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Tilting at Windmills

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March 15, 2009

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS NOT DUE.... Wall Street had a nice little rally this week, but former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino hopes President Obama doesn't get too much credit.

Former White House spokesperson Dana Perino said on Sunday that the Bush administration, while presiding over the start of the current recession, nevertheless deserved some credit for the modest uptick that Wall Street experienced this past week.

Appearing on CSPAN's Washington Journal, the last of Bush's press secretaries said it was "not a secret" that the current economic mess started under her boss's watch. But, she cautioned, the public had yet to realize the full extent to which the past president's policies "alleviat[ed] the downturn." Take, for instance, the improvement in the Dow Jones Industrial average this week.

"You were just speaking earlier about the possibility that since we had a little bit of a better week on Wall Street does that spell a turnaround?" Perino said. "Can all the credit go specifically to President Obama? Well, I would say no. We are just going to have to take a while to let all of this settle down and let the policies that our administration and the new administration are trying to put in place have a chance to work."

I see. Just so we're clear, here's a helpful guide to the rules of market watching, as they relate to partisan politics:

When the market went down on Bush's watch before the 2008 elections, this was Bill Clinton's fault.

When the market went down on Bush's watch between November 2008 and January 2009, this was Barack Obama's fault.

When the market went down during Obama's first seven weeks in office, this was definitely Barack Obama's fault.

And when the market rallies on Obama's watch during the second week in March, George W. Bush deserves at least some of the credit.

I'm glad Perino helped set the record straight. Putting aside whether watching Wall Street is a useful guide to measuring the strength of economic policies -- it clearly isn't -- the point to remember is that positive developments are evidence of Republican wisdom, and negative developments are evidence of Democratic failure.

Remember when you were a kid and someone told you, "I'll flip a coin -- heads I win, tails you lose"? It's kind of like that.

Update: Here's the video clip of Perino on C-SPAN.

Steve Benen 12:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (45)

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Ha! I called it on Thursday! Here is how I put it in my nightly news roundup:

So will all the chattering chuckleheads who were yammering about an ‘Obama bear market‘ give him credit for three straight days of gains? Hmmmm? Surber? Putz? Kurtz? Stenographers? Anybody? Or will Ari Fleischer be on the cable channels tomorrow explaining how W should get the credit?
Posted by: Blue Girl on March 15, 2009 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ugh. Dana Perino makes me want to change my name.

Posted by: Danp on March 15, 2009 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I thought the markets went up because Citi leaked a memo saying they were profitable in the first two months.

Posted by: tomj on March 15, 2009 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I think its virtually impossible for a rational sane being to understand how these people (i.e., wingnuts) live with themselves. The cognitive dissonance within their heads is unimaginable. If they weren't so horrifically damaging and disastrous to the rest of us, you'd have to feel sorry for them - it can't be easy being them.

Posted by: pluege on March 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

These people are sick.

Posted by: qwerty on March 15, 2009 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thank god CNN countered CSpan's Perino crapfest by interviewing Dick Cheney.

Posted by: garyb50 on March 15, 2009 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

They were beyond parody when in office and they continue to be beyond parody. Although now it has sunk to a dada-esque level.

Their total detatchment from reality is utterly astounding. After catching some of Cheney's interview today I can't believe these people used to be in charge of this country. Braindead zombies, the lot of them.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on March 15, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

There is one word that describes this 'humans': DEFORMED .. deformed from birth ..

Posted by: stormskies on March 15, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

She was (is) an irrelevant hack and an uninformed one at at that. They must have been hard up for people to interview. But then again it's MSM.

Posted by: PS on March 15, 2009 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously Perino suffered more than just a black eye from being banged in the head by that microphone.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 15, 2009 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Given the amount of crap still on bank balance sheets (Citibank's "profit" was said to not include any write downs) which we have not begun to deal with, I will happily put the last week in the last administration's column if they also take the next 6 months.

Posted by: jhe on March 15, 2009 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

The wingers don't care if what they say doesn't actually make any sense. If you get the message out in sufficient volume, you win.

Posted by: MattF on March 15, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK
Remember when you were a kid and someone told you, "I'll flip a coin -- heads I win, tails you lose"? It's kind of like that

Except we did win. Dana is the snot-nosed brat who always remembers it's opposite day when she loses.

Seriously, does she have a job or something?

