Political Commentary

By Jay B Gaskill

“The economy added 171,000 jobs in October, and unemployment inched up to 7.9%, from 7.8% in September, the Labor Department said Friday.” CNN Money on 11-2-12

Also posted on The Policy Think Site at this LINK:


Unemployment Up


…And it’s over.  Hopefully a long period of responsible governance follows.

It is now much too late for any October surprise to matter.  POTUS could invade Iran to no effect.  He can’t redo the Bin Laden raid.  He can’t redo the economy.  He can’t redo the last 3 and 3/4th years.

One measure of the intractability of the Obama sag is the secret consensus of political observers that even a slight drop in the unemployment rate would not avert the Obama popularity hemorrhage, and that an uptick would only accelerate it.  Today’s unemployment uptick was not good news for the Obama campaign.  Nor was the anemic hiring number, nominally up, but well below the number needed to keep ahead of the population growth-driven arrival of new job-seekers.

Mr. Obama had a good long run, before and after the Democratic convention, to set out a positive and credible agenda for recovery and prosperity in the next term. Instead, he fell into a trap (one reportedly urged on him by the Clintons) to spend millions of dollars and precious weeks running a negative campaign against the former Massachusetts governor. Having fired blanks, having squandered all those weeks, he’s stuck with photo ops in front of listless crowds and the vain hope that a cadre of community organizers will work the 2008 magic for him.

The problem is that it was magic, the kind of smoke and mirrors that, when exposed, leaves the audience cranky and resentful.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist, a Hoover scholar, a third generation Californian who remains a democrat in the old tradition, has nailed it.  Check out his latest essay at this link:

Here’s the pull quote:

“A common theme of classic American tales such as The Rainmaker, Elmer Gantry, The Music Man, and The Wizard of Oz is popular anger unleashed at Pied Piper–like messiahs who once hypnotized the masses with promises of grandeur.

“The bamboozled people rarely fault their own gullibility for their swooning over hope-and-change banalities, but rather, once sober, turn with fury on the itinerant messiahs who made them look so foolish. In other words, it is not just the economy, foreign policy, poor debating skills, or a so-so campaign that now plagues Obama, but the growing public perception that voters were had in 2008 and that it now is okay — even cool — to no longer believe in him.”

— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of the recently released The End of Sparta

D’ accord. I would only add that, no, it’s not over until it’s over, particularly in light of the winner-take-all Electoral College system and its ability to diverge from the popular vote.  Whatever that outcome, the verdict of a majority of the American people will almost certainly be, “Nice try, Mr. President.  So sorry, but we have just voted to let you go.”


Copyright © 2012 by Jay B Gaskill, Attorney at Law (except for the Victor Davis Hanson passage, separately copyrighted and reproduced here under the fair use doctrine)

Forwards, links and quotations with attribution are welcome and encouraged.  For everything else, please contact the author via e-mail  .

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