The Washington Post answers Reagan’s question

**Posted by Phineas

Obama’s economic recovery adviser

Ronald Reagan met Jimmy Carter in their one and only debate a week before election day in 1980. At the end, Governor Reagan asked a question of the viewers and with it, some say, decided the race:

Now, 32 years later (has it been that long??) The Washington Post has answered that question for us: No way, no how.

Household income is down sharply since the recession ended three years ago, according to a report released Thursday, providing another sign of the stubborn weakness of the economic recovery.

From June 2009 to June 2012, inflation-adjusted median household income fell 4.8 percent, to $50,964, according to a report by Sentier Research, a firm headed by two former Census Bureau officials.

Incomes have dropped more since the beginning of the recovery than they did during the recession itself, when they declined 2.6 percent, according to the report, which analyzed data from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey. The recession, the most severe since the Great Depression, lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

Overall, median income is 7.2 percent below its December 2007 level and 8.1 percent below where it stood in January 2000, when it was $55,470, according to the report.

But wait, there’s more! The median net worth of families declined nearly 40%, from $126,000 to $77,000, a level not seen since 1992. Blacks saw their income decline more than twice as much as Whites and Hispanics, a grim achievement for the first African-American elected to the presidency. Households that derive most of their income from the self-employed now have to make due with almost ten percent less. The only people who have done better, not surprisingly, are those collecting government checks.

Read the whole thing; it’s a horror story as much as a news article, and its key point cannot be driven home hard enough — for the average American, the “recovery” has been worse than the recession.

I’ve seen it written before that recessions caused by financial crises, as was the last one, take longer to recover from than those arising from industrial slowdowns. And, I’ll grant, Obama did inherit a bad situation, once made worse by the mistakes of the late Bush administration — TARP, the initial auto bailouts, &c.

But Obama is responsible for his administration’s policies since taking office, and he owns in its entirety the nation’s economic performance since June, 2009, when the recession ended and the so-called recovery began.

And that is a record of doing exactly the wrong things, resulting in a miserable failure that shows no sign of improvement — and may well get worse.

If you aren’t doing better that you were four years ago, if in fact your situation is objectively worse, then why on Earth would you vote for Obama?

PS: Romney-Ryan 2012, because I want someone in charge who can see that the private sector is not doing fine.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Andrew Sullivan: “Obama is, in my view, the conservative reformist of my dreams”

Your quote of the day, friends:

Noah Millman thinks the “Obama Administration has been a quintessentially small-‘c’ conservative one, in that it has tried its best to preserve the status quo in just about every area”:

It would be helpful if commentators like Friedman would acknowledge not only that the Republican Party has become a right-wing populist party rather than a conservative one, but that the Obama Administration is the sensible, centrist conservative Administration they claim to want – and either declare their support (rather than wishing for a better opposition) or, if they don’t like the results, reconsider their centrist policy preferences.

Indeed. Which is why my support is so passionate, because Obama is, in my view, the conservative reformist of my dreams. Almost the entire Tory party in Britain would now fit comfortably in the Democratic Party – and Cameron is clearly closer to Obama than to Romney. In fact, there is no mainstream conservative party in the West even close to the GOP’s fundamentalist, revolutionary populism.


That’s why I have long been baffled as to why people said my preference over Obama was some kind of shift to the ideological left. Nope. Against a radical right, reckless, populist insurgency, Obama is the conservative option, dealing with emergent problems with pragmatic calm and modest innovation. He seeks as a good Oakeshottian would to reform the country’s policies in order to regain the country’s past virtues. What could possibly be more conservative than that? Or less conservative than the radical fusion of neoconservatism, theoconservatism and opportunism that is the alternative?

How I felt after I read that:

Any questions?

I think it’s time for lunch. If I see anything more like this I may REALLY bang my head against a wall a few times.

Related: New Obama ad: If you’re a conservative woman who likes small government, vote for Obama

CNN no longer safe for Dems as @AndersonCooper rips #DNC2012’s @DWStweets

The Politico sets the stage:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper engaged in a heated exchange Thursday night when Cooper charged that the Florida congresswoman “misquoted” the Los Angeles Times in a letter that the anchor also said misrepresented Mitt Romney’s stance on the Republican Party’s abortion platform plank.

The segment, which has gone viral in the conservative blogosphere, features Cooper, on his CNN show “Anderson Cooper 360,” pointing to a fundraising email Wasserman Schultz signed. He said that a quote she used from the Los Angeles Times in the appeal was taken “completely out of context.”

“The DNC chairwoman calls out Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for saying they don’t entirely agree with that plank,” Cooper said. “And here’s how she backs it up…’But guess what? ‘The Los Angeles Times’ reported yesterday that the platform was, and I quote, ‘written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.’

But Cooper said the quote “was ripped, in fact, out of a sentence,” saying that the real piece read, “Delegates for presumptive nominee Mitt Romney are voting down substantive changes to the platform language that were written at the direction of Romney’s campaign.”

“Do you at least acknowledge that the quote that you gave from “The L.A. Times” is completely incorrect?” Cooper asked, after a back-and-forth over Romney’s record on allowing for abortions in certain instances, like rape.

“No, I don’t acknowledge that. I know that is what you’re saying,” Wasserman Schultz shot back. When he started to read the quote, she interrupted, “Anderson, what I’m saying is, it doesn’t matter.”

Watch the full exchange below:


That makes three instances in less than two weeks that a CNN anchor has called out Debbie Wasserman Schultz on outright lies being told by her and her party’s surrogates. While these can hardly be considered a “watershed” moments for our overwhelmingly pro-Obama mainstream media, it should be considered an indication that some left wing journalists are finally starting to realize that if they continue to let demagogues like the DNC Chair flagrantly lie on any given issue, New Media will seize on it and essentially shame reliably liberal news media outlets into having to issue embarrassing corrections.