I just listened to the latest of the endless Ron Johnson (secret donor) campaign ads running here in Wisconsin. In the ad, Johnson grimly quotes the latest stats on job losses, proclaims that the stimulus/Obama admin. is a failure. Then music rising in the background, he extols Wisconsonites that the only way to get the economy going again is to cut spending, eliminage the red tape which is holding our business back, blah fucking blah.
Why is this boilerplate Republican rhetorical excrement resonating only two years after EVERYONE fucking saw where Republican economic policies lead - (the road to disaster)?
My realization today is that Americans on the whole lack the imagination to think in terms of counterfactuals. That is, what would have happened without these policies.
Paul Krugman's (who I am fan of) criticisms of the administration has many progressives hanging their heads and lamenting that the stimulus was too small, the financial and healthcare reforms too tepid but the bottom line is these interventions moved a considerable way in the only direction that could have averted a total economic meltdown. Without the stimulus, without TARP (which I readily concede could have been managed)and without the asset infusion to GM, Ford, and Chrysler, the economy would have completely tanked. Most voters can't get that things could have been much much worse and they sure ain't getting any help in recognizing that fact from Fox and the MSM.
While there is still time, I would love some ads reminding voters about Herbert freakin' Hoover and helping them envision the economic implosion and cascading job losses that could have been.