Skip to comments.The Media Can't Save Barack From Obama Economy
Posted on 06/24/2011 3:22:02 PM PDT by Nachum
With the Obama economy limping along thanks in part to the Administrations policies in favor of extreme dollar weakness, theres growing speculation as to his re-election chances in 2012. Will a difficult economic situation that includes high levels of unemployment make Obama a one-term president? History says no given the power of incumbency.
Added to that, another popular narrative of late points to an Obama victory owing to the supposed economic illiteracy of the electorate, along with a media that will provide our weakened president with positive media coverage no matter the state of the economy. Of course the problem with this bit of theorizing is that Americans arent stupid, and after that, past elections suggest that those same Americans tend to tune out the media.
Ronald Reagans two terms in office tell the tale here. As USA Today media reporter Peter Johnson has put it, Over the course of his campaigns and eight years in office, Ronald Reagans press peaked and fell but was always negative. In his re-election bid in 1984, 91 percent of his coverage was negative.
The above is important. Despite a rising economy and millions of new jobs, the media invariably stuck to a number of gloomy themes during the Reagan years, including the rising homeless population, twin deficits, and a generalized assumption that the supposed economic gains of the 1980s were only being enjoyed by the wealthy few. Amidst this constant negativity, Reagan was returned to office in 1984 with one of largest landslide victories in electoral history.
To gain access to our best stock picks and most extensive buy/sell lists, click here to sign up for our free weekly newsletter Investment Advisor Ideas.
Back then, stocks confirmed what voters already knew that the economy was doing very well. Despite a major recession brought on by Paul Volcker and the Federal Reserves needless flirtation with quantity money targets in the early 1980s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average still returned 134 percent during Reagans presidency. Markets and the Electoral College told the truth about an economy and presidency that the media regularly tried to cast in a negative light.
To put it simply, voters arent dim and they know when the economy is performing well. Conversely, when the economy is acting badly, voters are well aware once again. For evidence supporting the above, we must first journey back to Jimmy Carters presidency. As William Greider put it in Secrets of the Temple, Despite the aggravations of inflation, President Carter had presided over one of the longest and most expansive periods of economic growth in postwar history, four years of recovery starting in 1976.
So while GDP, the frequently faulty measure of economic health, was rising during Carters presidency, neither the stock markets nor the electorate were fooled. The recession during the Carter years was the falling dollar, as evidenced by spikes in gold and oil. A falling dollar is always recessionary for limited capital flowing into hard, commoditized assets, and away from innovative ideas that fund our economic advancement.
Though the media certainly preferred Carter over Reagan heading into the 1980 elections, the electorate felt differently and handed Reagan a 44-state landslide. The economy was weak, voters knew it, and the Reagan Revolution began.
Moving to George W. Bushs presidency, GOP partisans continue to talk about 52 months of uninterrupted economic growth, along with mostly low unemployment that prevailed during his presidency. But thanks to a falling dollar that once again drove gold and oil skyward, voters expressed their displeasure.
Luckily for Bush, the dollars most substantial decline began after the 2004 elections, thus saving him from certain defeat. But by 2005-06 the dollar was in freefall, real estate was the hot asset much as it was during the Carter years, and as capital flowed into the proverbial ground as an inflation hedge, voters knew something was amiss on the way to voting out happy talking modern Republicans who wouldnt know a supply-side principle if it smacked them in the head.
Of all people, the usually brilliant economist Thomas Sowell opined about the Bush economy in 2006 that the liberal media and intelligentsia are strenuously trying to preserve the vision of poverty and economic distress, but in truth, the voters didnt need a media that disliked Bush to tell them something was wrong. They knew things werent right, the symptoms (rising gold, oil and all other commodities) of a weak dollar were the telltale sign of a weakening economy, and the Republicans rightly experienced major losses in 2006, followed by the White House in 2008.
Moving to the present, no doubt most in the media worship President Obama, and because they do theyll strive mightily to create the impression that all is well, or at the very least that the economic malaise isnt Obamas fault. They would have a point, though for reasons none could articulate. Simply stated, the Bush bailouts remain a big weight on economic growth for failure always authoring capitalisms advancement, not to mention that the Bushies handed Obama a dollar that was already severely debased.
