The favorite spin of the Bush administration and its amen corner in the media in recent weeks has been the line that: Aside from quagmire in Iraq, things are going great — especially with the economy.
Apart from the fact that Iraq is a mighty big “aside,” the whole pitch about how “the economy is going gangbusters” is a ridiculous simplification of circumstances that are far more complicated and far less positive than the White House would have Americans believe.
As part of the administration’s campaign to convince the American people that don’t know how good they have it, the president announced last week that, “America’s economy is on the fast track.”
That was an echo of recent comments from the man they call “Bush’s Brain,” Karl Rove, who has emerged as spin-doctor-in-chief for the administration’s “It’s the economy, stupid!” argument. “The president’s tax cuts, trade liberalization and spending restraint helped strengthen the economy’s foundation and added fuel to our economic recovery,” Rove declared in a recent speech. “Not a bad record!”
Actually, the record is pretty bad. That’s why Treasury Secretary John Snow is exiting.
The fine hands of Rove and new White House chief of staff Josh Bolten — who shares the White House political czar’s faith in the “big-lie” brand of politics — are exceptionally evident in the administration’s latest attempt to spin its way out of the approval-rating ditch in which the president has been sinking in recent months.
The abrupt conclusion of the long political death watch for Snow is a merely the lastest of many desperation moves for an administration that is longer on wishful thinking that actual accomplishments.
Snow, who campaigned harder and more visibly for the president’s reelection than any other Cabinet member, has been on the way out almost since Bush’s second term began. Why? The American people have not for some time been of the impression that the president and his aides are doing enough to “strength the economy’s foundations.” A Gallup Poll of 1,002 Americans, conducted May 8-11, found that that they were growing ever more ill-at-ease with the state of the economy. Seventy percent of those surveyed said the economy was in poor or only fair condition; that was up from 63 percent a month earlier.