Date: December 8, 2016

Flashback to 2008: Republicans and Joe the Plumber

Chuck Jones’ sin was pointing out that Trump lied about how many jobs the Carrier deal actually saved, tried to take credit for 33% more than the reality.

Now flashback to 2008 and the news sensation over Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher. How did conservative news outlets cover it?

Fox News (Hannity & Colmes): Why Are Democrats Attacking Joe the Plumber?

HANNITY: Why can’t you as a Democrat say you know what? Leave Joe, the plumber alone. He’s out there swinging a wrench for 12 hours a day, probably six or seven days a week. Do you think it’s unfair what’s happening to him?

Newsmax: Joe the Plumber Angered: ‘I’m Just a Private Citizen’

“I’m just a private citizen … That scares me just for the simple fact other people might hesitate on questioning our elected officials and that worries me greatly for America.”

American Thinker: Thugocaracy attacks Joe the Plumber’s Audacity

Michael Barone coined a word in his National Review article, dated October 11, 2008, entitled “The Coming Obama Thugocracy,” and subtitled “Attempts to shut down political speech have become routine for liberals.” Thugocracy: the rule of thugs.

Mr. Wurzelbacher was minding his own business when he had the audacity — Barack Obama’s favorite word after “taxes” — to question Senator Obama’s intention to “spread the wealth around.”

They’re out to destroy a simple American citizen who was made into a public figure by the people now out to smear him.

Townhall: The Obama Thugocracy Goes After Joe the Plumber

Jim Wickre: Attacks on ‘Joe the Plumber.”

The media and the Obama campaign will attack and attempt to destroy any one who stands in the way of Obama’s election as President.

Also in the Newsmax article, Joe said: “But to sit there and say that Barack Obama was directly responsible for such a thing–no, I’m not going to say something like that.”

That can’t be said about Donald Trump.

Trump economics and the crisis of fake conservative populism

Trump is trying to stimulate the economy when the economy is booming.

Noah Rothman writes at Commentary that Trump’s economic proposals are “Keynesianism without a crisis.” The economy is chugging along, growing at 3.2 percent in the third quarter, and unemployment is below 5 percent. The U.S. has outperformed its peer competitors in Europe and North America over the past 4 years, topping France and Germany in GDP growth every year since 2012 and growing faster than Canada and the UK in 2015. This is important to note, because as economic critics point to 3% and 4% growth in the 1970’s and 80’s, they neglect to point out that the entire developed world has been growing slower since then. It’s harder to keep up a high percentage rate of growth on a bigger total.

But an even more important point of dispatch is that conservative critics and “populists” base their view on faulty emotional assumptions and incorrect data. Trump, for instance, said to Time that, the government needs to “prime the pump” “in order to get jobs going and the country going, because, look, we’re at 1% growth.”

In fact, the GDP has grown at 2.4% for each of the past two years. The slowest it grew since 2008 was 1.5% in 2013, still considerably faster than France and Germany. Moreover, quarterly economic GDP growth has never grown slower than 1% for the past three years. Trump is doing what he is so good at: making shit up.

But it’s not just Trump who is the problem. For most of Obama’s term, Republican and conservative “populists” have resorted to counter-factual appeals to the pain of the working class and consumers no matter what the economic conditions.

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