Obamanomics Is Bad? How Dare You!

Since November, liberals have used Barack Obama’s personal popularity as a weapon to intimidate Republicans into supporting Democratic policies. For example, when Florida conservative Senate candidate Marco Rubio debuted a TV ad criticizing his Republican rival Charlie Crist’s support of Obama’s $789 billion “stimulus” bill, liberal blogger Greg Sargent pretended to be astonished:

Another mark of just how far to the right the GOP has moved: Barely moments after the news broke that Governor and stimulus-supporter Charlie Crist has entered the Florida GOP primary, his conservative opponent already has a new ad attacking him — with an image of President Obama, whose performance is supported by strong majorities and by Independents. . . .
It isn’t every day that a politician seeks to turn a race into a referendum on his opponent’s support for a President with an approval rating in the 60s, but these aren’t ordinary times for today’s GOP.

In other words, the first premise of Sargent’s syllogism is, “Obama is popular.” This premise is treated as a fixed factor in the argument, as if Obama’s popularity were (a) entirely independent of anything that might result from his policies, and (b) the most important political fact in a mid-term Senate election.

If Republicans buy into that kind of sophistry, they would never criticize Obama or oppose any policy he supports. Rather convenient for liberals, you see. But let’s apply some critical analysis to Sargent’s premise:

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At this point, Obama is popular for being Not Bush. But there is a sell-by date on that commodity, and I’m betting that the Not Bush brand won’t have much value on the first Tuesday in November 2010.
The biggest problem Obama will face going forward is that the deficit-spending Keynesian approach that he and the Democrats have embraced cannot produce recovery. It never has and it never will. . . .

Continue reading “Economics is not a popularity contest.”

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