Ramirez on presidential grade inflation

posted at 8:55 am on December 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

It’s taken people almost two weeks to catch up to a nugget in Barack Obama’s interview with 60 Minutes that CBS, for obvious reasons, didn’t show on air but included in the transcriptThe Washington Examiner’s Joel Gehrke immediately recognized the absurdity of Obama’s claim to have been more accomplished than any other president in his first two years, with the possible exception of FDR, LBJ, and some guy named Abraham Lincoln almost two centuries ago:

President Obama suggested, during his recent CBS interview, that his domestic and foreign policy achievements over his first term surpass any other United States president, “with the possible exceptions” of Presidents Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

“I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln,” Obama told Steve Kroft, “just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history.”

This would make a great Obamateurism — and it did last week, also winning the OOTW poll last Sunday.  You’ll get a chance to vote on it again next week in the OOTY polls, so keep your eyes peeled.  It’s getting noticed by more commentators this week than last, too, including our old friend Michael Ramirez, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for Investors Business Daily.  Rather than calling him the most accomplished President ever, Ramirez awards him another distinction entirely:

Say, didn’t Ronald Reagan inherit a worse economy and manage to produce better results by the same point in his presidency?  Why yes, in fact, he did.  Reagan came into office with a jobless rate of 7.5% and economic malaise; Obama came into office with the jobless rate at 7.8%.  By November of the third year, Reagan’s unemployment rate was 8.5%, while Obama’s is 8.6%.  Reagan got those numbers while growing the civilian labor force participation rate slightly from 63.9% to 64.1%, a trend that would accentuate the jobless rate.  Obama, on the other hand, got to 8.6% while the civilian labor force participation rate dropped from 65.7% to 64.0%, which artificially lowered the unemployment rate figure.  Not coincidentally, Obama has now brought the participation rate to its lowest level since … Reagan.

Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history.  Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here.  And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

You really aren’t defending slavery, are you? Riiiight.

fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 10:49 AM

If commenters here were as emotionally reactionary as you sound, we would all side with your opposition simply based on your immature 3rd-grade approach to this argument. “Nannynannybooboo! She sounds like she’s defending slavery!”

Here’s a rational challenge for you: pick any institution of higher learning that closed its doors over 100 years ago.

Now ask me if I root for their football team.

When I tell you you’re nuts for your implication, accuse me of being a liar, and then lecture me about the perils of answering questions in a manner that might allow irrational liberal people to misquote me.

That’s what you do when you live in fear of the irrational Left.

And for the record, just because I reject the emotional limitations you want to put on a discussion doesn’t make me pro- or con- either side of the discussion.

rwenger43 on December 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Another dream from his crack pipe father?

flataffect on December 23, 2011 at 2:55 PM

That drawing of Obama looks pretty phallic.

V7_Sport on December 23, 2011 at 3:10 PM

http://dailycaller.com/2011/12/23/obama-theres-a-laziness-in-me/

Finally. A moment of honesty from SCofaMF.

FLconservative on December 23, 2011 at 3:13 PM

And for the record, just because I reject the emotional limitations you want to put on a discussion doesn’t make me pro- or con- either side of the discussion.

rwenger43 on December 23, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I was not putting any emotional limitations on the discussion. I was merely pointing out that what he had said was completely incompatible with his claim that he was not defending slavery.

If you have difficulty dealing with that fact because you have an emotional response to my pointing it out, that is not my problem.

What he had said was:

Really? Why is that? Why not go farther shouldn’t America “get exactly” what it deserved? The north was by no means innocent to slavery, and certainly “working” blacks in the north didn’t have it much better than slaves. So tell me what does the north deserve for its sins?

melle1228 on December 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

He was clearly defending slavery with a blatantly false moral equivalence argument.

fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM

That drawing of Obama looks pretty phallic.

V7_Sport on December 23, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Dirty dirty mind.

/

CW on December 23, 2011 at 6:59 PM

worst cartoonist ever?

sesquipedalian on December 23, 2011 at 9:28 AM

Stupidest comment ever?