Posted by: The Answer WAS Orange on March 15, 2009 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

When the market went down on Bush's watch before the 2008 elections, this was Bill Clinton's fault.
To a certain degree,yes. However, as soon as Obama accepted the nomination, any time his poll numbers went up, and the market went down (which happened a lot) it was proof that the markets were adjusting themselves downward to a possible Obama Administration.

This is nothing new. Republicans have been doing that for as long as I can remember. ONLY Republicans would beg to differ. Nothing new there either

Posted by: bruno on March 15, 2009 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

Why should the tax payer reward bad management and so-called the best and brightest minds, when their leadership failed to head off this economic break down? It would seem
that the fox is guarding the hen house or take the money and run !! How many jobs has AIG shed ? How many could have kept their jobs without paying for poor management!
What happened to the day of reinvesting in your business
to grow,,, not steal the wealth and place in offshore accounts for their own personal gain. Once aging this shows
the greed of big business and of the few at the top.
America is doomed until we shed greed as the number 1 driving force of our top business leaders!!!! How much is enough ? Brent Clarke
PS I belive I could do better for alot less !!! I have seen
this coming for last 2 years and it is not over yet.

Posted by: Brent Clarke on March 15, 2009 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Perino on CSPAN, the Big Dick on CNN with transparent sycophant, John King, Bill Bennett guest starring in there somewhere, and that's all just this morning.

Has anyone in media noticed that the Bush Administration is OUT of power and irrelevant?

Posted by: Capt Kirk on March 15, 2009 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

A little off topic,but a good insight in how republicans think:

American Spectator has a contest to describe the Democratic Party in 20 words or less.

The vast majority of submissions, are pretty accurate when you read them. All you have to do is looking at it as a correct description of the Republican Party.

They are so angry at how they have behaved over the last decade or so, that their only recourse is to project their own shortcomings onto Democrats.

Scary and sad at the same time, that so many people can be so deluded. They do a pretty good job at airing all the wrongs with the Republican party.

Maybe Steve can commit a post to this drivel and we can all have a good laugh at their ignorance - not that they haven't been supplying enough fodder already, without prompting.

Posted by: bruno on March 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Correction: when the market went down before the 2008 elections, it was Obama's fault, because the press made it seem inevitable that he was going to win.

Posted by: church-lady on March 15, 2009 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

So nice of them to share.

Posted by: CDW on March 15, 2009 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

The "reality" behind Dana Perino's thinking processes is similar to the old children's tale, The Emperor's New Clothes. The coin she's flipping was made by the illegitimate spawn of the original rip-off artists who made those "new clothes"....

Posted by: Steve W. on March 15, 2009 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

It gets better.
When this temporary "false rally" runs out of gas because of the anemic stimulus passed by the skin of its teeth after being whittled down by blue dogs and Republicans, this brief ray of sunshine will graciously be given to Obama along with the meandering sideways market until at least August.

When the economy finally starts trending upward and no longer retreats (November at the earliest), THEN Bush's credit will be given their due with none of the intervening months excluded from Obama's failed, flawed, socialist policies.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on March 15, 2009 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

bruno,

"When the market went down on Bush's watch before the 2008 elections, this was Bill Clinton's fault."

"To a certain degree,yes."

How ?

The DJIA went down for the eight previous years in a row in inflation-adjusted dollars, and would need to be over 16,000 (currently 7,223) just to get back where it was in 2000, when President Clinton was still in office.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 15, 2009 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'll get you Dana Perito, and your little dog too!

For fuck's sake, first Cheney all over CNN and now Perito's twisted tales? I've got to tune out I guess because these people are still "on the air". WTF?!

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on March 15, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Braindead zombies, the lot of them.

The Zombie Anti-Defamation League demands an immediate apology.

Posted by: Jeremy B. on March 15, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

George Will on ABC's 'This Week':

"I think the best journalism in America is business journalism. Precisely because they deal with real metrics. They know things."

"They know things" ?, like tax rate cuts stimulate the national economy, tax rate cuts bring in more revenue, Corporate America pays the highest taxes on the planet, Social Security should be privatized, the Federal Minimum Wage destroys jobs, and government regulation strangles economic growth.

Oh, and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 15, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Dana Perino and her ilk are insufferable.

Ilk . . . hmmmm . . . isn't that something Sarah Palin shoots from airplanes? Perino better watch out!

Posted by: pj in jesusland on March 15, 2009 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

"If it goes up, and it's the market, Bush did it."
"If it goes down, and it's the market, the Democrats did it."
"If temperature goes up, it's natural variation."
"If temperature goes down, it proves global warming stopped during the Bush presidency."

