October 31, 2005


The Left's Cruelest Month: October was supposed to be the month that marked the meltdown of the Bush administration (William Kristol, 10/31/2005, Weekly Standard)

OCTOBER, 2005 will turn out to be the left's cruelest month since . . . well, in a long time. A couple of weeks in, it seemed so promising. October was going to be the month that would mark the meltdown of the loathed Bush presidency. Iraq was failing, gas prices were rising, a weak Supreme Court nominee was under assault, and the White House was under siege from a special prosecutor. What more could a Bush-hater want?

But it was a false dawn for the left. On October 15, the Iraqi people voted for the second time this year, and progress--slow and difficult--gradually became visible on the ground. The economy, it turned out, was chugging along at a 3.8 percent growth rate. Harriet Miers withdrew--and President Bush followed that foul ball with a home run in the impressive person of Judge Samuel Alito. And the special prosecutor produced only one indictment, and one that will lead no further than a trial focused on what Scooter Libby said or didn't say to three journalists.

Even NPR referred to this as the first day of the rest of the Bush Administration.

In this economy, the 'R' word means resilient: Despite major blows, the US sees 10 strong quarters of growth. (Mark Trumbull, 11/01/05, The Christian Science Monitor)

The economy hasn't yet escaped cyclical swings entirely. But observers say the levers of finance and the gears of production have become better managed, more flexible, and less volatile. And for all its agility, the economy also benefits from gargantuan scale - with some $12 trillion in annual output.

"The US economy is this massive thing," not easily knocked off track, says Brian Wesbury, an economist at Claymore Securities in the Chicago area. Now in particular, he adds, "This economy has tremendous momentum."

Consider this: Last week's news marks the 10th straight quarter of 3 percent or greater growth in annual GDP. That's the longest such streak since the mid-1980s.

In the intervening years, business cycles seem to be getting smoother. The economy's slide in 2001 was so shallow that it has been almost 15 years since GDP has shrunk for consecutive quarters. And with the exception of 1991, you have to look back to 1982 to find a time when the economy was smaller at the end of the year than it was at the beginning.

It won't hit 3%, obviously, but even '91 will eventually be revised to show growth.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2005 5:09 PM

It's a little disingenuous for Bill Kristol to note in passing that the left was all excited about a weak Supreme Court nominee.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 31, 2005 5:37 PM


You had to know he'd stick a chiv in Frum as he scurried back to cover.

Posted by: oj at October 31, 2005 5:40 PM

Scooter who?

Posted by: Rick T. at October 31, 2005 6:04 PM

Extended introspection about your own hysteria won't get you the job of Cheif of Staff under President McCain (in fact, too much might even make you the Harriet Miers of Chief of Staff nominiees among the party faithful when the day does come). Better to just act as if you were coldly logical throughout the whole Miers affair and wait for the left's latest tanutum to make everyone forget your own intempremental remarks.

Posted by: John at October 31, 2005 7:29 PM