Siddhartha Vicious on December 23, 2011 at 7:49 PM

melle1228 on December 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

He was clearly defending slavery with a blatantly false moral equivalence argument.

fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Do you not remember this?

The Left absolutely adores how there are still ignorant fools defending the South’s defense of slavery back in 1860.
fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM

My apologies in allowing you the dishonest opening you found by my failure to cite the correct earlier post. Clearly you put emotional limitations on the argument before Melle “defended slavery with a blatantly false moral equivalence argument.”

Your post was 9:56; Melle’s ‘defense of slavery’ wasn’t until after you had warned us all not to cross the “nannybooboo!” line.

Then you upped the inflammatory rhetoric @ 10:05 (which is fine if you haven’t drawn a moral distinction and immediately positioned yourself as the sole arbiter of appropriate emotional responses), followed by Melle’s ‘defense of slavery’ @ 10:10 and your finger-pointing @ 10:15.

Again, I think the whole argument you raised was irrelevant because the institution of slavery has been gone for 150+ years; it is foolish to give credence to the Left’s narrative by supposing they actually have ideological opponents on the Right and be constantly looking for them to quash.

Do all of us a favor by bringing your arguments into the 21st century. I don’t expect your superiority complex to appreciate this, but I would actually pay attention to your arguments if they were historically relevant.

rwenger43 on December 23, 2011 at 11:33 PM

My apologies in allowing you the dishonest opening you found by my failure to cite the correct earlier post.

Ah. So my responding to what you actually said was “dishonest.” You are so emotionally distraught you imagine I should have known what you meant and responded to that instead of to what you said.

Also, this comment:

The Left absolutely adores how there are still ignorant fools defending the South’s defense of slavery back in 1860.
fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 9:56 AM

was not directed at anyone specifically, and it was a simple statement of obvious modern political fact. You must be very young and/or unusually sensitive for a political blog commenter if you consider that comment to place “emotional limitations” on the discussion.

Are you really so blind you cannot see the modern real world political consequences of the Lincoln Was A Tyrant Who Destroyed The South For No Good Reason lunacy?

fadetogray on December 24, 2011 at 1:14 AM

You must be very young and/or unusually sensitive for a political blog commenter if you consider that comment to place “emotional limitations” on the discussion.

Or a 3rd option: I enjoy the intellectual, and occasionally the moral arguments from reading all the way through a given thread. But childish finger-pointing sidetracks any argument and wastes me a huge amount of time reading all about the “did nots” and “did toos”.

If you have a point to make, make it. But save the “I can’t believe you just said…” arguments for your teenager. Or teenagers.

So now I’ve willingly wasted even more time encouraging you (for the 3rd time) to move into the 21st century. No, the paradox that Lincoln was–from principle to pragmatism, from tyrant to preservationist, so contradictory that he almost serves as a political Rorschach test–provides sufficient proof to anyone who wants to argue any side of any argument. If I’m seeking Truth, Justice and the American Way, I’d rather get my guiding principles from the Founders, who at least established a pattern rather than a puzzle.

Their sole great failure was the original disposition of the slavery question–and became the ultimate warning for kicking the can to future generations.

rwenger43 on December 24, 2011 at 2:49 AM

But childish finger-pointing sidetracks any argument and wastes me a huge amount of time reading all about the “did nots” and “did toos”.

But save the “I can’t believe you just said…” arguments for your teenager. Or teenagers.

So now I’ve willingly wasted even more time encouraging you (for the 3rd time) to move into the 21st century.

All I have gotten from you from the start is a string of insults, misrepresentations and unsupported opinion, even though my original comment that you object to so strenuously did not target anyone and was a simple statement of objective fact about the modern politics of the argument.

Best you do something about that log in your eye.

fadetogray on December 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Dirty dirty mind.

/

CW on December 23, 2011 at 6:59 PM

You have to admit; he has been a d#@k.

V7_Sport on December 24, 2011 at 12:30 PM

The arrogance of this man truly astounds, but I really don’t like all this piling on against our President that I continue to see on conservative sites such as this one. I mean, come on – no way he is the worst president we have ever had. The worst president by far was “Big” Bill Harrison. He did more damage in his thirty two day stint as president than anyone could do in four years. And he had to deal with Johnny “The Mouth” Tyler continually putting his danged foot in his mouth every time he opened it. To top if off, for political cover he blamed all his woes on that poor sap Martin Van Buren.

Dangnabbit, read your friggin’ hiztory books before passing judgement on The One.

AttaBoyLuther on December 24, 2011 at 1:42 PM

fadetogray on December 24, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Perhaps my repeated efforts to make the same point multiple ways resulted in a string of insults. Sorry. It was intended to be the same insult multiple times to avoid confusing my complaint.

BTW, I’m not interested in debating the Lincoln Legacy, only the limitations we can impose on the Obama one.

My point, put as submissively and conciliatorily as I know how, is that random members of the HA community should not attempt to put arbitrary emotional restrictions on our debate just because some Lefty might get the wrong impression by reading these boards.

A “random member” implies you or me.

And at 9:56, I thought you attempted to impose arbitrary emotional restrictions on the debate.

I have a huge appreciation for unfettered debate, so my original post was an attempt to point out to you the fetters you were superimposing on your opponent. If you didn’t realize that you had done that, I’ve done you a favor. Perhaps you did realize the limitations you were imposing but consider that a legitimate tactic in winning a discussion. If so, I disagree.

Okay?

Merry Christmas. No snark.

rwenger43 on December 24, 2011 at 2:02 PM

And at 9:56, I thought you attempted to impose arbitrary emotional restrictions on the debate.

I have a huge appreciation for unfettered debate, so my original post was an attempt to point out to you the fetters you were superimposing on your opponent.

I was not attempting to impose arbitrary emotional restrictions on the debate. I was engaging in unfettered debate by pointing to a political reality regarding the debate, a political reality I think is self-evident but you may regard as debatable, but you so far appear to have left unchallenged.

You seem to want me to refrain from making that point.

random members of the HA community should not attempt to put arbitrary emotional restrictions on our debate just because some Lefty might get the wrong impression by reading these boards.

I was not just referring to the debates that take place on Hot Air, and I certainly do not care what the leftwing fringe thinks, or even what the left in general thinks.

The idea that what happened was not a Civil War but a War of Aggression by a Northern Tyrant against the peace loving people of the South who were going to do away with slavery (which wasn’t so bad really, just look at working conditions in the North) some day on their own, anyway, is a narrow fringe view that flies in the face of any common sense reading of what was happening on the ground 151 years ago. The vast majority of Americans find that idea nutty and deeply repulsive.

You may think their argument is true, or you may be interested in the arguments those who think it is true want to make. That is just dandy. Go right ahead.

I was not particularly interested in engaging in that kind of debate, sparring with ‘facts’ about things politicians were saying to win poltical office, and what kind of agreements were being reached in the territories, and whether or not those agreements would hold, and what really drove South Carolina to secede, and whether or not other States would have necessarily followed if Lincoln had handled it differently, and on and on and on and on, ad nauseum. I have done it before (elsewhere) many times, for page after page of pointless argument.

It is like arguing ‘the facts’ with creationists or paulbots or warmists – a complete waste of time.

So I just pointed out the consequences of that zany argument on the modern political scene: The Left has a party. Any moderates reading the thread with disgusted bafflement could read my comment and realize the Northern Aggression idea is not one embraced by most Hot Air commenters, Republicans, conservatives, whatever.

That was my reason for making the comment. Not to “impose arbitrary emotional restrictions.”

Don’t focus so much on how what other people say makes you feel.