Got it. No intelligent life on this planet.

Posted by: Hank Roberts on March 15, 2009 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

You heard it here first: when the economic crisis begins to resolve, it will be despite Obama and because of the shrewd and foresightful policies of the previous administration.

Posted by: Espanky on March 15, 2009 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Brian Lamb has a lot to answer for, unless he is interviewing this individual for a job as cleaning woman.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on March 15, 2009 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Did you just fall off the turnip truck or what?

"We deserve all the credit for good stuff.
Someone else is always responsible for the bad stuff."

This is not news.

This the right wing going back to the John Birch Society at least in my lifetime. The only person the right wing apologizes to is Rush Limbaugh.

It is a reliable pattern that will manifest itself anytime you hear a rightwinger talk about anything for more than 3 syllables. X is always responsible for Y. X can be Clinton, Obama, and the favorite "liberal". "Y" can usually be the most fantastic paranoid impossible thing you can imagine of e.g. "the total destruction the our liberties and freedoms by X", "American will become a fascist dictatorship if X gets it way", "The destruction of capitalism by X". "X hates anyone who is successful", "X wants everyone to be totally dependent on the government for everything". You get the picture.

I am thinking this good stuff for a Propaganda Detecting 101.


Posted by: mickster on March 15, 2009 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Also, when the market went up on Bill Clinton's watch, it was because of Ronald Reagan. But when it went down in 2001, that was Clinton's fault.

Posted by: no comment on March 15, 2009 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

but, but, but ... Obama says he inherited all this from BushMcChimpyHitler! So doesn't that mean that if the economy recovers even a LITTLE bit ... that too is BushMcChimpyHitler's legacy? It IS his (BushMcChimpyHitler's) economy after all.

Posted by: Joe Crabshack on March 15, 2009 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

to Joe Friday

when I said" "To a certain degree,yes.

I did not explain myself well enough. I agreed with that statement that they blamed Bill Clinton all the way up to the election. BUT they also started blaming Obama for any downward moves of the DOW each time his poll numbers went up.

I do not agree that Bush's mismanagement where caused by Bill Clinton at all.

Posted by: bruno on March 15, 2009 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, even before Obama was elected the market downturn was his fault - conservatives, Mike Savage, some investment hucksters or politicizers would say Obama (and the Media of course) "talked down the markets" to help him get elected. (The Dolans come to mind on the finance side - I don't know if they said this directly, but things like that and still do.) As if people are going to sell off because a candidate says the economy is rough (which it is - are people supposed to lie to make it seem better for the sake of trading?) Albeit true, some investment decisions are made and changed on account of who is likely to get elected and what they might do.

But this well-deserved slam against conservative spin on market swings obscures a large point: "the markets" are too important and controlling of the economy compared to real production. Part of that is due to "financialization" of the economy, much is from the fraudulently reduced capital gains tax rates (REM the chart here some days ago, showing the big drop in CG tax rates in the years before the Great Crash?)

BTW I just finished a campaign training seminar run by DFA. A good show and tell, & many interesting campaign stories of the instructors' wins and losses (the story of Darcy Burner was a poignant near miss.) Jim Dean (bro. of Howard) was there. Heh, even if I didn't know, I would look and listen to Jim for about one minute before saying "Are you Howard Dean's brother?" PS Jim's Wikipedia article needs cleanup etc.

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on March 15, 2009 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Gotcha.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 15, 2009 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Dang it.
~~~
bruno,

I gotcha.

Posted by: Joe Friday on March 15, 2009 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

The market went up on the anticipation that idiots who think a spot of profits will wipe out billions in debt in two months will put some money into it.

Posted by: Boronx on March 15, 2009 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't take anything Perino says seriously. This is a woman who had admitted that she didn't know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was. Pierre Salinger must be turning over in his grave.

Posted by: Neil on March 16, 2009 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

And now concludes another episode of the earth is flat and the sky is orange. Brought to you by the peacekeepers of Blackwater. Makes my fucking head explode.

Posted by: Scott F. on March 16, 2009 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

MSM, bought and paid for by the re-thugs.

Posted by: SteveA on March 16, 2009 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

When the market went down on Bush's watch between November 2008 and January 2009, this was Barack Obama's fault.

Actually,I've already heard Republicans blaming Obama for all the market losses since he announced his candidacy in 2007.

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