The Good News Paradox in Obama's America

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The Good News Paradox in Obama's America Powered By Docstoc
					It feels like a curse. Ordinarily, we would have no reason to be anything other than
joyous about the Labor Department report released on Friday. The economy added
151,000 jobs in October, and economists are starting to see real signs of recovery and
discard fears of a double-dip recession. Two articles in The New York Times support
this sense of optimism by putting the statistics in historical perspective and sharing
encouraging predictions by an economist who saw the housing crisis coming as early
as 2005. But the news is nonetheless scant comfort considering that the American
people illustrated on Tuesday that they 鈥檝 e already been brainwashed into believing
that Obama 鈥檚 fiscal policies have failed, and the President refuses to stand up for
  The Times article on Saturday explains that the highest number of jobs created in a
single month during the last decade was 208,000. Considering that we 鈥檙 e still
recovering from the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, it is
astonishing that Obama 鈥檚 policies have not only prevented Depression 2.0, but
have also added 151,000 jobs in a month less than two years later. Furthermore, the
two sectors that created the most jobs were education and health care. Can it be a
coincidence that these are two areas that Obama has focused on with special care
throughout his presidency? In addition, as The Times reports, 鈥渢 he government
also revised upward the numbers for August and September, showing 110,000 fewer
jobs lost,鈥?and overall 鈥渢 he American economy has added 860,000 positions this
calendar year.鈥?
  Sunday 鈥 檚 Times article discusses the forecast of Ian Shepherdson, the
aforementioned economist. Considering that, among other good news, 鈥渢 he stock
market clawed its way back to levels last reached just before the calamitous events of
fall 2008,鈥?Shepherdson expects there to be 鈥渘 o double-dip recession 鈥?and a
return to a 鈥渞 eal, properly growing recovery 鈥?as early as 鈥渢 he second half of
2011.鈥? This is largely due to the fact that 鈥渢 he credit contraction seems to be
coming to an end,鈥?in other words, slowly but surely banks appear likely to start
lending to small businesses again, the latter of which accounted for roughly 鈥渢
wo-thirds of all new job creation 鈥?last cycle. Though it does not come up in the
article, there can be no doubt that Obama 鈥檚 recent legislative achievement to
pump more loans into small businesses will continue to further buttress this trend.
  I say all this 鈥渇 eels like a curse,鈥?however, because no matter what happens
nothing Obama does is good enough for the American people or himself. The
population roundly rejected his performance as president last week (I will decidedly
not concede that they repudiated his policies because most people don 鈥檛 know
what his polices actually are), and he never defends his agenda. Perhaps if Friday 鈥
檚 report had come out before Tuesday matters might be different. But I doubt it. As
with virtually all his accomplishments, instead of promoting his success the President
characterized the jobs report as 鈥済 ood. But not good enough.鈥?
  And the American people have taken him at his word. Or at the Republicans.鈥? In
either case there 鈥檚 no chance for the public to realize how much change Obama
has wrought. All we hear now is either: conservatives calling the President an
out-of-control spender who has no regard for the national debt and raises taxes while
expanding government; prior Obama supporters lamenting that 鈥渢 his is not the
change or the man I voted for;鈥?or the President lamely explaining that 鈥渃 hange
takes time.鈥? Of course it does. And the American people betray their ignorance and
stupidity by failing to recognize this obvious fact.
  But why can 鈥檛 Obama explain how much real change he 鈥檚 brought, which is
all the more remarkable since he 鈥檚 done it so quickly? Sure Washington is still a
mess, but why can 鈥檛 he bring himself to tell the people that partisanship still rules
because the Republicans refused to embrace their own policies out of hatred for
Obama in the cases of creating a bipartisan budget-deficit committee or mandating
that everyone join high-risk insurance pools (which has been embraced by Mitt
Romney, who put a similar program in place in Massachusetts, Bob Dole, and the
Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, to name a few), among many other
examples? And why can 鈥檛 he clearly communicate the concept that Americans
will no longer lose their health care if they get fired or sick? Or that health care
reform is designed to reduce the national debt? Or that government jobs have actually
decreased by over 357,000 since he took office? Or that he has cut taxes for 95% of
Americans with the Stimulus and his recent small business lending bill, both of which
the Republicans opposed? His impotence in the face of their ludicrous objection that
the lending bill will encourage banks to engage in excessive risk-taking in spite of
their resistance to financial reform, which is designed to regulate recklessness on Wall
Street, is inexplicable and inexcusable. How could he let them get away with that?
  All this is shocking because the last thing anyone expected in 2008 was that Obama
would have trouble communicating. He campaigned back then with such power and
eloquence. Remember when Glenn Beck and co indignantly maintained that Obama
was cheating somehow because he committed the awful sin of using teleprompters?
Although in those days such criticism was pathetic, underscoring how hard the right
had to work to attack a seemingly invincible President, there was unwittingly some
tragic truth to the smear campaign. In retrospect, the teleprompter nonsense was just
one step in a long series of attempts to convey to the public that Obama 鈥檚 a fraud:
he 鈥檚 not really such a good speaker because he can 鈥檛 convey his own thoughts
on the fly. This would shortly thereafter mutate into the broader charges that he 鈥檚
not really a citizen, that he 鈥檚 a secret socialist and Muslim with a sinister plot to
destroy America, and that in either case he 鈥檚 un-American.
  Although the latter claims are of course vicious lies, the teleprompter attack has
some ironic basis in reality. Even though he can still rally a crowd when he chooses, it
turns out that Obama has thus far done a historically bad job at communicating. And
his reaction to Friday 鈥檚 promising job report suggests that he may continue to beat
up on himself indefinitely, although one could excuse his decision to try to avoid a
repeat of the epic blunder his administration made early on by asserting that
unemployment will not exceed 8%.
  Everyone knows Obama is brilliant. Even his enemies do, which is why they try to
use it against him. In spite of his many accomplishments, the Midterms have proved
that legislative achievements aren 鈥檛 enough. Hopefully, the President will devote
more time to improve his pr and fight back against the conservatives.
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 Sources:          Times          articles          about         jobs        report:
 Obama       鈥      檚          small       business      lending     bill/tax   cuts:
  Government        jobs     decrease     by      over     357,000     under     Obama:
  Republicans first promote bi-partisan budget deficit committee and then reject it
when          Obama         takes        them         up        on       their      offer
onnell-reverses-position-conrad-gregg-budget-co/ Creating mandatory insurance
exchanges       is    a    conservative      idea:     Heritage     Foundation    鈥 ?
  Bob Dole 鈥?
  Americans are ignorant about Obama 鈥檚 policies 鈥?
  A New York Times/CBS poll shows that less than 10% of Americans know Obama
cut             taxes            for            95%              of            Americans: Pew Research poll
shows        half      of     Americans        think      Obama       started     TARP:
  Health         Care       Reform         will        reduce       budget       deficits: