I know, I know, I know… This is a tired exercise, but it has to be done.
Imagine an alternate universe where it was George W. Bush, or any Republican, sworn in for a second term yesterday -- but with Obama's economic record. Imagine if, after spending nearly a trillion dollars on tax cuts (instead of stimulus), Bush stood before the nation and gave an ideological address that focused almost solely on divisive social issues and never once mentioned his struggling economy.
Rather than talk about chronic unemployment at 7.8%, Bush talked about ending abortion. Rather than address an increase in poverty under his watch, Bush defended traditional marriage. Instead of acknowledging 8 million people frustrated by a lack of jobs and dropping out of the workforce, Bush advocated returning prayer to public schools. Instead of acknowledging his trillion dollar deficits, Bush made a case for school choice…
In our universe, this is exactly what Obama did. While middle class incomes drop, the cost of health insurance premiums explode, gas prices nearly double, and entitlements teeter on the edge of bankruptcy, our president pretended as though he's the one in an alternate reality entering a second term with an economy humming as well as George W. Bush's in 2005.
Moreover, all Obama did was to promise he would double down on exactly what got us into this mess.
But like 11 year-old girls backstage with Justin Bieber, the media can only gush…
New York Times: A Call for Progressive Values: Evolved, Unapologetic and Urgent
Washington Post: Obama's Speech Herald's a Bolder Leadership Style
CBS News: Obama Honors Military, Dances at Inaugural Balls
ABC News: President Obama Calls for 'Collective Action' on Nation's Challenges
NBC News: Party time: Obamas attend inaugural balls
We've already catalogued the shameless cable and broadcast networks.
The only issue the media seems divided over is whether they should gush harder over Obama's speech or Michelle Obama's bangs.
Meanwhile, in the real America outside of DC and left-wing media empires, the poor are getting poorer, the middle class is slowly being strangled, job growth is hardly treading water with population growth, there are more food stamps recipients than ever before, and more people are living in poverty.
If you were dumb enough to get your news only from the mainstream media, you would think that economic times are so flush today, the American president can afford to squander his second term socially re-engineering America.
Looks as though the media is just as determined as Obama to manufacture a reality that says we're enjoying economic boom times, deficits don't matter, and those crazy, stupid, racist Republicans in Congress are the real problem.
We'll see how long this heartless charade can last. Even with the most feckless GOP leadership in decades, eventually people will have to take a look around and ask themselves, Is this all there is?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC