As creepy as this bit of revisionism is, don’t be too hard on them. The economy is what it is and The One’s numbers are what they are, so they’re curling up in the ideological fetal position and embracing the cuddly “Republicans are out of touch” teddy bear from their youth. It’s not like it’s the first time leftists have selectively redacted history to make it fit their preferred narrative.
They’ve been traumatized, guys. They’re trying their best to cope. Patience.
At last night’s Republican debate, the seven candidates talked about unemployment, taxes, regulations, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s talk of a goal of 5% GDP growth, the individual mandate in the health care bill, the Independent Medicare Advisory Board, welfare reform, the Tea Party, currency policy, the National Labor Relations Board, Boeing, TARP, the auto bailout, Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare proposal, former Gov. Mitt Romney’s health care program in Massachusetts, raising the debt ceiling, raising the retirement age for Social Security, the role of religion in public life, the 10th amendment, Libya, Afghanistan, and so on.
But President Obama’s 2012 campaign is sending out a DNC video suggesting the candidates spoke only about sharia law, an anti-gay-marriage amendment, repealing health care, Sarah Palin, and the space program.
In fact, one Republican (Romney) tried to steer grunting doofus John King away from frivolous questions last night and back towards the economy, and the evening’s big winner — Michele Bachmann — managed to impress even some liberals precisely by showing that she was more than the sort of hot-button caricature this dopey ad is trying to draw. Still, this is useful as a sneak preview of Obama’s wider campaign strategy if unemployment stays sluggish. He won in a landslide three years ago running as the blank-slate “not Bush” candidate; he can’t do that again with four dismal years pinned to his chest, but he can do his damnedest to kookify his Republican opponent and win on a lesser-of-two-evils strategy. That’s why the left thinks it’s better off facing a tea partier in the general election — not only because it leaves them more space in the middle to win independents, but because in theory the hotter a candidate’s rhetoric is, the kookier their mistakes will be. Anything they can find to distract from the calamity of Hopenchange, they’ll use.
I’m giving you a second clip below too, which isn’t quite a direct rebuttal of the first but is close enough. Exit question: Speaking of “out of touch,” which group’s leader recently claimed that O had, ahem, turned the economy around? Ah, right.