The Republicans have no credibility on deficits. The Republicans have no credibility on national security. For decades, both have been all but ceded as Republican strengths, despite plenty of evidence that they shouldn't be. On those issues, Democrats have often played on the Republican home field, to the detriment of everyone. The Republicans would like for the same dynamic to pertain on the economy and unemployment. At the end of last week, while President Obama was enjoying the early indications of what we now know is a substantial post-Convention bounce, Republicans rejoiced at the release of a lousy jobs report. They were sure that would deflate what they deluded themselves into believing was but a temporary Obama polling bubble. It's the economy, stupid—Republicans rejoiced. And it is the economy. And unemployment still will be one of the key issues in this election, up and down the ballot. But not in the way Republicans think.
President Obama and the Democrats have tried to pass jobs bills. The Republicans killed the American Jobs Act. The Republicans killed the jobs bill that would have repaired our badly crumbling national infrastructure. The Republicans killed the jobs bill that would have given tax cuts to small businesses that create jobs. They're even holding up a bill specifically designed to create jobs for military veterans. The Republicans don't care about creating jobs. Republicans do care about playing politics over jobs, obstructing bills that would actually create jobs so they can exploit the lack of jobs for political gain.
Last Sunday, in the wake of that Convention bounce and that lousy jobs report, the New York Times did us all the great service of providing a case study in how false narratives are framed and propagated, even by supposed journalists working for one of the best traditional media outlets. The culprit was Jackie Calmes, but the lesson is much larger than one person's incompetence or dishonesty. This exemplifies what is so wrong with our national political conversation:
With both parties' conventions now concluded, what is clear is that each played to type — Republicans as the party of business, Democrats of the worker. For President Obama, however, the week here captured his tricky balancing act: a four-year struggle to show that pro-worker does not mean antibusiness.Of course, the basic facts prove otherwise, and the only reason anyone could be said to be playing to type is because people like Calmes are typecasting rather than reporting. President Obama's record on business is clear:
The U.S. economy may not be recovering as fast as President Obama likes, but at least he can make one claim: The stock market has done better under his watch than with any other recent president.