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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Creators.

 

Donald Trump is fabulously adept at taking credit for and exaggerating every bit of good news, especially good economic news. When the news is bad, he changes the subject. Trump is the master, but Republicans generally are skilled at fine-tailoring reality for their benefit.

Democrats are the opposite. They seem to assume that the public automatically sees the good things happening when they’re in charge. Like psychologically abused children, they internalize almost any criticism. That’s why rather than retell the story in the most flattering light, they dive into a defensive crouch. The inability to blast through the negative makes much of the public think them blameworthy.

We are now in the ninth year of a global economic expansion. For all but one year of it, Barack Obama was president. “Global” means that many countries are doing well. Some, meanwhile, are doing better than the United States. It’s not Trump’s economy.

The stock market has indeed posted lovely gains since Trump came into office. From his inauguration to Jan. 5, the day after the Dow Jones industrial average broke through 25,000, the market rose 26 percent. In the same period of Obama’s first term, however, the Dow gained 33 percent. (And Obama saw no need to trash the environment to make polluters richer.)

Did you hear Democrats loudly heralding Obama’s economic genius? Neither did I.

Many factors other than the president influence the economy (and stock prices), but that’s not the point here. The point is that the flamboyant right-leaning media send out an 800-piece brass band every time a record is set or something goes well for two consecutive months when the president is a Republican.

You barely heard a peep from Obama when the Dow hit all-time highs during his presidency — and that happened 122 times. That may have reflected admirable modesty on Obama’s part, but as politics, it was close to malpractice.

After passage of the Affordable Care Act, Democrats running for re-election let right-wing attacks and misinformation about the program rule their campaigns. Rather than tout the achievement as the best new protection for Americans in decades — and make the headline the many millions who would enjoy health coverage for the first time — they vowed over and over again to “fix” the program, whose problems were minor. These nervous promises left the impression that the health care reforms were indeed seriously flawed.

Bill Clinton left the presidency with a budget surplus. The right keeps running the story that the only notable thing in Clinton’s eight years was his tryst with Monica Lewinsky.

Clinton left office with a higher approval rating than did Reagan. Yet the Democrat running to replace him, Vice President Al Gore, kept a distance between himself and Clinton during the campaign. Despite all the evidence that Clinton remained quite popular, Gore’s campaign chose to ingest the right’s propaganda that most Americans disliked him.

Gore lost the Electoral College by a handful of ballots in Florida. Trump wouldn’t have hesitated to make use of a superb salesman like Bill Clinton.

Democrats need band class.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.

 

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Doug Mastriano

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Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

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