Mitt Romney promised 6 percent unemployment. Newt Gingrich said he’d get us $2.50 a gallon. Tim Pawlenty vowed 5 percent growth.
And now that America has hit these arbitrary positive milestones under President Obama, shouldn’t someone be taking a little credit?
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) December 21, 2014
When Newt Gingrich starts taking credit for your presidency, you know you’re a success. Ask Bill Clinton.
The truth is that no president could force OPEC to drive up oil production in an effort to drive American shale drillers out of profitability. The shale boom happened under President Obama but Republicans argue that it happened despite him not because of him — like any good thing that has happened since 2009. And they may have a point when it comes to shale.
But one person who deserves no credit whatsoever is Newt Gingrich.
President Obama definitely deserves credit for the Stimulus, which prevented a great depression, helped spark the longest expansion of private sector job growth in American history and created our clean energy industries almost from scratch.
Last month 77 percent of our new energy-generating capacity came from solar and wind. That simply would never have happened without the Stimulus.
This doesn’t make any news compared the Republicans attempt to turn the loans in the Stimulus to a scandal with Solyndra, even though taxpayers will make a small profit off the program as a whole.
I’ve been reminding you that 7.9 million Americans lost health insurance over eight years of George W. Bush. In just this year, 10 million have gained coverage as we’ve had the best job creation since 1999.
Still, in Republican minds, President Obama can only fail, even when he fails to fail.
He can’t even point to one horror in the economy, even though wage growth has been slow and labor force participation is still low. Republicans generally don’t care about low wage growth, which is better for employers. And evidence shows that the labor market is shrinking in large part because Baby Boomers are able to retire, which is a good thing unless you’re Paul Ryan.
His list of terrible things that are happening are real — and are all being directly confronted by the Obama Administration.
But if that’s proof Obama “hates” America, what about a president who didn’t stop America from suffering the largest terrorist attack in our history, allowed North Korea to gain a nuclear weapon as Iran came damn close and Russia fumbled into an oligarchy.
How about a president that launched an aggressive invasion under false pretenses, destabilizing the Middle East, emboldening Iran and costing us thousands of lives and trillions in treasure?
And this president did this as he led America into the first decade without job growth in half a century and the largest deficit in American history.
I didn’t take all of this as a sign that George W. Bush hated America. It was just proof that he was a terrible president.
Erickson also suggested the president’s hatred is to blame the deaths of two police officers in New York City. This is actually less disgusting than a claim from former New York City Mayor and Republican candidate for president Rudy Giuliani who claimed on Fox News, “We’ve had four months of propaganda, starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police.”
What does this propaganda sound like?
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers are doing a really tough job, and most of them are doing it well and are trying to do the right thing,” Obama said on BET.
Compare that to the anti-Obama propaganda that has been on Fox News for over six years. If Giuliani thinks such propaganda kills. What is he trying to do to the president of the United States.
The double standard for this president is not without precedent. Republicans used similar tactics against Bill Clinton and even tried to impeach him.
But there is a vileness to the right that has been emboldened by the hatred that had amassed for the incompetence and failure of George W. Bush’s presidency by 2008. They instantly transferred the hate and responsibility for the failures to Obama. And it’s fed by an eagerness delegitimize him and turn him to the “other” even when it makes no sense.
No amount of success will ever change that. Not pointing out who was president when we got bin Laden. Not by proving Obama’s recovery is better than Bush’s, if you can even call Bush’s a “recovery.”
When the Dow goes down, Obama is gravity. When it goes up, he’s the reason it didn’t go up faster.
This is not just a mental incapacity to recognize how conservative policies have been proven wrong. It’s a strategy to tar the Administration in perceived failures to make sure the next Republican president will have a chance to appoint up to four Supreme Court Justices.
The world isn’t perfect. But it’s getting better all the time. Pointing that out isn’t just honest; it’s our only hope.