Marxist Kenyan usurper sends Dow plunging to its highest mark on record

Late last week, the Dow closed at a new record high, proving once and for all that either electing a socialist president is great for the stock market or that our current dear leader is not, in fact, a socialist.

Of course, that’s just the kind of airtight logic that makes the sanguine hearts of stalwarts like Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity rot away like spring mix salad in Rush Limbaugh’s refrigerator crisper. And they’re not alone in their Obama-era angst.

Indeed, the Tea Party and its banshee-shrieking Borg queen, Sarah Palin, are by now so married to the idea that President Obama is a rabid foreign socialist focused like a laser on destroying America, confiscating its guns, and turning it into a giant 24-hour gay rave club/communist reeducation camp that they’ve painted themselves into an uncomfortable little corner. If the economy rebounds and the stock market soars, what to make of the socialist-in-chief’s supposed anti-capitalist dark arts?

Suffice to say, it’s not a great time for Fox News. After convincing its viewers last October that President Obama had about as much chance at reclaiming the presidency as Warren G. Harding, the network’s ratings began plunging faster than the necklines on its female reporters.

Indeed, the usual Obama-bashers at Fox are really starting to crack. O’Reilly, long regarded as the best thing to happen to the Irish people since potato blight, is lately discovering new hinges to disengage from. His recent dustup with syndicated radio host Alan Colmes made a Charles Manson parole hearing look like evening mindfulness meditation with the Dalai Lama.

For his part, Hannity, when forced to discuss the improving economy these days, consistently looks like Fabio after that goose flew into his face on that roller coaster that one time. (In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, a helpful video is embedded below.)

Indeed, Hannity and crew’s attitude was recently brought into sharp relief by Occidental College Associate Professor of Politics Caroline Heldman when she quarreled with Sean on his show about the state of the economy. She says it’s getting better (and it is). Hannity thinks it’s worse (and it is … worse than in 2008 before George W. Bush killed it).

In fact, Heldman nicely summed up the prevailing thought process among the leading lights at Fox in a post-Hannity appearance on Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show:

“You know, I have never met a group of people that is so upset that the economy is rebounding than the folks over at Fox. I mean, the signs are really clear, not only the unemployment rate dropping, but housing starts, new housing starts, housing prices, the fact that the stock market has doubled since 2009, that private wealth has been fully restored.”

Of course, criticizing Obama for not fixing Bush’s mess fast enough is so ingrained in Republican thinking by now that it might as well be part of the GOP platform. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t make any sense. It’s kind of like Exxon executives showing up two days after an oil spill and scolding the local volunteers for being really mediocre at cleaning ducks. How they keep getting away with it is a mystery for the ages.

Indeed, the worst you can say about Obama is that he was ill equipped to follow in the footsteps of a ginormous doofus. But now that the economy is showing real signs of improvement (no thanks to the austerity-bots in the GOP), the right-wing spin machine has sprung into action. If Republicans in Congress can’t actually stop the economy in its tracks, maybe their media water-carriers can make it look as weak as possible.

(If you think I’m being harsh, just try to imagine how the folks at Fox would have reacted if a Democratic president had presided over the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression and a Republican had stepped in and righted the ship, despite encountering resistance nearly every step of the way from the opposition party. Yeah, let your mind chew on that one for a minute.)

Of course, I’m not all that surprised that the stock market has reached new heights under Obama. As I’ve noted previously, the stock market typically performs better during Democratic administrations than Republican ones.

In fact, here are a few quick and dirty economic facts that may surprise you – that is, if you prefer to get your misinformation from Fox News:

1) As noted, the stock market tends to do better (much better, actually) under Democratic presidents than under Republicans. According to a Bloomberg Government article from last February, if you’d invested $1,000 in a hypothetical S&P tracking fund when the Kennedy administration began and measured it only during Democratic administrations, it would have been worth $10,920 up until the early part of last year. The same $1,000, measured only during Republican administrations, would have been worth $2,087 when George W. Bush left office.

2) As Bill Clinton noted in his Democratic National Convention speech last summer, over the past 52 years, Democratic administrations have a healthy lead when it comes to creating private-sector jobs (the only jobs Republicans seem to care about), besting their GOP counterparts by a tally of 42 million to 28 million, even though Republicans have been in office slightly longer (28 years to 24).

3) In this article from the Socialist Workers Party-funded rag Forbes, titled “Want a Better Economy? History Says Vote Democrat!” contributor Adam Hartung reviews Bob Deitrick and Lew Godlfarb’s book Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box. For their book, Deitrick and Godlfarb extensively researched the economic performance of U.S. presidents from Hoover to Junior Bush and unearthed the following:

a) Personal disposable income grew nearly six times more under Democratic presidents.

b) GDP grew seven times more under Democratic presidents.

c) Republicans added 2.5 times more to the national debt than Democratic presidents.

d) Corporate profits grew 16% more per year under Democratic presidents.

e) Rush Limbaugh grew 12,000% more under Democratic presidents. (This is actually my own estimate based on frequency of chewing sounds and number of pointed references to snickerdoodles during a random sampling of EIB broadcasts.)


Of course, Deitrick and Godlfarb also noted that the last two times the economy was really driven into a ditch, Republicans were in charge – Hoover in 1929 and George W. Bush in 2008.

Then again, this could all be a coincidence. Maybe Democrats, who have generally presided over better economic results than Republicans over the last 80 years, are really horrible at managing the economy, and Republicans, who have generally sucked wind for eight decades, are really spectacular at it. Hey, anything’s possible.

But then there’s that old chestnut about failing to learn from history and being doomed to repeat it. You might say the same thing about failing to teach history. Of course, if you’re so invested in fairy tales that even basic economic indicators fail to sway you, it may be too late for you to change course now.

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