Rolling Stone Goes to the Barricades

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On October 8, Rolling Stone, the pathetically pretentious magazine overseen by one-percenter Jann Wenner, delivered a double-barreled dose of far-left Kool-Aid.

Its mission: Motivate its largely apathetic and mostly Dear Leader-worshipping readers into defending Barack Obama and his party in the midterm elections.

Good luck with that, guys. Rasmussen, in announcing its latest "Right Direction or Wrong Track" poll results, reported that "roughly two-thirds of voters of all ages agree the country is on the wrong track." That would seem to indicate that quite a few rockers, rappers, and middle-aged stoners are among those who believe that all is far from well.

One of the magazine's pathetic pair of propaganda pieces came courtesy of New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

The Princeton economist and former Enron adviser may have decided that he couldn't make his absurd case anywhere else without destroying what little remains of his credibility. If so, "In Defense of Obama" delivers a ringing confirmation of that assessment.

Krugman writes that "Obama has emerged as one of the most consequential and, yes, successful presidents in American history." Looking at just three of his justifications will give readers an idea of how unhinged the man has become:

  • Even as the Obama administration has deliberately postponed 2015 enrollment until November 15 for purely political reasons, he writes that "Obamacare means a huge improvement in the quality of life for tens of millions of Americans." Even the most generous estimates of the newly insured only go to a single 10 million, and there's ample reason to doubt those estimates.
  • He also claims that Obamacare is "doing more to reduce overall health costs than even its supporters predicted." Oops: Even beyond the known double-digit premium increases, the Congressional Budget Office now estimates that Obamacare "will increase deficit spending by $131 billion from 2015-24." This recent news should not, and I believe does not, surprise Krugman. In February 2013, the Government Accountability Office projected that "Obamacare will increase the long-term federal deficit by $6.2 trillion." But it's apparently more important to defend Obama's long-broken promise — that his "signature achievement" would not add "one dime to our deficits, either now or in the future. Period" — than it is to demonstrate any allegiance to the truth.
  • He claims that "the Obama stimulus plan helped mitigate the worst of the slump."

Here are the facts concerning that final claim:

  • Obama's actions during the 2008 campaign and during the presidential transition period contributed greatly to making the "slump" (somehow, Krugman never used the word "recession" at all) as bad as it was.
  • Thanks to Obama's stimulus plan and other policies, job losses continued until February 2010, a full eight months after the recession officially ended. By contrast, in the early 1980s under Ronald Reagan, despite implementing what Keynesians would claim were all the wrong policies, employment began to recover very quickly after the recession's end.
  • The unemployment rate, even artificially rigged as it likely is, has never come down to the 5 percent level Obama's own collection of Keynesians promised in promoting the stimulus.
  • The recovery itself bears far more resemblance to the miserable, Depression-era 1930s than any recovery seen since. That's because the false "stimulus" of unsustainably high deficits has continued, and is on track to get progressively (pun intended) worse.

Unfortunately, Krugman is right in contending that Obama's presidency has been consequential. The nation will be living with his negative legacy for generations to come.

As to its success, Obama himself told the nation just days before he was first elected president that he was on the verge of "fundamentally transforming" the nation. In some respects, he has. To the extent he has, that transformation has been decidedly negative.

Rolling Stone's other contribution to reader disinformation came in the form of "The Obama Hope and Change Index: 6 Years of Progress, By the Numbers." It is not an index at all, but a list of 55 statistics which are supposed to "prove President Obama has accomplished more than you may realize."

The list is a tacit admission that the pickings among Obama's "accomplishments" are really slim. What follows are three of the worst examples.

It celebrates "Troops in Iraq today: 1,600," as ISIS nears Baghdad. In 2009, I wrote, given that the war was won under Bush 43, Iraq had become Obama's to lose. He's very close to doing that.

It gleefully points out that there are now 149 detainees at Gitmo, compared to 242 five years ago. Of course, there's not a word about how many of those who were released have returned to either the battlefield or terrorism.

Finally, it trumpets, "Immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children now shielded from deportation: 800,000." Wow. Even some Rolling Stone readers might understand how utterly damning that statistic is.

If Krugman's crud and that pitiful collection are all a dedicated leftist rag can drum up in support of The One, who early this month declared that the midterms elections really are all about his policies, maybe they really are destined to be intensely miserable on November 5. But that will only be the case if those who oppose his policies turn out in numbers greater than currently projected.