Truth be told, I’m not as terribly depressed over the complete Republican takeover of Congress as I thought I would be. Perhaps it’s blind faith that things can’t possibly get any worse than they already are. No, what is truly depressing is the lack of testicular fortitude among Democrats to stick with President Obama during the midterms.
Yes, I know. The map was bad for Democrats defending seats or running for open seats in deep red states that hate Obama. But there was a great story to tell and ‘fraidy-cat Democrats locally and nationally refused to tell it.
Look at the October jobs report that came out today. The unemployment rate dropped .01 percent from September to 5.8 percent. The economy added 214,000 jobs. And the job-creation numbers for August and September were revised upwards. According to The Post, “The revisions bump the September total to 256,000 jobs and the August total to 203,000 jobs — meaning the U.S. economy has added at least 200,000 jobs for nine straight months.” There have been 56 straight months of job gains, which White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Jason Furman calls “the longest streak on record.”
Today’s fantastic jobs news is yet another great data point that materialized on Obama’s watch. Gas prices are down, falling below $3 for the first time since 2010. The stock market is way up, closing at 17,554.17 yesterday. That’s up 188.17 since the day before the midterms and a whopping 9,605.08 since the day Obama took the oath of office in 2009. The economy is growing with a 3.5 percent annualized rate of growth last quarter. The Post reported that this “caps America’s strongest six-month period of expansion since 2003.” And the deficit is shrinking. Back in September, the Congressional Budget Office announced “the smallest deficit recorded since 2008.”
Rather than run away from or shun the president, Democrats should have embraced his policies. “You don’t have to like the guy. I find him prickly, hard to read and a little too cool,” jittery Dems could have said. “But he made difficult decisions that cost him politically but saved the country and is putting us back on track. No, you’re not feeling the benefits yet. There’s always a lag. But you will. And you know what would make things move a lot faster? Sending me to Washington to give him the majority he needs to keep things going. I’m not going to agree with him on everything. I’m not going to stand with him 100 percent of the time. But I won’t hesitate to support him when doing so supports you.”
If I could come up with that in the few minutes that it took to write this post, then a Democratic candidate certainly should have. All it required was the courage to tell the truth. That Democrats were too chicken to do that is a major factor in why they lost.
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