Every Republican Candidate is Campaigning Against the Year 2008


It is almost as if the past seven years have gone by without Republicans noticing. They are all carrying on about the need to create jobs. To restore the economy. It doesn’t matter who you listen to. It’s Pete and repeat.

Just the other day in Phoenix, Trump said,

“Mexico — I respect the country. They’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our manufacturing, they’re taking our money, they’re taking everything, and they’re killing us at the border.”

He has said the same thing about China, that it is a “country that is ripping our heart out… And we [U.S.] do nothing to protect ourselves.”

Yet his own clothes line, as David Letterman pointed out, is made in Mexico and China. Donald Trump stole those jobs, gift-wrapped them, and personally shipped them overseas.

And then blamed Obama.

Take any Republican you wish and listen to them on the American economy. You will find that they are ignoring that in March, we had the lowest unemployment rate in seven years, ignoring not just 63 consecutive months of job growth, but now, 64 straight months, and the addition of 12.8 million jobs (since the ACA was passed, 90 percent of them full-time).

Republicans go on about how bad the economy is, despite Obama’s accomplishment of giving America the fastest GDP growth rate in more than a decade, a booming Wall Street, and the fact that, as of February, Obama had cut the deficit by two-thirds. The deficit shrank to a five-year low in 2013, and a year later, the deficit as a percentage of GDP fell below the 40-year average.

Think about that: FORTY year average. Forty years will take you back to the mid-1970s.

You would never know from listening to Republican presidential hopefuls that, as Rachel Maddow pointed out in 2013, we were witness to the fasted deficit reduction since the end of World War II, and that the deficit continues to shrink.

In December, the United States reached its highest growth level in 11 years, five percent in the third quarter. Eleven years, going back to 2003. Have Republicans noticed this?

If they’ve noticed, they steadfastly ignore it. We already touched on Trump above. Jeb Bush wrote a few days ago that “Barack Obama’s policies have given us a zombie economy where no matter what else happens, most Americans are falling behind.”

Just the other day, everybody noticed Jeb Bush say Americans need to work longer hours. Did anyone notice him say, “My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4% growth as far as the eye can see”?

Reagan’s average was 3.5 percent. Clinton managed 4 percent for four years. The United States has never seen a constant growth rate of 4 percent. It has averaged 3.24 percent from 1948 until 2015.

Just to put things in perspective, average growth rate under George W. Bush was a dismal 1.6 percent (dead last since Eisenhower) while Obama in the last year of his first term managed 2.8 percent in 2012, and began his second term with 1.9 percent in 2013, despite the Bush-engineered economic collapse of 2008.

The fact is, it is difficult to understand where Jeb’s problem with productivity comes from, since, as Newsweek has pointed out, “Under Bush, American workers put in an average of 34.6 hours of work a week. Under Obama, they worked an average of 34.3 hours a week.”

I guess Jeb thinks we’re being 3 minutes and 36 seconds lazy. But it wasn’t unproductive American workers who destroyed America’s economy. It was Jeb’s brother. And Jeb’s party.

Here’s the rub: The world the Republicans are campaigning against doesn’t exist. It hasn’t existed since 2008. In 2013, again, during Obama’s presidency, S&P affirmed America’s AA+ rating and upgraded America’s credit outlook from negative to stable, after being downgraded in 2011 as a result of the Great Recession of 2008. S&P cited “deficit reduction” and reduced borrowing as the reasons.

In other words, though they use Obama’s name, they are campaigning against George W. Bush.

Not to put too fine a point upon it, everything they say needs to be addressed, has been addressed, and with no help from them. Everything the GOP has done since 2008 has either created no jobs at all, or actually cost America jobs, has not reduced the deficit at all, but added to the deficit through tax breaks for the rich.

Apparently, having said that Obama would destroy the economy means that despite all the evidence to the contrary, Obama has destroyed the economy, and that they are therefore in the position of being saviors. But this is cognitive dissonance rearing its ugly head.

A Republican inability to deal with facts does not point to them as the best people to lead. It is the Republican inability to deal with facts that got us into the mess we were in by 2008. And arguably, their tendency to say things that make them feel better about themselves has gotten worse over the past seven years.

This is just more evidence of a complete lack of ethics and a complete disregard of the facts in the Republican Party.

Where Trump is concerned, he asserted in Phoenix that he is a “really smart person,” yet claims of his 4,000-strong rally “This crowd today blows away anything that Bernie Sanders has gotten,” even though Sanders got 10,000 in Madison. I’m not a rich business man, but I know 10,000 is more than 4,000. Bombastically claiming 20,000 for a building that holds 4,000 isn’t a sign that we can trust anything Trump says.

