One of the first things you learn, when researching logical processes, is the difference between “cause” and “effect,” “because of” and “in spite of.” Given that, a few of us undoubtedly saw this play coming: Conservatives claiming that America’s economic recovery happened because of their unending obstructionism, and not in spite of it.
Laura Ingraham isn’t the first to make that claim — quite a few have been hinting around it since the economic recovery starting recovering Obama’s poll numbers. But Ingraham may be the first to say out loud the stupid which has heretofore not dare spoken its name.
“In defeat, Obama looks like he’s setting the agenda. I mean, his poll numbers are up. He’s got a bounce in his step… He is rising in the polls as he comes off this near-historic defeat across the board.”
The “near-historic defeat she’s referring to: the 2014 zombie mid-terms, during which people who only got 17 percent of the eligible vote somehow wound up in complete control of The Worst Congress in History. Indeed, considering the Republicans took control of Congress in 2014, it’s amazing Obama’s poll numbers are so high. Then again, maybe that has something to do with the fact that 83 percent of eligible voters didn’t vote Republican in 2014. Still, Laura says:
The Republicans shouldn’t fall into the media trap of ‘We have to work with Obama! We have to work with Obama! Obama is going off on his own. He’s going to sign an executive order, he’s going to close Gitmo, he’s draining Gitmo down.
Republicans have been successful, and the economy has been improving with two things: gridlock and opposing Obama. The economy has been getting better!”
Yes, Laura! The economy has been getting better! Which is amazing, considering it was saddled with what is almost unanimously to be the Worst Congress in History. A congress so bad, it’s highest-ever approval ratings (a very brief peak of 40 percent in 2010) barely ever exceeded Obama’s lowest. In fact, apart from that brief peak, Congresses’ approval ratings never even came close to Obama’s lowest 36 percent.
Obama’s approval ratings are now at 51 percent and rising; more than three times our Republican Congress’ ratings, and very nearly the highest they’ve been since he was elected. Which would be pretty impressive for any president six years into his term…if he were Republican. At this point in their presidencies, Dubya Bush was at 34 percent, St. Ronnie Reagan was at 44 percent and Nixon was impeached. The only presidents higher than 50 percent after six years: Clinton, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower — aka, “The Last Real Republican.”
Just to reiterate, Congress’ current approval ratings: 14 percent.
But hey…Let’s Go Gridlock and Obstructionism!
Yes, let Laura try to bang that drum if she pleases. We don’t need an economist to tell us that the economy has improved despite Republican gridlock and policies, and not because of them. Despite Republican doomsaying, higher taxes and Obamacare didn’t lead to the end of life as we know it. Despite Newt Gingrich’s claims, gas isn’t $10 a gallon — it’s actually almost the cheapest it’s ever been, adjusted for inflation. Despite the Republican’s claims about the wonders of austerity, the people who have embraced it (most of Europe) are still suffering, while those who have rejected it are swimming along.
And despite Laura Ingraham’s claims, it wasn’t doing less than nothing that turned things around. Doing nothing doesn’t solve anything, because doing nothing precipitates nothing happening, and problem very rarely solve themselves.
And that’s a pretty clear example of cause and effect.