What’s good for the goose (Obama) is good for the gander (Walker)

President Obama came to Wisconsin last week to visit padlock manufacturer Master Lock, a company that recently returned 100 jobs to the U.S. from China. Since China’s border has traditionally been a bleak event horizon from which no gainful employment can escape, you might say the president was touting a small economic miracle.

Scott Walker greeted Obama at the airport, but almost immediately went home with the flu. He might have been better advised to join the party – or at least call in sick with something a bit more interesting, like the stigmata – as desperate as he must be these days to bask in the media glow of any miracle that might come his way.

It’s probably safe to say that Scott Walker will fall short of his goal of creating 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term. I know this because I can add, and I’m not currently on mushrooms.

How inept has Walker been at creating jobs in this state? Imagine you hired a cleaning lady whose number one goal was to clean your house without allowing a troop of syphilitic bipolar spider monkeys in the front door while you were away at work. In fact, imagine that her ad on Craig’s List explicitly noted that your house would be spic, span, and syphilitic bipolar spider monkey-free when you returned from the office. And then imagine that one such animal suddenly attacked your face while you were eating your fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt on a filthy, monkey-befouled settee the next morning. You’d be pretty P.O.’d, right?

And if you are one of the thousands of hopeful Wisconsin workers who currently has a metaphorical spider monkey eating his face after Walker promised that your house would be clean and that no diseased primates would eat any single part of you, you probably can’t believe it.

That’s the state of the state as I see it, though the excuses are sure to start flying with renewed vigor in the face of six straight months – and counting – of Wisconsin job losses.

Now, all kidding aside, I’m not the type of guy who’s quick to blame politicians for the more or less natural ebbs and flows of the economy. A lot of it depends on circumstance. For instance, studies have repeatedly shown that if a Bush preceded you in office, his friends will blame you almost instantly for not cleaning up the mess he made. But the recent jobs numbers certainly look bad for Walker, particularly since he swaggered into town as the pro-business candidate, and his optimistic employment projections now put him in danger of leaving as the pro-B.S. candidate. After all, he promised that Wisconsin would be an economic bellwether, creating jobs at a hearty clip. In reality, our state has been among the nation’s leaders in job losses in recent months.

Meanwhile, the economic picture looks far rosier for the nation, despite being headed by a foreign-born Kenyan socialist who stubbornly refuses to acknowledge his secret second-term plan to seize our guns and gold to facilitate the launch of the federally funded Ronald Reagan Institute of Super-Gay Muslim Studies.

Nationally, the economy added 243,000 jobs in January, which was more than anticipated. There are other signs of a turnaround as well. Manufacturing and housing data look better, and the stock market is riding higher than it has in many moons.

That’s bad news for the Republican primary field, which has been flogging the tepid recovery for months now. And if the current sparks of recovery ignite into a conflagration of economic awesomeness, the GOP’s hopes of reclaiming the White House could be dead in the water. Romney would have less than a leg to stand on, and if Rick Santorum were the nominee, he’d likely become even crazier, perhaps claiming, in the absence of any supporting evidence whatsoever, that he is a super-intelligent legume.

Then again, it’s very possible that none of that will happen. That’s the danger of promising too much and criticizing too forcefully. Nothing is permanent – not even the maniacally moist looks in the eyes of Rick Santorum supporters.

But those who seek to bash Obama for his economic record should watch what they say. At the moment, at least, our country and our state seem to be heading in different directions. If you want to criticize Obama for running the country’s economy into a ditch – or simply failing to get it out of one – how is it fair to give Walker a free pass based merely on his potential? Really, it’s enough to make you sick.

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