The Silliest of Silly Seasons

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As I child, I used to pester my Mom with a question every now and then: “What would happen if there was ever a day with no news?” Her response was never very satisfying to me. She’d simply say that would never happen.

I’ve always wondered why I was so curious about that as a child. Who knows, it must have had something to do with the budding political junkie in me. Because seriously, I think there are days when it really feels like there is no news.

But of course, when there is no news we can’t say so…hence “silly season.” And – due to the clown car that is currently running for the 2016 Republican nomination – this has GOT to be the silliest silly season EVER!

For example, did you hear the one about how they’ve taken that old “Name That Tune” game and turned it in to “Name That GDP?” Jeb Bush started it all with:

I can fix that economy with 4% GDP.”

Next came Chris Christie with:

I can match that 4%.”

Not to be outdone, Scott Walker weighed in with:

I can fix that economy with 4.5% GDP.”

But Mike Huckabee blows them all out of the water with:

I can fix that economy with 6% GDP.”

Do I hear 7%? Going once…going twice…

Steve Benen has a little fun with all this.

It’s genuinely amazing to watch a post-policy experiment play out in real time. GOP presidential candidates are not only offering vague and unrealistic economic plans, they’re also citing growth projections by pointing to numbers they’ve pulled from their ears. There’s no pretense of seriousness; I half expect them to start using words like “gajillion” in their stump speeches.

And Jonathan Chait points out why none of these candidates can call each other out.

But there’s a weakness in basing your economic message on pulling a crazy number out of thin air: Another candidate can always pull an even crazier number out of thin air.

Frankly, I have to find ways to laugh about all this. But I am under no illusion that this kind of silliness with end just because silly season is over and “real news” starts happening again.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60 .