If a natural disaster — a flood, an earthquake, a cyclone — struck some far-off corner of the globe, the immediate reaction of the elite press would be to ask, “What does this mean for Obama?” Everything that happens in the world is now viewed through the Obama prism. Case in point, a headline in the New York Times:
The Jobless Rate, Slow to Improve, Tests Obama
On the economy, President Obama has a timing problem. Congressional Democrats may have a bigger one.
Nearly four months into his presidency, Mr. Obama has begun to describe a pivot from economic crisis to economic recovery. From stabilized consumer spending to higher construction spending, he said last week, “the gears of our economic engine” are “slowly turning once again.”
The problem is that those gears are unlikely to churn out many new jobs anytime soon. . . .
So economic hardship is not of interest in its own right, but only insofar as it affects the political prospects of the Democratic Party. So if you’re out of work, the only question the New York Times cares about is, “Cui bono?”
As to the prospects for recovery under current policy, I can only repeat what I’ve been repeating for months: It Won’t Work. But who cares about the 539,000 people who lost their jobs in April? What matters to elite journalists is that Obama’s approval rating is at 60% and which celebrities attended the White House Correspondents dinner.