Blaming the future for the past

BLAMING THE FUTURE FOR THE PAST…. Every month, we get a new report on unemployment, and every month the various political players put their own spin on what they’d like the public to believe. When it comes to Republicans, the worse the results, the more aggressive the finger-pointing.

But with today’s report offering better-than-expected news, GOP leaders seem to have been caught off guard. For example, John Boehner’s economic arguments are consistently ridiculous, but today broke new ground.

“After yet another month of job losses, it’s clear that one question President Obama is sure to get on his ‘listening tour’ is: ‘Where are the jobs’?” says House Minority Leader John Boehner, in a statement.

While the Republican from Ohio says the decrease in the unemployment rate is encouraging, he says “anyone who views today’s report as cause for celebration is out of touch with the American people, especially when Washington Democrats’ policies — whether it’s a government takeover of health care, a national energy tax, or ‘card check’ — are already costing jobs and will pile even more debt on our kids and grandkids.”

Um, no. In order for a policy to be “already costing jobs,” the policy has to exist first. Boehner wants to blame health care reform, cap and trade, and EFCA for job losses, but health care reform, cap and trade, and EFCA haven’t passed yet.

In Grown-Up Land, job losses are the result of a deep recession, which was the result of economic policies John Boehner supported. He has a few rhetorical choices here — my personal preference would be to hear Boehner apologize for having been so wrong, so often — but blaming legislation that hasn’t passed for job losses that have already occurred isn’t one of them. As Chris Harris put it, it’s akin to saying, “I have heartburn because I’m considering eating tacos tonight.”

Speaking of Republican statements, I’m wondering if the Republican National Committee is on vacation or something.

On the first Friday of every month, at 8:30 a.m. (ET), the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the monthly job numbers. And on the first Friday of every month, by around 9 a.m., the RNC has a statement blaming President Obama for not having fixed the recession he inherited fast enough. We saw this last month, and the month before that, and the month before that, and the month before that, and so on.

Today, however, the RNC hasn’t said a word*. In retrospect, maybe Boehner should have followed the RNC’s lead.

Correction: It appears the RNC did, in fact, issue a bland and largely incoherent statement on the job numbers. The party did not, however, post it to the RNC website, and was far less aggressive than it’s been this year in pushing its press statement.