Certainly, no rational politico or political enthusiast can take an interview in Rolling Stone magazine without a grain of salt salt mine. However, Rolling Stone‘s leading, sophomoric questions for President Obama led to very revealing answers from the President.
As Weekly Standard reports, Obama was asked by Rolling Stone if there was a way to “break through…obstructionism by Republicans” (I did say it was a leading question!) Obama responded:(emphasis Weekly Standard)
Frankly, I know that there are good, decent Republicans on Capitol Hill who, in a different environment, would welcome the capacity to work with me. But right now,
in an atmosphere in which folks like Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist are defining what it means to be a true conservative, they are lying low. My hope is that after this next election, they’ll feel a little more liberated to go out and say, “Let’s redirect the Republican Party back to those traditions in which a Dwight Eisenhower can build an interstate highway system.
It’s not that Republicans are lying low, it’s that Obama is just lying. Republicans have repeatedly tried to work with President Obama. In June, 2011, the White House rejected a meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to discuss the debt-ceiling. In an October, 2011 press conference Obama stated: (emphasis mine)
I think it’s fair to say that I have gone out of my way in every instance, sometimes at my own political peril and to the frustration of Democrats,
to work with Republicans to find common ground to move this country forward…Our doors are open…If next week senators have additional ideas that will put people back to work right now and meet the challenges of the current economy, we are happy to consider them.
The GOP Doctors’ Caucus immediately responded. Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) said, “I’m glad to hear President Obama has an open door policy. Now, I hope he follows through with a meeting he promised the GOP Doctors Caucus four months ago.”
On Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH):
He went on to give backhanded praise to Republican speaker of the House John Boehner, saying he’s not “a bad person” and that he’s “patriotic,” but that he’s too “ideologically rigid.”
Ideologically rigid in the “Let’s give $535 million to a company that can’t possibly survive but its green and I love green!” way, or ideologically rigid in the “Let’s move guns into Mexico and get border agent Brian Terry killed in an effort to attack the 2nd amendment!” way?
But Obama is not without high praise for Comedy Central’s John Stewart (“brilliant,”) and for New York Times columnist and Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman:
(He) [is] obviously one of the smartest economic reporters out there.
It’s the smart Krugman, who, three days after 9/11, said:(emphasis from MRC)
It seems almost in bad taste to talk about dollars and cents after an act of mass murder. Nonetheless, we must ask about the economic aftershocks from Tuesday’s horror.
These aftershocks need not be major. Ghastly as it may seem to say this,
the terror attack – like the original day of infamy, which brought an end to the Great Depression – could even do some economic good. But there are already ominous indications that some will see this tragedy not as an occasion for true national unity, but as an opportunity for political profiteering….
So the direct economic impact of the attacks will probably not be that bad. And there will, potentially, be two favorable effects.
First, the driving force behind the economic slowdown has been a plunge in business investment. Now, all of a sudden, we need some new office buildings. As I’ve already indicated, the destruction isn’t big compared with the economy, but rebuilding will generate at least some increase in business spending.
As pointed out by Clay Waters, Krugman is making the, “…Keynesian embrace of the ‘broken-window’ fallacy – the idea that acts of destruction actually stimulate the economy by forcing spending on things like rebuilding. Of course, money that is spent on rebuilding can no longer be spent on other, more productive things.”
Krugman, the Nobel-winning economist, doesn’t understand economics, but is “obviously” smart. If Obama thinks guys like Krugman are smart, it’s no wonder the US economy sucks.
Perhaps a few more broken buildings will do the trick? If so, can you explain Detroit? Tons of broken buildings…and no money.
The Rolling Stone article will have little impact on Obama’s re-election hopes. The economy’s impact on the election will be much larger, because working families know how the economy works. We are 194 days from the general election.