protect them from that, and they will do all they can to keep him in place, supported by the MSM which remains in love with the perfect failure they first swooned for eight years ago in Boston and whom they have followed devotedly for the past five, despite his disdain for them and their “profession.”
So with 40 days to go until the decision is in, that’s the playing field: A tied race, with enthusiasm on the GOP side but grim self-interest propping up a disconnected president while the world burns, the domestic economy crumbles, and elite media and select pollsters cheer the emperor they love and on whom they depend for treats.
Interesting. Frightening, but interesting.