While the Republican Party shrinks into a small-tent, regional cult, he claimed “The silent majority is back, and we’re going to take the majority back, and we are going to make America great again.” Politico points out that for his supporters, “Trump is a straight-talker.”

Being loud and opinionated doesn’t make you a straight-talker. Republicans must learn not to conflate the two. To be a straight-talker, you must remain cognizant of the facts. What Trump is, in fact, is what is called in the vernacular, a “bullshitter.” There is a difference.

And you can tell them apart by looking at the numbers. The Republican base is too lost to ideology and bigotry to notice facts, but they’re out there, they do matter, and the America their candidates are campaigning against no more exists than the country they say they want to take back ever existed.

View Comments

  • Often times the Conservative side of the house likes to state: You can't blame Bu$h anymore!

    Well, since we're STILL cleaning up his messes- yes we can. Particularly since so many Conservatives are determined to prevent Obama from cleaning up those messes.

    And it doesn't help in the least, that Republicans are determined to not remember history- just so that they can repeat it ad infinitum (ad nauseum).

  • Pardon to change the issue folks, but what do think of Scott Walker running for Prez???

    Hope I didn't ruin anyone's day.

    • I take more notice of the fleas on my dogs than another smarmy, self-satisfied, dead eyed schmuck hell bent on destroying education and the middle class than another Bozo jumping on the bus to nowhere...

    • SinghX made a suggestion that intrigued me; That Trump is a dodge. A dodge sent by the Kochs to help eliminate the oh so overly crowded republican POTUS candidate clown car.

      If no one else can compete against Trump, he'll wait until nearly the last second, then bow out of the race, with an endorsement for Scott-free walker.

    • Scott Walker is a Nixon copy that guaranteed will be saying "I am not a crook" someday soon. Ted Cruz will be standing beside him waiting his turn to say the same thing. Then Rick Perry and probably a few more. Trump will still be saying "but I told you I could fix everything."

  • So according to Drump, Mexico and China are taking Americas' jobs, but he, himself outsources his clothing manufacturing to those countries - so hes part of the problem.Does anybody see that?! Thats not very presidential.

  • They do sound foolish and out of touch with the facts.
    But that is their strategy. It's in their playbook, even though it may be outdated and in need of updating.
    For instance. They HAVE to say over and over to the dumb ones in their audience:

    1. The economy is BAD.
    2. Unemployment is not GOOD
    3. We must Take our country Back
    4. ISIS is coming, ISIS is coming
    5. IRAN is going to NUKE Israel and us soon
    6. Our borders are porous and we are getting too many Mexican illegals.
    7. Obamacare is not good for the economy or our citizens. Repeal and /or get rid of it.
    8. It's all Obama's fault
    9. It's Obama's fault
    10. It's Obama's fault

    They have nothing else to sell. Everything they are screaming and hollering and complaining about---is NOT the way they present it. They are hoping that their listeners, audience and base does not know the difference.

      • MOONGRIM:

        How could I forget that! ? It's their idiotic battle cry, for Christ Sake!
        They're still going at it correct. Still digging through the ashes for the gotcha "evidence" ?

        Before their debates, all of the candidates should shout: BENGHAZIIIII! To give them courage to carry on with the "show".

        Like our airborne soldiers (Screaming Eagles) did in WWII: GERONIMO!

        • Yep they're still going after it. Just a couple of days ago I got into a verbal tussle with a co-worker who insisted that Benghazi made Hillary Clinton- unworthy to be President. (Hillary Clinton for President bumpersticker on my car).

          But now they're trying to shift the focus from Obama, to Hillary. For obvious reasons.

          Of course this is the same coworker who was positively pre-orgasmic over Romney running. The day after Obama's reelection, his car stopped bearing the Romney bumper sticker.

  • Since the president is almost done.I want him to put the White House on an epsoide of cribs.playing b-ball with 5black friends.put spinners on the limo,get a big gold rope
    Chain with the presidential seal,grow out his hair,and wear a creamsicle suit for speeches.just make all the fox bot
    Republican fuckheads heads explode.go oboma you are the best

  • Repeating the same rhetoric every election cycle works for them. Their base goes out and votes while we stay at home. That's why they are able to control Washington. Oh and race baiting absolutely helps with the southern vote, you know, the lower class people, or the have nots.....lol.

  • The "concert" of REPUB candidates is so out of tune, that they are almost foaming at the mouth to tell their idiotic story. Each one of them has a different outrageous song to sing on how this country is "going to the dogs" and a different strategy to save us from imminent doom. In the meantime, the only strategy they have employed over the years has been to spend tax payer (mine and yours) money on negative activities over and over again. They keep beating the same dead horses for lack of any innovative new policies.

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