Fox News’ Gretchen Carlson: “Unemployment has gone up precipitously since he took office.”
DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “That is simply not true. In fact, unemployment has now dropped below 9%. It’s continuing to drop. He’s been focused on – ”
Carlson: “Yes, but it's higher than when they promised that the stimulus would lower it to 8%.”
Wasserman Schultz: “That narrative doesn't work for you anymore.”
Carlson: “It’s not my narrative. I’m just talking about facts of where the unemployment numbers are.”
Wasserman Schultz: “You just said that the unemployment rate is going up since he took office, and it hasn’t.”
Carlson: “Is unemployment higher now than when President Obama took office?”
Wasserman Schultz: “What's happened since President Obama took office – “
Carlson: “Is unemployment higher than when he took office?”
Wasserman Schultz: “Unemployment is nearing right around where it was when President Obama took office and it's dropping. You just said that it's been increasing and that's not true.” (Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” 12/12/11)
No, the DNC Chair really and truly did deny on national television that unemployment has gone up precipitously since Barack Obama took office in January of 2009. Possibly it's the word 'precipitously' itself? That's a pretty hard word: it has five syllables, and Wasserman Schultz is fairly notorious for her inability to reliably grasp any word that has more than four. For that matter, the definition has polysyllabic words in it, too - no more than three for any given word, but sometimes even three's too much for a Democratic duckspeaker. So let's just go with 'precipitously' meaning 'a lot.' As in:
- The number of members of the Democratic House Caucus declined precipitously after the 2010 Congressional elections.
- Barack Obama's job-performance numbers have fallen precipitously since the start of his Presidential term.
- The DCCC's reputation for fundraising has deflated precipitously since January of 2011.
See how that works, Rep. Wasserman Schultz? Under the circumstances - given the way that unemployment took off like a rocket from a baseline of 7.8% in January 2009, hit 10% within months, then trundled along at 9% for most of 2011 - we can in fact fairly say that unemployment has risen precipitously since your boss took office. And, yes, it's currently 'down' to 8.6%. For the moment; people may have noticed that most of the usual suspects haven't been beating the drum on that drop in the unemployment rate too loudly. There's a reason for that, and it's called "Recovery Summer." Remember that one? That was when the White House promised hardcore job creation... which didn't happen, and the unemployment rate continued to stagnate until after the November midterms (and its wholesale spanking of the Democratic party). After that, the usual suspects got a little gun-shy about over-confident predictions... except for Debbie Wasserman Schultz, apparently (and bless her heart).
Of course, speaking as an American, I hope that unemployment goes down... and speaking as a Republican, I'm expecting that it won't. And I suspect that so does Debbie Wasserman Schultz. I mean, she's as dumb as a sackful of hammers - but surely she can't be that out and out stupid, right?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: If you'd like Debbie to have more free time to devote to her DNC gig, then Karen Harrington would probably love to hear from you. Because while it's a recession when somebody else loses a job, a depression when you lose a job, and a recovery when Barack Obama loses his, if Debbie Wasserman Schultz loses her job it'll just be funny.