I think it’s safe for all of us to assume at this point that more than anything in this world, Republicans hate President Barack Obama. And if you’re a gambler, you probably also know that the safe bet in any given debate is that conservatives aren’t all too great with numbers. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us that when it comes to Obama’s performance statistics, conservatives tend to struggle coming to grips with reality.
It doesn’t really matter how well Obama performs as President by the metrics of every other man who has sat behind the Resolute Desk, because those numbers tend to make his presidency look pretty good. So what’s a conservative to do when the numbers don’t jive with their preconceived opinions? Why, make up new numbers, of course!
During the 2012 presidential race, Mitt Romney pledged that if elected President, he’d get unemployment down to 6% by the end of 2016. He’d originally promised 5.9%, but that was apparently overzealous of him, and so he adjusted instead for 6%. Surely, if Romney had won in 2012, and if he seemed to be on-target for that goal today with an unemployment rate of, say, 6.5%, conservatives would be praising the work he was doing and patting themselves on the back for getting rid of that terrorist-sympathizing socialist Obama, and if his numbers were closing in on 6.0% right now, they’d call him the greatest American President since Reagan and throw a ticker-tape parade for him.
So where is unemployment today, based on that exact same metric? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the standard for measuring unemployment for every President since 1948, unemployment is at 5.3% as of July. For those of you who are bad at math, that’s 0.7% better than what Mitt Romney assured us was the best he’d be capable of delivering to the American people.
Let that sink in for a bit, folks. Despite facing the worst recession since the Great Depression, President Obama’s administration has managed to get unemployment down to 5.3%, with more than a full year left in his presidency. Unemployment when George W. Bush left office was 7.8%. George H.W. Bush, back in January of 1993? 7.3%. And Ronald Reagan, whom conservatives consider to be one of the greatest presidents in American history? He got it down to 5.4%. That’s right. Obama’s performance on jobs is better than Ronald Effing Reagan’s!
And it keeps going like that, too. Ford: 7.5%. Nixon: 5.5%. Eisenhower: 6.6%. No Republican President has ever topped President Obama’s unemployment rate in the period where unemployment rates have actually been measured. Only three presidents ever have, actually: Truman, Johnson, and Clinton… they were all Democrats by the way, for those of you keeping score at home.
But this unemployment statistic doesn’t bode well for Republicans, does it? Well have no fear, because none of those numbers matter anymore! The metric by which we’ve measured literally every other presidential administration in living memory is now kaput, because today, the only number that matters is “real unemployment,” a statistic pulled out of someone’s backside the very instant Obama started making conservatives look bad with his impressive numbers.
“Real unemployment” is a jaded number which fails to recognize disabled Americans, retirees, or high school and college kids who aren’t working because they’re full-time students. But hey, to quote John Lennon, “Whatever gets you through the night is alright.”
This same exact methodology is being applied to nearly every facet of Obama’s presidency. Whenever Republicans set a goal and tell themselves Obama can’t meet their expectations, he blows those expectations clean out of the water, and suddenly they’re left scrambling to discredit the numbers, or invent entirely new ones, however unrealistic.
Here’s the ugly truth you need to learn to appreciate, conservatives: Obama has, despite your best efforts to the contrary, been a great President. Recovering the economy despite unprecedented obstructionism, passing the most comprehensive healthcare legislation since Medicaid/ Medicare, expanding America’s green initiatives and pushing us into a cleaner future… Obama has done a lot of good with his two terms in office. Has his presidency been perfect? Of course not. But stand up in front of the class and name a single president who was perfect, and I’ll gladly name somewhere between ten and a hundred reasons why you’re wrong. I won’t even use Google.
America realizes you’re butt-hurt over your epic electoral fails in 2008 and 2012, conservatives. We get it… you’re upset. But we’re coming into the final year of Obama’s presidency. It’s time for you to cowboy up and act like reasonable, rational adults. Because pulling random numbers out of thin air and making up statistics as you go along? That’s what you guys did to cause the recession in the first place. #neverforget