The Campaign Spot

The Coming Cries About GOP ‘Disrespect for the Presidency’

From the Tuesday Morning Jolt:

The Coming Cries About Republican ‘Disrespect for the Presidency’

This is a DSCC ad for Sen. Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana, airing on KZBE, an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station based in Berwick, Louisiana:

Have you heard the crazy stuff that Bill Cassidy, Bobby Jindal and the Republicans are always saying about President Barack Obama? They have shown our president so much disrespect — from playing the race card in commercials, talking about trying to impeach him, to lying about the progress the country has made under his leadership.

Do your remember when the stock market was at an all-time low under the Republican-led administration?

Now the stock market has more than doubled under President Obama, but they lie, saying the economy is horrible. Do you remember how bad the unemployment numbers were under Republicans? Now unemployment is lower than it as been in fourteen years. More lies by the Republicans. The president needs you to have his back, now more than ever.

Now, even by the standards of dishonest campaign ads, some of these claims are astounding. For example, you can indisputably declare the stock market hit hard times during the Great Recession – the closing low of 6,547.05 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average on March 9, 2009, represented a 54 percent drop in 17 months. But that’s not the same as “an all-time low.” It wasn’t even the all-time steepest drop; the Dow fell 90 percent during the Great Depression.

The claim that “unemployment is lower than it has been in fourteen years” is just flat wrong. The current 5.8 percent unemployment rate – driven heavily by the declining workforce participation rate – is the lowest since July 2008.

But what really jumps out is the declaration, “They have shown our president so much disrespect.” The allegation of “playing the race card in commercials” is pretty laughable considering the Democrats’ incendiary tactics this past cycle; the objection to minor GOP figures “talking about trying to impeach him,” is interesting considering parallel Democratic talk of impeaching Bush; and the “lying about the progress the country has made under his leadership” is, as shown above, false based upon the erroneous criteria they cite. But what’s more, why would an argument about the “progress” or lack thereof under a president be inherently disrespectful? This is redefining “respect” to require “agreement.”

Watch for this maneuver more in the coming months. Barack Obama has lost the Democratic control of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Democrats in both chambers are less likely to go along with Obama after these awful midterms. He’s lost the public’s trust. The media is more critical than it used to be (if not as critical as conservatives wish).  Many of his policies are flopping. Attention is shifting to Hillary. Accusing opponents of racism, greed, and xenophobia flopped as a tactic in the midterm elections.

What does he have left? The presidency.

Expect to see a lot more charges that “Republicans aren’t showing respect for the presidency” in these final years. The question is whether anyone will notice that the allegedly disrespected president shows no respect for the Constitutionally-mandated role of Congress.

This is not a new maneuver, of course:

Fox Business Network anchor Melissa Francis said she was “silenced” by CNBC when management told her she was “disrespecting the office of the president” by reporting about Obamacare.

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