And have a Merry Christmas. Also, no snark. :)

fadetogray on December 24, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Based on the three best presidents I think I can follow a bit of his reasoning. The criteria for best seems to be what have you given people. Lincoln would be freedom for the slaves. I really think everyone benefits from that, not just slaves. FDR was the king of entitlements. Intended to help but there have been loads of unintended consequences. Johnson he put on there for civil rights.
Where he loses me, in trying to follow his reasoning, is what does he think he’s given? A time bomb in the medical system, exploding debt, or high unemployment due to a stagnant economy are not achievements. It would be nice to hear a reporter laugh at his response and ask him to prove it.

AnotherJones on December 24, 2011 at 3:11 PM

The idea that what happened was not a Civil War but a War of Aggression by a Northern Tyrant against the peace loving people of the South who were going to do away with slavery

You are so obtuse and make arguments up statements in your own mind. I never said the South was peaceloving. You started this crap with your “yeah wouldn’t want darkie to be free” rhetoric. BTW, that was the only racist statement ever made.

I didn’t discuss the South’s responsibiity in the war, because the debate wasn’t about the South actions-it was about what kind of President Lincoln was. I even stated I thought Lincoln was a good President; just not one of the best Presidents. You took the argument to a personal level accusing me of something I never said, and in my life never would defend.

Your idiotic analogy was akin to if you question Barack Obama on how he handled Afghanistan then you must be defending terrorism.

In the future, avoid my posts, because I will avoid yours. I don’t debate with people who call racism etc. to shut down debate. If you can’t defend your position without ad-hominem; then you don’t deserve a reply.

melle1228 on December 24, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Only if we’ve only had four presidents, pal! And even then a stretch.

Sherman1864 on December 24, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I never said the South was peaceloving.

So? I did not claim to be quoting you.

Also, removal of the words “peace loving” does nothing whatsoever to the meaning of the comment.

I didn’t discuss the South’s responsibiity in the war, because the debate wasn’t about the South actions-it was about what kind of President Lincoln was.

But you did.

melle1228 on December 23, 2011 at 10:40 AM

And apparently and curiously, your opinion of Lincoln is much higher than mine,

I even stated I thought Lincoln was a good President; just not one of the best Presidents.

or did you miss my comment where I said I thought Lincoln was a terrible President? I just do not think what he did to the South is what made him a terrible President.

fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 10:35 AM

.

Most amusing of all:

You started this crap with your “yeah wouldn’t want darkie to be free” rhetoric. BTW, that was the only racist statement ever made.

If you think that comment I made

fadetogray on December 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

was racist, then you are the kind of person who thinks the book Huckleberry Finn was racist. I was clearly bashing racists with that remark, so you are doing exactly what you falsely accuse me of doing.

I don’t debate with people who call racism etc. to shut down debate.

Oh, well.

Have a merry Christmas, melle.

fadetogray on December 24, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Sweet Judas Priest! Our whole country is collapsing and that puke Odumba is working his way back slowly into the hearts of his “countrymen” and this whole thread is taken up with a back and forth about arbitrary emotional restrictions supposedly imposed on a so-called supposed discussion. This was like watching a ping pong game. I know, I know I don’t have to read it but there are more important topics we need to try and agree on. Of course, anymore, Republicans cannot even agree if its morning or afternoon. We aren’t going to win the big one. Sheesh!

AReadyRepub on December 25, 2011 at 1:36 AM

Oh and BTW, Obama is the worst worst worst worst President this country has ever has. Just what the country needed… a ten year old narcissist who hates America and can’t identify with any group.

AReadyRepub on December 25, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Merry Christmas, everybody…

Khun Joe on December 25, 2011 at 6:36 AM

Tell me that isn’t Big Butt Mooshell on top of the Dick’s head?

JLPicard on December 25, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I would add O’s great leadership to ensure the President’s Budget was approved in each of his years as president. I’d even have appreciated a budget when the dems had control of both executive and legislative branches.

Merry Christmas!

STL_Vet on December 25, 2011 at 2:00 PM

If I were brave and bold, I’d counter his reasoning, however, would not look forward to the knock on the door from AG Holder’s enforcers. They would frighten my soon-to-be 88 y/o mom. And the cats.

So I’ll leave be.

Registered Nic on December 25, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3