February 7, 2005


Bad News Donkeys (Fred Hiatt, February 7, 2005, Washington Post)

Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry spent much of last year telling voters how badly off they were.

The economy had tanked, jobs had fled and George W. Bush (aka Herbert Hoover) "has caused these things to happen," the Massachusetts senator told the Detroit Economic Club in September.

As it turned out, there were at least three drawbacks to this line of argumentation.

One was that it wasn't true. Yes, Bush had inherited an incipient recession and the subsequent recovery had been slower than previous bounce-backs to generate jobs. But when the numbers came in last month, the U.S. economy turned out to have grown in 2004 by a very healthy 4.4 percent, producing a respectable (though far from record) total of 2.2 million jobs.

Second, misdiagnosis led Kerry to a number of misguided prescriptions, many of them centering on "Benedict Arnold" chief executives.

But worst, at least from a political perspective, the hectoring made Kerry look like a grump. A challenger can run on a bad economy if people really feel bad; if he seems to be trying to convince them that they should feel bad, he's in trouble.

All of which has some relevance for the Democrats' dilemma in 2005.

There's your new Democratic motto: lies, misdiagnoses and pessimism.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 7, 2005 3:20 PM

We were misled by Rove and company, who manipulated data and obscurated trendsin order to deliberatly undermine our ability to effectively challenge their mis-administration of the American economy. They now continue to do so in order to perpetuate their lies,their corruption and their mishandling of the economy, which was robust during the previous administration. Had we been able to, we would have gotten the truth out and our challenge would have been victorious.

Posted by: JFK(wannabe) at February 7, 2005 9:07 PM

They'll probably say that a vast right-wing consipracy is responsible for their not getting their message across to the American people. JFK doesn't make mistakes, you know.

Posted by: Phil at February 7, 2005 9:17 PM

Malaise Forever!

Posted by: Mikey at February 8, 2005 8:03 AM