Republicans will accuse whoever becomes the Democratic nominee of wanting Barack Obama’s third term — as if 11 million Americans finding new jobs and 16 million gaining health insurance is a bad thing. But Mitt Romney is determined to lead Republicans into running Mitt Romney’s third losing presidential campaign.
At a weekend summit for Republican candidates and donors in Utah, Romney again tried to cast himself as a visionary who was defeated only by turnout in “urban areas.” Without those meddling urbans, Mitt would be boldly leading us into more confrontations all over the globe because having the first few months without a U.S. combat death since 9/11/01 is apparently a terrible thing.
Mitt’s fixation on foreign policy traces the entire Republican field’s descent into warmongering as its primary mode of critiquing Obama. They are doing this for two simple reasons.
First, we’re still reeling from the mess created when George W. Bush neglected Afghanistan to invade Iraq with far too few troops to contain the country. And while President Obama has re-engaged in the region, Republicans want more. Explicitly, they want the exact thing that created this problem — U.S. combat troops in Iraq. At least that’s the latest word from — you guessed it — George W. Bush.
The bigger reason Republicans are fixated on foreign policy is that it’s their best hope.
In October of 2012, Mitt vowed to get the unemployment rate below 6 percent by 2016. We’re halfway through 2015 and the unemployment rate is 5.5 percent. By Mitt’s own standard, President Obama is exceeding expectations. We’ve had the best two years of job creation since tax increases on the wealthy and Obamacare went into full effect. And 2015 was the best year of job creation this century.
But when it comes to standards, Republicans are famous for only holding Democrats to them. Here are five reasons that if Republicans really wanted richer, safer, and more “life”-centered America, they’d vote Democratic.
“Since 1961, for 52 years now, the Republicans have held the White House 28 years, the Democrats 24,” Bill Clinton said at the 2012 Democratic Convention. “In those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million private-sector jobs. So what’s the jobs score? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 42 [million].”
The Daily Beast‘s Michael Tomasky looked at Calculated Risk‘s Bill McBride’s projections for job creation under Obama and suggested how a reprise of that tally might play out in 2014: “Now imagine how Hillary Clinton (or Bill again, in her behalf) can update this at the 2016 convention if McBride turns out to be right: ‘Now the scorecard is even since 1961 in terms of years—28 years for them, 28 for us. The jobs score now? Republicans 24 million, Democrats 53 million.'”
Our Joe Conason looked at Dr. James Gilligan’s Why Some Politicians Are More Dangerous Than Others and found that the difference is even more stark if you put it in terms of the unemployment rate — even before more than twice as many jobs were created under Obama than both Bushes combined, in half the time.
“If we count up the net sum of all the increases that occurred during Republican administrations from 1900 through 2008, we find that the Republicans brought about a cumulative increase of 27.8 percent in the unemployment rate, and the Democrats an almost exactly equal decrease of 26.5 percent.” The net cumulative difference in the partisan effects was a staggering 53.8 percent.
Since the stimulus went into full effect, we’ve been enjoying the longest stretch of private-sector job growth in American history.
For the first time in 15 years, jobless claims have been below 300,000 for 14 straight weeks. Layoffs have reached lows not seen since 1971, meaning per capita layoffs have never been this low in recorded history. Part of this is a symptom of a broken economy where too many people are freelancers and independent contractors, but can you imagine the size of the parade President Romney would be getting if he helped bring America layoffs lower than Reagan brought us?
Of course, improving the economy is the only way to truly improve the health of our federal budget, which explains the next reason Republicans should vote Democratic.
2. The Deficit
Speaking of crises that have been fixed under Obama that never get mentioned anymore… We spent much of the last seven years being lectured about the deficit by the exact guys who turned a record surplus into a record deficit. But suddenly, they’ve gone very, very quiet on this subject.
The deficit is now projected to be lower than at any time since August 2008, right before the Great Recession truly kicked off. This means that under President Obama, the deficit has been reduced by more than a trillion dollars a year.
Apparently pointing out that we can expand health insurance to 16 million while bringing the deficit to new lows isn’t the kind of thing Republicans like to do. But it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama is better at lowering the deficit than his Republican peers — Blinder and Watson found that all Democratic presidents have been better at it since 1947.