Republicans have been making up facts for years, and there have been some real whoppers told. What is amusing is watching Republicans get frustrated when their fake news isn’t believed. Glenn Beck used to always ask, “Why aren’t people talking about this?” and Why does no one care?” when “this” existed only in his head.
Now Rush Limbaugh, who is one of those responsible for pushing the fake unemployment figures being used by Donald Trump wants to know why more people aren’t upset that unemployment is so high.
The answer, of course, is that unemployment is low, and that he invented those numbers, numbers used not only by Limbaugh but by Donald Trump. Limbaugh, speaking Monday on his show, positively seethed with frustration, claiming, based on all those fake numbers, “By all rights, Obama and Hillary should be in the 30 percent range here, and Hillary ought not have a prayer.”
Listen to Limbaugh rant about the polling data:
Most of my life, and I’m sure most of yours, presidential elections have been largely determined by the state of the U.S. economy or the perceived state of the U.S. economy. And in 2008 — I’m sorry, 2012 — well, 2008 it did matter. That’s right, in 2008, [Sen. John] McCain [(R-AZ)] was leading until the financial collapse, the reported financial collapse, happened, and then it was over. And in 2012, [George W.] Bush was still being blamed for the economy. Here we are in 2016, the last eight years have seen dramatic economic decline all across the board in this country. In addition, the last eight years have seen the heated debate over Obamacare, Obama signing it into law after having lied to the American people about fundamental aspects of it. You like your doctor? No problem, keep your doctor. You like your policy? No sweat, keep your policy. Not only that, your premiums are going to be coming down an average of $2,500 a year. None of that was true.
The unemployment rate is more like 23 percent. When you get into African American and minority unemployment, it’s at 25 percent or 50 percent with teenagers. We have 94 million Americans not working. By all that’s holy in American politics, the Democrats ought to be finished. They ought not even have a chance, using old traditional metrics. In the old days, when the economy was bad, the sitting president got blamed for it. His party was blamed for it, no matter what they did. It was almost insurmountable. By all rights, Obama and Hillary should be in the 30 percent range here, and Hillary ought not have a prayer.
Last year, Limbaugh was claiming 42.9 percent. For the record, PolitiFact rated the claim that 90 million Americans aren’t working “mostly false” when they looked at the claim (made by Limbaugh and others) in 2013, objecting that it included “high schoolers, college students and retirement-age Americans.”
That didn’t stop Rick Perry from repeating the lie, or Rush Limbaugh making the same claim again in 2015, and, of course, yesterday.
Limbaugh talks about “dramatic economic decline” but the thing is, the state of the U.S. economy is much improved since President Bush left office. Gallup reports economic confidence has remained steady this summer. As for employment figures, this chart of the unemployment rate for those 16 years and over from the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the lie to Limbaugh’s claim:
The problem for Limbaugh and Trump and other Republicans, is that the GOP is campaigning against the state of the economy in 2009, when Obama took office, all the while erasing not only the context (Bush’s destruction of the economy partly through two unpaid-for wars they’d rather blame Obama for) but the before and after economic figures surrounding Obama’s presidency.
The change is startling. And the state of the U.S. economy is largely determining the 2016 elections. If you insist on campaigning against a set of circumstances that no longer exist, as Trump is doing, you are going to have a disconnect with your audience.
Misattributed blame by Red State Republicans during a primary – Red State governance (hello Kansas) and not Obama is to blame for their circumstances – is not going to sell to a wider audience of both parties and independents in a general election, who know the facts.
It is no surprise his PolitiFact scorecard is 83% mostly false or worse (almost as bad as Trump’s). Now he is angry, and Trump is frustrated, that people aren’t outraged by a bunch of stuff that is demonstrably untrue, that the lies they’re both pushing aren’t “trumping” the facts on the ground.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.