Political Animal


June 21, 2012 9:15 AM Don’t You Dare Smile!

By Ed Kilgore

WaPo’s Greg Sargent calls it the “scoop of the morning,” from Bloomberg:

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to tone down his statements heralding improvements in the state’s economy because they clash with the presumptive Republican nominee’s message that the nation is suffering under President Barack Obama, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Scott, a Republican, was asked to say that the state’s jobless rate could improve faster under a Romney presidency, according to the people, who asked not to be named.

It’s pretty hilarious if you think about it. Scott’s taking credit for a trend he’s had almost nothing to do with, and Romney wants him to shut up about the trend itself. It’s an attempted lie chasing the tail of an actual lie. And truth be told, neither of these gents has reflected much abiding interest in the actual state of the economy, which serves simply as the backdrop for their pursuit of ideological hobbyhorses and their own careers.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • T2 on June 21, 2012 9:24 AM:

    right. Neither Scott or Romney give a hoot about the economy because 1) it doesn't affect them personally 2) they are about politics, not policy.

    Now, take that statement and apply it across the board for the leadership of the Conservative movement/GOP and you'll accurately describe the problem facing the nation today.

  • c u n d gulag on June 21, 2012 9:26 AM:

    The only jobs that Tweedle-dumb-feck, and Tweedle-evil-feck, care about are their own.

    Mitt, on how to get the job as President, so he can help his corporate cronies and hacks, keep the movement of money out of the lower and middle classes, and into the pockets of the wealthy.

    And Scott, only care about his job as Governor, for the same reason - except that he already has his job.

  • stormskies on June 21, 2012 9:34 AM:

    The tragedy within all of this is the stunning fact of just how many of our fellow citizens WANT AND NEED to be lied too by buffoon Romney, and the Repiglicans in general.

    These imbeciles live is a totally fact free universe that is filled with lies, deceptions, delusions of all kinds, beliefs, and paranoid conspiracy stories of all kinds. This is how they live, it is what is in their brains.

    And no actual facts will ever change it. That is indeed the true tragedy of our country, a country in which a vast amount of our fellow citizens are, essentially, cretins.

  • Peter C on June 21, 2012 9:43 AM:

    The 1% like high unemployment; it keeps labor costs down.

    The 1% don't really mind economic slumps; there are bargains to snap up when desperate people need to sell.

  • Ron Byers on June 21, 2012 9:48 AM:

    Let me see if I understand what Ed just wrote. Rick Scott has spent years trying to slow the Florida economy. Dispite his best efforts the Florida economy is steadily improving. Rick Scott now wants to take credit for that improvement, but Mitt Romney, who is running on a platform based on the notion that Rick Scott, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner et al have been successful in slowing the recovery so the economy sucks more now than when Obama took office, wants Scott to toe the party line and not tell people that the Florida economy is steadily improving.

    I guess if you live in a fact free world where there isn't a functioning press Mitt's request might work, but isn't Mitt just a little afraid people will notice that things are improving, admittedly slowly, but they are improving?

  • Anonymous on June 21, 2012 10:32 AM:

    In NJ there was a surge in employment in May due to casino hires. Christie is noisily taking credit-maybe Romney needs to lower the boom on him.

  • smintheus on June 21, 2012 11:34 AM:

    Republican nominee rooting against America, such a surprise.

  • boatboy_srq on June 21, 2012 11:38 AM:

    @Ron Byers:

    A bit of background. FL has been hit hard by the downturn. Key businesses there are finance, construction, real estate, tourism and (then) agriculture. Nobody elsewhere is buying homes (let alone vacation/retirement homes), or taking big vacations, and their portfolios are in shambles after the fiasco of 2008, so most of FL's key businesses are a wreck. There are a lot of people looking for any work that's out there, and jobs are getting snapped up faster than you can spit whether the jobs stay in FL or not. At the same time FL is tweaking its unemployment and social safety net requirements and shedding enrollees at a record pace, and doing other things to reduce the public obligations (including payrolls). In an environment like that the state can apply the brakes all it wants and unemployment will still go down because a) the GOP is manipulating the unemployment rolls through controlling eligibility and limiting benifits; 2) the jobs that are available are getting filled; and 3) skilled labor is finding employment either there or (more likely) in some other market. Scott can point to all this and say "the economy is improving" when it's just fudged statistics and desperate people making ends meet.

    This is also federal-GOP v. state-GOP disconnect. Scott has a vision of shrunk payrolls, shredded public sector spending, and (in spite of that) reduced "unemployment." This vision is being achieved, although I doubt it's in the way he envisioned or in the way the electorate thinks. Still, on paper, it looks less bad than it could. FL state voters care about this. That it looks bad from the perspective of the Speaker of the House (who represents Ohio) and the Minority Leader of the Senate (who represents North Carolina) isn't his concern, and shouldn't be, since he (technically) doesn't work for either of them: they can be as unhappy as they like and sans Citizens United wouldn't have a thing to say about it. GOP policies "working" in the (relative) microcosm should be expected not to synch precisely with their effectiveness on the national level. Then again, if GOP policies actually worked one would expect God's Own Party to have some issue with the results because that wouldn't fit with their narrative about how unfettered business is good for all of us and how TBMITWH is wrecking absolutely everything for absolutely everyone.

    Captcha: "formscou example". Even Captcha agrees that Governor Voldemort, McConnell, Boehner and Romney are all some form of scum.

  • James M on June 21, 2012 11:51 AM:

    "These imbeciles live is a totally fact free universe that is filled with lies, deceptions, delusions of all kinds, beliefs, and paranoid conspiracy stories of all kinds. This is how they live, it is what is in their brains."

    That is what worries me most about the current state of U.S. politics. As important as this election is, I think the continuing legacy of Fox/talk radio induced lunacy may be the most serious problem we face. These people will not disappear after November, no matter who wins.

    The countries we now view as our long-term rivals, China, India, etc., may have their share of deluded citizens, but their nuts have no political influence. The people who run those, and many other developing countries, are often brilliant (if ruthless) technocrats who do not suffer fools gladly.

    I know the GOP wants to win at all costs, but isn't it afraid of the long-term impacts of its conscious policies of division and misinformation? I would like to think this is just some sort of fever that will eventually break, but without forcing major conservative polticians and media outlets to act with some degree of responsibility, I can't see the situation improving in the near term, and it seems likely to become worse.

  • Davis X. Machina on June 30, 2012 8:59 PM:

    I know the GOP wants to win at all costs, but isn't it afraid of the long-term impacts of its conscious policies of division and misinformation?

    There are none. Until they stop winning. In a majoritarian system, and considering the fundamental depravity of mankind, they may never stop winning.