Politics & Media
Feb 08, 2024, 06:29AM

Biden Apologists In Overdrive

The New Yorker’s John Cassidy doesn’t, in his delight over jobs report, even mention Biden’s age.

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Last Sunday I took a break from The Golden Oldies Show that was playing in my head, and on YouTube—the mystery of why Ten Years After’s biggest hit, “I’d Love to Change the World,” was so popular despite the nonsensical lyrics, which bugged me in 1971, was renewed—and dipped several toes in the ongoing Entertainment All Day, Every Day political free-for-all, which took a liberal turn after the latest jobs report, a surprising result of 353,000 jobs created in January and an upward revision of the December numbers. I’ve followed this first-Friday-of-the-month batch of economic stats for decades and while the political impact is far less important than, say 1996, mostly because it’s hard to believe anything issued by the government or media reports in today’s All Spin Zone, only rabid fruitcakes can argue that more jobs and a low unemployment rate (3.7 percent) is a negative for Joe Biden’s reelection campaign.

Still. Most Americans who follow politics, if they’re honest, understand that once merely liberal-tilting publications like The New Yorker have, since Donald Trump was elected in 2016, become de facto agents (is that word too Deep State?) of the Democratic Party. Likewise, that weekly’s economic commentator John Cassidy, whose once-interesting commentary has devolved into cheerleading (in the interest of saving democracy), was over the moon about the jobs report, saying, presumably with a straight face, “the payroll survey is still the gold standard of economic indicators.” In an era of daily political polls, usually contradictory (a participation trophy—I think that term is now outdated—for everyone who reads the fine print, meaning almost no one), news stories so lacking in evidence, or sources, they serve as press releases for whatever political party is being serviced, there are no gold standards, not even silver or bronze.

Cassidy was accurate that Donald Trump was, as usual, in nutty mode when he claimed that investors and corporations are bullish because they anticipate his victory in November—ludicrous, but most have lost count of Trump’s ludicrous statements, so much so that they’re barely audible background noise—but he couldn’t leave it at that.

He writes: “What impact will all this have [positive economic numbers] on the election? In a time of hyperpolarization, international unrest, and negative public views of both party leaders, the honest answer is that no one can say for sure… Be that as it may, any Presidential incumbent would much prefer to go into a reelection campaign with a strong economy, healthy job growth, and improving consumer sentiment. That’s where we are now.”

In fairness, Cassidy did note Real Clear Politics’ current polling average puts Biden at 37.9 percent on handling the economy, and he’s correct that number could tick up. Or not, as in next month or October. He also writes (and this is far more important than gold standards and unemployment rates): “The cost of some key items in the household budget—including rent, food, and motor vehicles—is still much higher than it was before the pandemic.”

Rent, food and cars. Unless those three “key items” decrease in price before Election Day, I doubt the relative sliver of voters who decide elections will care if the financial markets are at record levels. And that doesn’t even take into account the possibly devastating anger over illegal immigrants, or maybe Cassidy meant to lump that in with “hyperpolarization” (although anti-immigration is no longer the bugaboo of just Republicans). I assume Cassidy didn’t want to detract from his mission—propping up wavering Democrats, especially the “progressive” young—but he didn’t mention, not once, Biden’s age (81) and plain-to-see physical and mental deterioration (where have you gone Francois Mitterrand?), an omission that at one time, but not now because it’s so common, would be called “journalistic malpractice.”

Anyway, press releases are press releases, and why I latched onto this one is as strange as Alvin Lee, trying to be relevant, singing, “Everywhere is freaks and hairies/Dykes and fairies, tell me, where is sanity?/Tax the rich, feed the poor/’Til there are no rich no more/I’d love to change the world/But I don’t know what to do/So I’ll leave it up to you/Life is funny, skies are sunny/Bees make honey, who needs money? No, not poor me.”

Lee, who died in 2013, and at one time dubbed “the fastest guitarist in the West,” was no pauper. I’d guess he’s mostly forgotten now, so there will be no cancellation for his lyrics about dykes and fairies. Which makes sense, since older rock stars are mostly immune from culture police scrutiny: if the Stones weren’t ostracized for “Under My Thumb,” “Stupid Girl” and “One Hit (to the Body),” no one’s going to attack Lee and Ten Years After.

—Follow Russ Smith on Twitter: @MUGGER2023

  • If only 37% of Americans (and dropping) support Biden, can't we deport them? They are mainly bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists, and public school teachers anyway. We could use their houses and condos to house illegal immigrants and homeless vets. Given their likely professions, they are not really needed.

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  • We need polls to determine who this country will deport. Such a brilliant observation.

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