Can Old Style Democrat Scare Tactics Win Back the Congress?

September 1, 2002

by Mary Mostert - Banner of Liberty

Recently in the Boston Globe, Associated Press writer Tom Raum accused the Republicans of trying to “Blame Clinton for All Economic Woes” and reported Democrats “scoff and note that the Clinton years saw the largest economic expansion of the post-World War II period.” Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was quoted as saying, “’All I know is eighteen months ago, we had a surplus.’’

Since she was in the White House at the time, one might expect her to also know that during the last eighteen months of her husband’s tenure the stock market dropped from 10,843 on July 20, 2000 to 9,772 on January 18, 2001 (the last stock trading day of the Clinton era). That is a DROP of 11.2%

This compares with the last eighteen months of George H. Bush’s administration, from July 22, 1991, when the stock market closed at 3,013, to January 19, 1993 (the last day of the Senior Bush’s administration), when it had increased to 3,256.” In Bush Senior’s last eighteen months, the stock market ROSE 8%!

Yet, Time Magazine, in an obvious effort to help Clinton get elected, described George H. Bush’s last months in office, as a time when the economy "kept dragging along the bottom for the duration of the campaign."

During those months, you will remember that Bill Clinton campaigned with a slogan of “It’s the economy, stupid!” and on a platform that claimed the nation in 1992 was in the worst recession since the “Great Depression” of the early 1930s. Clinton’s slogan and his lies that blamed Bush Senior for a non-existent recession managed to unseat a president with a 90% approval rating following Desert Storm.

Yet, Raum asks in his article, “Will voters buy the blame-Clinton strategy?” and answers his own question by quoting Pew Research pollster Andrew Kohut who said “Political polling experience” indicates “the man in the Oval Office gets the glory or the blame at the time things happen.’’

So, what IS the public’s view about what has happened while George W. Bush has been President? The biggest event, of course, occurred on 9-11 when thousands of Americans died in terrorist attacks. Leading Democrats tried to convince the public that it was, somehow, George W. Bush’s fault, that he “knew” it was going to happen and did nothing to prevent it.

In Tuesday’s Democrat Primary, Georgia voters expressed their view of that attack on the President. They ousted Cynthia McKinney, a 10 year incumbent who was the first Democrat to charge that Bush “purposely ignored warnings” of an impending Sept. 11 attack. Georgians chose a political unknown who promised “not to embarrass” District 4 voters. McKinney was the second incumbent member of the Democrat Socialist Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives to be ousted this year in primary battles.

The media and the Democrats also tried to convince the public that the corporate fraud, uncovered during the Bush administration, was Bush’s fault. While this worked when few Americans owned stock and a large bloc of voters were union members who used class warfare with employers to push their income higher, it doesn’t work with a stock and 401K-owning public. People who own stock know that corporate fraud bad enough to put a billion dollar company into bankruptcy began during the Clinton years, and was ignored by him.

The current Democrat ploy is to try to scare the public into believing a recession or depression is looming. This has worked for the Democrats before, especially in the 1932 election campaign between Herbert Hoover and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At that time unemployment was about 25% and the stock market had dropped by more than more than 70% from its 1929 high. It even worked in 1992 when the public was misled about the true condition of the economy, when unemployment was above 7%.

Will it work with unemployment at 5.8% and the stock market in approximately the same range it was during the last year of the so-called “Clinton boom?” I doubt it. I think we are have a much more involved, and much more savvy electorate in 2002 than we have seen in the recent past. I believe they will see through the deceit.

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Mary Mostert was writing professionally on political issues as a teen-ager in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1940s. In the 1960s, she wrote a weekly column for the Rochester Times Union, a Gannett paper and was one of 52 American women who attended the 17 Nation Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Switzerland to ban testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere. She was a licensed building contractor for 29 years, as she raised her six children. She served an 18 month mission as Public Affairs Director for the Africa Area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1990-91. In the 1990s she wrote a book, Coming Home, Families Can Stop the Unraveling of America, edited the Reagan Monthly Monitor and talk show host Michael Reagan’s Information Interchange for seven years. She now operates the website, Banner of Liberty.

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