McCain & Media Caught Off Guard By Bad Economy?
What’s wrong with the media? They totally ignored the bad economy until it hit their investment portfolios.
Morning Joe was whining, again, this morning about the bad luck of poor ol’ John McCain. He continued with his daily rant that McCain could have won this election if the market meltdown hadn’t happened or at least the liberal left-wing media hadn’t talked about it. For someone – much like the beloved Sarah Palin – who holds himself out there as some sort of regular guy, he sure is out of touch. Maybe he’s more of an elitist than he realizes. I have heard Joe say repeatedly, “People in Pensacola are still shopping and buying electronics at Best Buy.” Now, excuse me for being a little cynical here, but I doubt that regular ol’ Joe Scarborough lives outside the nicest, most well-healed and well-employed part of Pensacola. I don’t know this for sure, having never been to Pensacola, but I’m pretty sure that like most cities, large and small, there is that “better part of town” where successful people live. You know, “real Americans” – Republican Americans.
I’ve got some facts I would like to share with Mr. Scarborough. Out here in Wal-Mart America, it’s been quite a different story for quite a while. We have been struggling to stay afloat since the re-election of George W. Bush. The media, doing as Morning Joe and his party like, failed to cover this developing story. Oh, once in a while Lou Dobbs over at CNN and Chris Matthews on Hardball would give it a casual mention. But while our well-healed suburban neighbors were still shopping at Best Buy, we were pulling in our expenditures outside the grocery and drug departments at Wal-Mart. Not because we are a thrifty lot by nature, but because we were being squeezed by a continuing rise in prices.
Of course, the Bush/Cheney Administration denied that any such thing was going on, and the media went along with the “happy talk” on the economy as the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose daily in the face of rising job losses. After all, a layoff by a major corporation boosts profitability, doesn’t it? You know how expensive those pesky workers are. And corporate America was actually getting tax breaks from the Bush/Cheney Administration and the Republican Congress to move plants and jobs to places like China and India. And don’t forget that those telling inflation figures could be manipulated not to show what everyday people were experiencing by removing groceries and gasoline from the calculations. That’s right, groceries and gasoline don’t count. The two areas of greatest necessity to everybody were excluded to aide the Happy Talk Express as it kept stressing the “fundamentals of the economy are sound.”
What is incredible to believe is that Republicans like Joe Scarborough and John McCain were drinking their own Kool-Aid. Both McCain and Scarborough seemed totally surprised when the problems of Main Street finally hit Wall Street. I still remember Joe Scarborough exclaiming, “Who could have seen this coming?” Of course good old John the Politician retreated to the party line: The fundamentals of the economy are sound. What a brain trust these two are. I hate to say this, but Sarah Palin might not be as far out there from the general intelligence level of her colleagues in the Republican Party as she seems. Joe the Republican First and John the Candidate didn’t seem smart enough to see this coming like a freight train down the tracks.
I was always a terrible math student, but I saw this coming. It is why Mrs. Jack and I decided to sell out in Houston and take early retirement to the Piney Woods of East Texas. I could tell that the bust was on the way. The real estate market – something I personally have been pretty lucky with over the years – was getting pretty shaky going into November 2004. Home prices seemed to have climbed to such a level that I couldn’t imagine a lot of buyers who could qualify for the loans. Of course, I didn’t really understand the nature of the almost criminal mortgage business that was “fixing” things so that people could get into those over-priced houses. So Mrs. Jack and I sold our skyline-view condo near downtown Houston and headed for Green Acres. It’s a good thing we did. Within two years Mrs. Jack’s supposedly secure job in a hospital in Houston disappeared as it struggled to stay afloat before eventually closing. Fortunately, we had positioned ourselves to be debt-free and ready for the storm.
But not everyone had the foresight of Mrs. Jack and me. My brothers are both more than a little troubled that their well-paying oil/chemical industry jobs might disappear leaving them holding onto large, beautiful suburban homes that they will no longer be able to afford. One of them is much like me and will easily switch into survival mode; the other will be devastated. They are both in their late 50s now and will face the same plight Mrs. Jack and I did when we lost our jobs at that age. It’s a cruel job market out there for elderly people who have worked their entire adult lives, and my brothers know it because they have seen my wife and I fail to find employment over and over.
So all these things taken into consideration, it is hard to feel sympathy for John McCain and see him as some sort of victim of surprisingly bad economic news. Alan Greenspan testified before a Congressional Committee yesterday that his theory of self-regulation of the banking and lending systems was a mistake, yet Senator McCain and his Republican colleagues continue to preach the virtues of the Bush/McCain economic model as the key to getting out of the mess it has gotten us into. Perhaps it is time for die-hard Republicans and media pundits to realize that it’s not John McCain’s character or conservative economic values that will turn this around for him. It’s still the ECONOMY, idiots!
For the American electorate out here beyond the narrow confines of New York and Washington, D.C., it has been the economy for several years now. We are not a bunch of hicks who are more interested in personalities and religious preferences. We are “real Americans” who have very real problems that need to be addressed. And to the elites who act like they’re not – Joe Scarborough, this is you – I say BULLSHIT! I’m voting for Barack Obama because he showed poise and leadership during the financial meltdown while John McCain ran around like a chicken with his head chopped off. Obama offers alternative solutions to the problems I face every day, and John McCain offers four more years of the same old economic policies that got us in this mess in the first place. Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. And, Joe, you might want to lay off the elephant piss Kool-Aid. It seems to be affecting your judgment.
That’s my take on the day. Keep fighting the good fight, fellow warriors for change!
P.S. Go to Margaret and Helen for a couple of hilarious postings. You’ll be glad you did.