The "it's a great economy" con isn't catching on

Sunday, October 15, 2006 at 03:05 PM

Is reality catching up to those con men and women who have an "(R)" after their name in Congress?

According to a Houston Chronicle piece yesterday:

President George H.W. Bush's 1992 re-election campaign failed partly because of a drumbeat of bad economic news.

Several economic indicators are positive now, as his son says that signs of prosperity can provide political advantages for the Republicans in the Nov. 7 congressional elections.

But while the stock market has been rising, gas prices dropping, and the federal deficit falling, polls show that Bush and his party are not getting much credit for steering the economy.

In a Washington Post/ABC News poll, 54 percent said Democrats were better able to deal with the economy and 37 percent rated Republicans stronger on the issue.

Of course, if you're in on the con, you need to find an acceptable  reason for this phenomenon that doesn't blow the con:

Karlyn Bowman, a political analyst for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said that "Iraq has cast such a pall over things that people don't feel that good about the economy."

"There wasn't a shred of good news for Republicans," in the latest polls, she said, which found that voters preferred electing Democrats over Republicans in Congress by 14 percentage points.

Yeah, it couldn't possibly be because good jobs continue to disappear, only to be replaced by crappy jobs with few benefits and low pay; each year sees a new layer of the middle class lose its health care insurance (and ground to inflation); housing and college tuition costs keep rising so fast you could get a bad case of the bends; just about every government agency tasked with seeing to the well-being of ordinary citizens has been dismantled or corrupted; and the country's majority party is so obviously out to lunch on economic issues that they're carrying picnic baskets to every news conference on the subject.

Nope, could not possibly be those things.  Must be Iraq.

Where things are going just as planned by the way.

Do you like my picnic basket?