Rachel Maddow took a moment from her busy, busy schedule Wednesday night to mock Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She did so, because he said something that hits perhaps just a little too close to home for leftists like Maddow who believe in the transformative power of government to fix all our ills.
McConnell had this to say about funding President Obama’s expanded troop deployment to Afghanistan:
We know the stimulus failed. We’re looking for a way to fund several years of the war. I would suggest unexpended stimulus funds would be good place to start.
Maddow chooses to mock McConnel for daring to suggest the stimulus failed, when she says “the stimulus saved or created between 600,000 and 1.6 million jobs.” This is what’s known as ‘changing the goalposts.’ Or in simpler and more direct terms: clinging to leftist dogma in the face of reality. She calls her segment “Dollars and Nonsense,” which is accurate only in the sense that McConnel is talking dollars, and Maddow is talking nonsense.
Check the facts: with the stimulus, Obama promised us, the unemployment rate would peak at 7.8%. Without it, at 8.5%. Well, where does the unemployment rate currently stand? Try 10.2%, and that’s even with the government’s dubious practice of not considering people who have tried, failed, and completely given up on finding work as unemployed.
Maddow’s jeers–fact free, and devoid of any sort of substantive analysis mind you, just pure, unadulterated mocking–are typical of leftist goalpost-moving. During the Bush years, even as hundreds of thousands of jobs were created each month, we were repeatedly told that they weren’t the right kind of jobs, or didn’t pay enough, or didn’t benefit the right interest groups. Now, even as the economy continues to sag, leftists all jump up to shout “oh but without the stimulus, it would have been so much worse!” Nevermind that it’s already worse than the people who pushed the stimulus in the first place told us it would get.
But still, some cling to the “or saved” part of the stimulus phrasing to claim the stimulus works. After all, you can’t really disprove something that’s only a nebulous guess at what an alternate reality would be. Still, that hasn’t stopped the administration from trying to prove it, although they’ve wound up using phony data to overstate their claims.
And McConnel is right–there is plenty of allocated money remaining from the stimulus bill. Just a shade over 24% of the $787 billion has gone out the door–and remember, this was from a program that supposedly had to pass immediately or our economy was doomed to immediate failure. McConnel has the right of things–if Obama is serious about sending more troops, and also serious about his claims to not want to run up the debt, he should use stimulus funds. After all, it’s clearly not working. And the people are not fooled, no matter how loudly Maddow praises the Emperor’s clothes.