2016 — January 2, 2016 at 11:39 am

Democrats are letting Republicans rob President Obama of his successes


A bunch of half-assed governors, sorry senators and actual clowns are blasting the record of a president who prevented a Great Depression


It’s pretty likely that you aren’t aware that it seems that the last two years have been the best two years of job creation since 1998-1999.

And even if you are aware of this, most people aren’t. They probably haven’t even heard it.

What they have heard is the wild accusations that have be steadily launched against the president in a series of the most widely viewed presidential primary debates in American history.

It’s not just Trump trumping up claims against the president, invoking a horror show of insecurity and decline that requires absurd retreats into fascist walling off of our society, failed 19th-century policies and scratch-your-skin-till-it-bleeds conspiracy theorizing.

Politico‘s Mike Grunwald re-watched all of the debates and plucked out these gems:

Ted Cruz called for putting the United States back on the gold standard. Marco Rubio accused President Barack Obama of destroying the U.S. military. Huckabee said Bernie Madoff’s rip-offs weren’t as bad as what the government has done to people on Social Security and Medicare. Lindsey Graham said his administration would monitor all “Islamic websites,” not just jihadist ones. I had even forgotten Trump’s claim that vaccines caused autism in a 2-year-old girl he knew.

Chris Christie — like Mitt Romney in 2012 — has the most to prove to the GOP base. Thus his claims have been the most foolish and self-aggrandizing. He accused Planned Parenthood of systemic mass murder and casually bragged he’d start World War III while inventing his history as a terror stopper that mostly relies on a prosecution in Pakistan he had little if anything to do with.

All of this seems absurd with any examination, but Grunwald points out that these lies received no push back, no context. Instead they were out-bidded with ever-scarier versions of the world that Obama has wrought.

“Democratic leaders have expressed glee about these nationally televised festivals of right-wing me-too-ism, but another way of thinking about them is as highly rated, mostly unrebutted advertisements for the notion that Obama is a disaster and America is in peril,” Grunwald wrote.

And Democrats — keenly aware that three decades of purposeful gutting of the middle class plus a decade of two losing wars can’t be ignored — have often joined in on the critiques of the Obama presidency without ever addressing the successes.

With the Stimulus alone, President Obama has accomplished more than any of the Republican candidates have ever achieved in the entire lives.

It prevented a Great Depression and created a green energy industry that simply did not exist before 2009 — an industry that just could be what saves our planet from the worst of the climate crisis. More should have been done to rebuild the economy considering the decimation conservatives left us with, but more was not politically possible. Instead we got the auto rescue, real Wall Street reform and the most radical improvement to our health care system in generations — along with rapid advancements in LGBTQ rights that now are almost taken for granted.

Republicans claimed that Obamacare would destroy the economy, instead the first two years of its implementation have led to the best two years of job creation of the century.

But what about the labor participation rate? Conservatives squeal — because they understand the value of narrative and repetition.

As if they’d give a shit what the labor participation rate was if a Republican president had seen an explosion of new jobs anything near what has happened under Obama. As if they cared when the participation rate for the prime working ages dropped more from Bill Clinton’s presidency George W. Bush than it has from Bush to Obama.

Yes, we want the labor participation rate in the prime ages to rise. And yes, we want to reduce our debt.

What is the Republican plan to do this?

Tax plans that explode the debt and worsen inequality. Repealing Wall Street Reform. And more military adventurism, which will be required when they throw out the Iran deal on Day One.

In short, they want to repeat George W. Bush’s presidency — with a wall.

Even the Republican critique of Obama’s handling of ISIS is proven absurd when you hear that the GOP plan for dealing with ISIS mostly involves doing Obama’s plan, but harder. Marco Rubio and others would like ground troops, an attempt to defeat ISIS with the strategy to create ISIS.

Democrats are letting Republicans own the Obama presidency the way they owned the Stimulus and Obamacare. Somehow, Democrats expect the truth to win out with debates that hide on the weekend.

But a million prime-time debates wouldn’t be enough. Unless Democrats get on the same page with touting the successes of this presidency, the simple case any Democrat will need to make — America does better when there isn’t a Republican in the White House — will never be heard.

[Image by the great Anne Savage.]