You know it’s the silly season when campaign insiders and journalists (there’s a difference. I just know there is) start whispering about positive jobs reports. Even hardened old cynics like myself took pause. Why, maybe there’s a chance after all. Maybe the economy has finally found its headwind.
And true to form, the numbers weren’t bad. Actually up. Still north of 8%, but maybe enough, just enough, for Obama to make his essential case, his statesmanlike I-Didn’t-Burn-the-Whole-House-Down that emerged from the convention. Romney may have to worry.
Yeah, no. The unemployment rate is a blip above 8% instead of three blips because 368,000 people have left the work force since last we measured. That means more people than could fit into the DNC’s stadium in Charlotte (and way more than actually showed up) have been out of work so long that they have given up and started selling crack or collecting unemployment, sitting in a pit of despair trying to determine whether smoking crack or watching The View every day better expresses what is meant by “Rock Bottom.” If we had the same workforce participation rate as we did when this “recovery” began, the unemployment rate would be at 10%. Nothing’s changed. The economy is still in the ditch, and all the wheel-spinning in the world doesn’t make the damn thing move.
Sorry, proggies, but it’s starting to look like the eleventh-hour salvation isn’t coming. The Riders of Rohan are not en route. Obama’s got nothing to run on from now till November but paranoid fantasies about Mitt Romney raping Medicare after denying it birth control, and then dressing the unholy spawn in Magic Underwear spun from Lying Paul “The Liar” Ryan’s Lies.
Which might work. But if Obama clears this hurdle, his second term is going to make Bush’s look like George Washington’s. Everything will remain exactly where it is. No one will compromise, no budget will be passed, nothing will happen. 23% approval is going to look like the top floor of the Sears Tower from where Obama will be looking in January of 2017. And the rest of us will be boiling our socks for soup.
Hope is dead. Enjoy the autopsy.