Here’s what you say when you don’t like hearing good news

Just now got to this Joe Wilson release from yesterday. The headline, “Wilson Reacts to February Jobs Report,” made me curious to see how Joe would try to make good employment news sound bad, and of course make it the fault of those awful liberal Democrats. Here’s how:

West Columbia, SC – Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-02) released the following statement regarding the latest unemployment report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

“For the past three years, our nation’s unemployment has remained above eight percent.  Almost one million Americans have lost their jobs since the President was sworn into office.   According to recent Congressional Budget Office study, when considering every American who is currently without a job, our actual unemployment rate is 15.2 percent.  The President promised that with the passage of his failed stimulus package in February 2009, the unemployment rate would not exceed eight percent. It is clear that the President’s failed policies and broken promises are not helping Americans find employment, but simply growing our national debt.

“Over the past year, House Republicans have passed dozens of job creating bills, most with bipartisan support.  A majority of these pieces of legislation remain stalled in the Senate.  Just yesterday, the House passed the JOBS Act, a collection of legislation that will help small business startups grow and expand, which will lead to job creation.  It is my hope that the liberal-controlled Senate will take immediate action on the pending legislation in efforts to spur economic growth.  It is past the time for Congress to work together to offset the failed policies the President has implemented and help put Americans back to work.”

There’s an art to this. A crude, lumpish sort of art, but an art nevertheless, with conventions to be followed. For instance, do you notice how he pointedly avoids the fact that President Obama supports the JOBS Act that he praises? That’s standard procedure in this genre. The president can only be mentioned in terms of “failed policies.” One must never, ever acknowledge that he supports the same policy that you do, because then you can’t paint politics in terms of a black-and-white battle between pure good and pure evil, and you don’t get to whip up your contributors as to how horrible the opposition is, so that they keep writing checks.

One grows so tired of this sort of thing.

26 thoughts on “Here’s what you say when you don’t like hearing good news

  1. `Kathryn Fenner

    Gee, thanks. I might have missed this.

    Are my fellow South Carolinians so oblivious or biased that they cannot see that the economy is improving and that calling President Obama’s efforts “failed” is, well, a lie?

  2. Ralph Hightower

    Just as the Democrats blamed Bush for everything, including Hurricane Katrina, Republicans are blaming Obama for everything, including high gas prices.

    Joe Wilson is apparently following Rush Limbaugh’s lead with reporting the truth, just make sure to leave out a lot of the truth.

  3. `Kathryn Fenner

    The current high gas prices, for the record, are a result of the free market.

    Democrats, as far as I recall, did not blame Bush for Katrina; they blamed him for the piss poor response thereto by his agency–days late and many dollars short, capped off with “Heckuva job, Brownie.”

    Obliviousness rules on the right…..

  4. Karen McLeod

    Remember, this is the guy that shouted “You lie!” at the prez. I don’t think he’s qualified to judge the truth.

  5. Nick Nielsen

    I receive Joe’s emails. The 8% unemployment number was very carefully chosen. And most of those “job-creating” bills he references are the tea party bills the rest of us looked at and asked “Can they truly be this stupid? WTF are they thinking?”

  6. bud

    When I started reading this I was braced to see the obligitory balancing comments at the end accussing some Democrat somewhere of being equally obstinate and partisan. But no, it was straightforward slam against “You Lie”. Refreshing read.

  7. Steven Davis II

    bud, it sure beats the “yea sa, yea sa, Mr. President you are correct, anything you need Mr. President, yea sa” we hear out of Clyburn’s mouth. “Ms. Pelosi set me up with a fine automobile… even comes with a white driver”.

  8. Steve Gordy

    Oh the irony! We just got a card last week from Joe announcing “Joe Wilson – putting South Carolina back to work.” Which story is it, Joe?

  9. Ralph Hightower

    @Kathryn, you’re right. I should have put air quotes around “The Democrats” and I should have narrowed it down to “Some Democrats”.

    I know that blaming Bush for Katrina is ridiculous, except for his bungling of the rescue and recovery efforts.

    But listening to Talk Radio, which I listen to up to 7:55 AM and on the drive home for traffic news, one gets the opinion that Bush is the blame for everything.

    But the national average for regular gas spiked to $4/gal in July 2008.

    Who was the President then? I don’t recall the GOP blaming Bush for the high gas prices.
    Republicans have a short term memory.

    BTW, I am not a Republican or a Democrat.

  10. bud

    I’m a proud Democrat largely because of the clusterfest we endured during the Bush Administration. However, it is clear that Bush was not directly responsible for the high gas prices. He did fail to get effective energy legislation passed, yet that is not entirely his fault. No president has been successful in doing so. What is needed is a recognition by the public that oil is a scarce commodity that needs to be rationed. Not by some Federal Bureaucracy but by Patriotic Americans who understand the future will not be dominated by the internal combustion engine.

    The hard part is getting people to see past the rhetoric of folks like Newt Gingrich who blather on about the return of $2.50/gallon gasoline at a time when that is just not possible (at least in the long run). And only the Democrats even talk the truth about this issue. And only in a tentative way.

