3 comments November 19th, 2009at 07:03am Posted by Eli

It looks like the Democrats have finally realized that unemployment is important to American voters, and that breezily stating that the economy is recovering fine and jobs are just a “lagging indicator” is not going to cut it (it is, in fact, so staggeringly tone-deaf that it’s actually worse than saying nothing).

Best of all, Democrats pursuing an actual jobs bill puts the Republicans in an awkward position:

Without doubt, Republicans will oppose a new jobs bill with near unanimity. Michael Steele has already said that any jobs created by infrastructure rebuilding efforts aren’t real jobs, but that conservative mindset isn’t resonating with voters who can tell the difference between being employed and unemployed.

Polls show notion of a federal jobs bill is overwhelmingly popular, even in the South, even among Republicans. As long as the bill stays focused on creating jobs it will be a huge winner in substantive terms, and given the public’s focus on job creation, that means sending the legislation to President Obama’s desk early next year will be a great way to start off the 2010 political season.

So much for the GOP’s burgeoning attempt to brand themselves as the populist party of the little guy – funny how their idea of helping the little guy always seems to involve helping corporations and rich people rather than helping the little guy directly.  (One of the Republicans’ all-time cleverest linguistic tricks was when they started substituting the word “jobs” for the word “profit” – I mean, who doesn’t want us to maximize jobs, right?)

If Obama and the Democrats had had the good sense to smack the banksters around instead of giving into them and feeding them trillions of taxpayer dollars, there would be a lot fewer teabaggers, and the poll numbers for 2010 probably wouldn’t look nearly as dire.  Not screwing around on healthcare probably would help too.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Politics,Republicans


  • 1. Cujo359  |  November 19th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    I wrote about this sort of thing not too long ago. I don’t think it’s so bad to tell people things like that jobs always lag behind a recovery. It’s the truth, usually. The problem is that the next thought in most peoples’ minds, including mine, is what are you going to do about it?

    When the answer to that question appears to be “more of the same”, that’s not a good answer. We Americans tend to be practical people, I think. We realize that tough times are ahead. I’d like it that the government understood that, and did something about it, like extend unemployment benefits, build more things we need like roads and college educations, or some damn thing.

    That’s what’s tone deaf. It’s like it’s just too damn hard to do what they know perfectly well needs to be done.

  • 2. Eli  |  November 19th, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Yeah, my problem with the statement is that it makes it sound like the lack of jobs isn’t really a big deal, and it’ll take care of itself because the economy’s totally fixed.

    If he had said it was lagging because engineering job growth is really tricky and difficult, that would still get the message across without making it sound like he thought his mission was already accomplished.

  • 3. Cujo359  |  November 20th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Good point, and even on the underlying assumption isn’t terribly reassuring. Things could also get worse in the future for reasons we can’t imagine. That’s assuming, of course, they’re not trying to put one over on us by insisting things are getting better when they know they’re not, which I can’t totally discount as a possibility

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