The stupidest attack on Obama so far

A right-wing blogger suggests the president believes "that what the government does has little impact on the economy."

Published March 6, 2009 12:26AM (EST)

In the short time that Barack Obama has been president, he's been the subject of some silly critiques. Exhibit A: Blaming him for the sorry state of the stock market, when in fact sagging stock prices are an utterly natural reaction to the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

But now comes a remarkable post on Power Line which astoundingly manages to combine two critiques of Obama that are, by themselves, all the evidence you need to understand why Republicans have been trounced in the last two elections and are floundering in the polls.

First, John Hinderaker quotes Doug Ross making the argument that "the Obama administration is deliberately damaging the economy and gutting the stock market, on the theory that doing so will make more people dependent on the government and pave the way for a far-left regime."

Hinderaker, sensibly, does not agree with this crackpottery. But only because he has an even more ludicrous explanation! (Italics mine)

...I don't buy it...More likely the explanation is that Obama is an economic illiterate, and subscribes to the idea -- which I think is rather common among Democrats -- that what the government does has little impact on the economy. Obama likely believes that the economy will recover on its own, and in the meantime -- in Rahm Emanuel's immortal words -- he shouldn't let the crisis go to waste. So he enacts every left-wing measure that he wanted to do anyway, expecting that when the economy eventually recovers he can take credit for it, even though his policies, if anything, retarded and weakened the recovery.

Democrats believe that what the government does has little impact on the economy? Aren't Republicans the people who, by and large, don't believe that Keynesian fiscal stimulus can jumpstart an economy? Aren't Republicans the ones who believe that the economy will recover on its own? Maybe I've been hallucinating, but I've spent quite a few hours in the last few months watching federal legislators discuss the economy on the floors of the Senate and the House, and it is the Republican senators and representatives who make those arguments.

So what Hinderaker is really saying that Republicans are economic illiterates, isn't he? Jeepers. With enemies like these, who needs friends?

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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