  11. `Kathryn Fenner

    Seriously, Steven–that’s how you refer to a senior US Representative, with blackface stereotypes?

  12. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn – Who cares, it’s Jim Clyburn. If his feelings get hurt he can just go down to one of the many failures and stare at the sign with his name on it. Or look at his daughter’s resume of jobs he got her.

  13. bud

    Steven’s comment illustrates why the GOP is in deep trouble. The leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, made it clear that he “doesn’t care” what a young woman has to say about the issue of contraception by calling her a slut. Sponsors voted with their pocketbooks and are abandoning the GOP leader in droves. While it may make someone like Steven feel good to say he “doesn’t care” about Jim Clyburn, that attitude will only cost the GOP black and women voters come November. Thank you Rush for exposing the GOP for what it is – a racist, misogynic bunch of reactionary dinosaurs.

  14. `Kathryn Fenner

    @Steven–It’s not just Jim Clyburn’s feelings. It’s the feelings of all African Americans and also the opinions of enlightened people everywhere. I’m sick of attitudes like yours holding our state back and leading to our being featured unflatteringly in the national media.

    What sorts of jobs are going to be brought to a state perceived as being full of Neanderthal racists?

  15. Silence

    @`Kathryn – I agree that use of the minstrelesque trope is detrimental to the public perception of our state.

    @ SDII – I agree that Jim Clyburn represents the worst kind of politician imaginable. I really wish he wasn’t my congressman. When I found out that he was on the defecit reduction committee I knew we were all screwed.

  16. bud

    Silence and Steven, point to a comment by Clyburn that’s as disrespectful as Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” outburst. Seems like that would make him THE worst kind of politician imaginable. Plus, Wilson is wrong on all the issues. And he’s MY representative. In the words of Rick Santorum it’s enough to may me want to throw up.

  17. Brad

    Well, he’s not my kind of representative, although I don’t have the sort of negative attitude I’m seeing here.

    Before “you lie,” I put Clyburn and Wilson on a par. Both of them were conduits for the talking points of their respective parties. They both lived and breathed the national (not SC) party agenda; it oozed from their pores. And it still does. Although Joe’s a little confused these days, not knowing whether to parrot the leadership line or the Tea Party insurgent line. Joe needs someone to follow, and there are too many leaders at the moment.

    Clyburn, by contrast, is actually one of the party leaders — which is not a recommendation in my book.

    What do I prefer? Reps such as John Spratt and Bob Inglis — both of whom, by the way, got the heave-ho from Joe’s new friends in the Reign of Terrible Twos in 2010.

  18. `Kathryn Fenner

    You’re sounding awfully “AntiParty”–not just UnParty. What in the *content* of his positions do you have a problem with, or is it simply that he agrees with the Democratic Party positions?

  19. Silence

    @ `Kathryn – I think he’s gotta be one of the the number one pork barrelers in the entire congress. It may be right by our state, but it’s wrong by our country. I also am against any public facilities being named for living/serving politicians. I also disagree with nepotism, as I am not a beneficiary of the practice. I have nothing against him personally, he is probably a really cool guy to have a fish fry with, or to shoot 18 holes with. I have definite issues with his politics, and the results thereof. He’s always come across as articulate and interesting on the radio when I’ve heard him, although I strongly disagree with a lot of what he says.

    @ bud – I have no examples. I agree that Rep. Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst was disrespectful and beyond the pale of legislative decorum.

    I would say that at least Wilson’s child was elected by the state, rather than appointed by the legislature, but I’m strongly against political dynasties, any way you form em. This state (and nation) seem to go for dynasties though, to our detriment.

  20. Steven Davis II

    @bud – So through all that jibberish, how is Rush Limbaugh (whom I don’t listen to) doing these days? Has his popularity and number of listeners dropped? No??? Well then I expect sponsors will be back after their knee-jerk reaction. I read the other day that one already wants to come back and he told them to stick it and that he didn’t want them back.

    @Kathryn – So now just because I don’t like Clyburn I’m a racist. Reading your posts over the years, it doesn’t surprise me. But since it’s come from you, I’m just going to laugh it off.

    “I like Jim Clyburn and think he does right by our state.” And I’m the one who’s making a laughing stock of this state??? Take a long hard look in the mirror sister.

    What jobs are you talking about? What jobs has Clyburn created… besides the construction jobs for his walkway over I-277 that people don’t use because cutting a hole in the fences is easier, or the jobs used to construct the mega-failure Jim Clyburn Transportation Center, or maybe you’re talking about the one job he created for a woman named Mignon Clyburn.

  21. Steven Davis II

    @Kathryn – Just an FYI – I don’t like McConnell, Courson, Leatherman, Graham either… so for a racist, I’m sure limiting who’ll I’ll vote for… since you believe I only vote the Caucasian ticket.

    I don’t believe I’d like you either if we ever met, does that make me a sexist?

  22. `Kathryn Fenner

    I think the name of the game is “pork barrel” politics, and why should we sit out the largesse that we so desperately need?


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