Basically the Bush bailouts of banks and car companies in the name of free markets disallowed the initial economic cleansing necessary for a massive snapback, and then once in office, Obamas economic team poured gasoline on the fire; most notably with policies meant to mimic the Bush economic disaster in the form of nosebleed spending and an even weaker dollar. The economy is weak, its weakness by definition has Washington and the Obama administrations fingerprints all over it, and no matter how the media spin that which isnt working, Obama is in serious trouble.
Whats unknown is if theres a Republican who truly knows why the Obama economy sags, and who can talk about anything other than tax cuts which, at this point, are not the point. Specifically, is there a Republican who can explain to voters that $100 trips to the gas station are the direct result of the Administrations currency policies, not to mention that a weak dollar decreases the very investment that drives company formation and job creation.
If such a Republican exists Obama will be a one-term president. If not, the Republicans dont deserve to retake the White House.
I would not bet on it. They can also brainwash GOP Dupes in to nominating a RINO.
The LSM might not be able to get the twit re-elected, but they’ll do anything in their power to try to. They have no choice other than to try to tear down the GOP nominee by appealing to the “swing voters” tards of this country.
they’re trying as hard as they can though.
It is the media’s job to make Obama a success. Chris Matthews said so.
There will be hell to pay if Obama is not reelected.
Well the MSM including Mathews is in for a BIG surprise come November 2012.
“Well the MSM including Mathews is in for a BIG surprise come November 2012.”
A nanosecond after the Republican nominee is declared the winner, I expect to see tears streaming down Chrissy Mathews face as he curses the American voters as being “ignorant racists.”
Baraq is a guaranteed loser in a 2-way matchup.
And a likely winner (with a Clintonian plurality) in a 3-way matchup.
If the Dems can get Mitt nominated, they’re in good shape.
to the gas station are the direct result of the Administrations currency policies, not to mention that a weak dollar decreases the very investment that drives company formation and job creation.
I don't think that's it; at most it is only the shallow economic messenger.
I think it is the blatant leftism, i.e. centralized government control and insidious interdiction into all societal and economic interaction, such that those of us who would otherwise invest under a trustworthy and personal-responsibility supporting government, now retreat from such investment. God knows I am not going to risk any personal resources under a police authority which can arbitrarily confiscate them at any time, via any arbitrary law.
There are fewer and fewer US citizens around who lived through the Soviet Communist experience, but they had economists up the kazoo, and you see how many Soviet auto's and computers are on the world market. We are deeply deeply in fundamentally philosophical trouble and there is virtually NO articulate conservative in DC who has the balls to declare it.
Interpreting our tragedy in simple economic or monetary terms is pissing in the wind. We have abandoned (and I believe intentionally by some furtive cabal) the principles of individual freedom and trust. Obama is simply a human manifestation, like Bill Clinton incidentally, who views the world through mendacious eyes, exactly like their cheating biological fathers. More sinister(ly?) I think there are those who recognize and exploit this. A really, really, really ruthless crowd. They are not dumb.
Feel free to quote.
Johnny Suntrade, the Suntrade Institute
Those... are... awesome.
Do you have more?
the MSM can and is doing this.
They do not report stories.
They apply owellian tactics of stating all information as “good”.
only DNC approved people are allowed to speak on CNBC.
All politics is local and focused on the economy. This is as true for the wealthy as for those on the dole.
What a maroon.
I don’t even know where to start with this guy. He contradicted himself so many times in this article, that my head felt like a ping-pong ball reading it.
He sounds like a liberal trying to rent a clue, to me.
I ain't paying sh!t. I'm determined to do everything I can, to see that azzhole packing his bags.
“Well the MSM including Mathews is in for a BIG surprise come November 2012.”
They know what’s happening; that’s why they push so hard. If Obama loses all 50 states in 2012, Matthews will be sad but not surprised.
“And a likely winner (with a Clintonian plurality) in a 3-way matchup.”
Too many people throughout the political spectrum know that we can’t have this dope in the White House; at this point he is looking at his shrinking number of supporters versus Everybody Else, and Everybody Else is very motivated.
The rest of his history is equally psychotic.