A Handy Guide To Understanding the Goldberg Theorem

Steve Benen:

Just so we’re clear, here’s a helpful guide to the rules of market watching, as they relate to partisan politics:

When the market went down on Bush’s watch before the 2008 elections, this was Bill Clinton’s fault.

When the market went down on Bush’s watch between November 2008 and January 2009, this was Barack Obama’s fault.

When the market went down during Obama’s first seven weeks in office, this was definitely Barack Obama’s fault.

And when the market rallies on Obama’s watch during the second week in March, George W. Bush deserves at least some of the credit.

That is helpful.






56 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    And don’t forget, there weren’t any attacks on America under George Bush, unless you count the biggest attack on America ever.[1]

    [1] Also don’t count anthrax, or attacks on americans overseas, etc, etc

  2. 2

    When the market went down on Bush’s watch between November ^September 2008 and January 2009, this was Barack Obama’s fault.

    Fxd. The very idea of Obama in the White House caused the markets to hit the fainting couch. Not that there was anything to worry about because McPalin definitely had Obama right where they wanted him but if Obama had withdrawn his candidacy when it was clear he was scaring everyone things would be much better.

    p.s. Yay, u haz a strike tag, also!

    p.p.s. O noes, ur platform ated my strike!

  3. 3
    Libby says:

    Sometimes I envy their unlimited capacity for cognitive dissonance. Speaking of which, if you’ll please forgive the shameless blogwhore, but I worked for a hour finding these photo links so I could show you what you’re up against.

    Be afraid – they surround us.

  4. 4
    C Nelson Reilly says:

    Cramer says "Buy AIG! Booyah!"

  5. 5
    robertdsc says:

    Stop the stupid train. I want to get off.

  6. 6
    El Cid says:

    Also, Clinton was responsible for destroying the military, because of all those base closings and contract ending that was initiated under Bush Sr.

  7. 7
    Gozer says:

    "Party of Responsibility"

    Heh. Indeed.

  8. 8
    camchuck says:

    @Libby:

    Isn’t it obvious? The market has been strong since the Beck militia started mobilizing. With such a powerful force pushing back against teh soci@lism, Wall Street has regained confidence. Perino is all wrong.

  9. 9
    Libby says:

    Camchuck, I wasn’t sure if it was the Beck/Norris revolutionaries or the tea party contingent that turned the tide, but they are surely fearsome to behold.

  10. 10
    Comrade Darkness says:

    Technically, I believe Oct-Nov 2008 is also Obama’s fault. Just the glimmer of fear that he might win was enough to tank the market.

    Clinton is, of course, also responsible for Bush Sr. dropping the policy that the armed forces always be prepared for wars on two fronts.

    That makes Clinton also responsible for the Iraq war’s stunningly bad implementation.

    Boy, this is easy. Must be nice to be a republican. Never worry about a thing because it can’t ever be your fault.

  11. 11
    PK says:

    How about I simplify everything:
    Anything good the republicans get credit for, anything bad, its the democrats fault.

  12. 12
    bayville says:

    When the market went down on Bush’s watch between November, September 2008 February 2007 and January 2009, this was Barack Obama’s fault.

    Fixed that again. Actually this all started when Obama officially announced his candidacy for President.

  13. 13
    Libby says:

    Don’t forget to spread some blame to Jimmy Carter. The country has never really recovered from those lines at the gas station in 1970 you know. Or was it 71?

  14. 14
    smiley says:

    Sorry, OT but be sure to check this out.

  15. 15
    smiley says:

    @Libby: Carter was elected in 1976.

  16. 16
    JenJen says:

    Perfect.

    Is there a Goldberg Theorem yet on how the liberal media is totally soft on President Obama, unlike the harsh way in which they treated President Bush? This meme is bandied about, but wasn’t sure it had yet reached DEFCON.

    That is some must-see John King hackery right there.

  17. 17
    Libby says:

    Please people. Everyone knows that Obama’s nefarious plan for the epic fail of Amerika started the day he was secretly born in Kenya.

  18. 18
    Libby says:

    @smiley:

    Heh. I came of age in the 60s. You know what they say about that…..

  19. 19

    […] The communications instructor also known as John Cole shows signs of getting it, though I think it’s a stab at irony. Cole, you dope, don’t you know everything is that Cheney minion George Bush’s fault? The Annointed One has explained all. […]

  20. 20
    jrg says:

    And don’t forget, there weren’t any attacks on America under George Bush, unless you count the biggest attack on America ever.

    Dick Cheney is claiming that terrorism is a bigger threat under Obama than it was before.

    Cheney knows that politicizing terrorism causes more incentive for terrorism, because terrorism is political violence. He is telling middle eastern terrorists that more attacks will bring him credibility.

    It’s pretty clear that Republicans will say anything, so none of the talking points that Benen cites surprise me.

  21. 21

    @bayville: [Headsmack] Sorry. Don’t know how I could have forgotten The Day the Earth Stood Still Because it was Menaced by the Looming Head of an Uppity Negro!

  22. 22
    JenJen says:

    From today’s interview with John King, here’s Cheney on the economy, vis-a-vis spending on unanticipated things, and Katrina coming along:

    "Stuff happens."

    No, seriously.

    Also:

    – Bush Administration good.
    – President Obama dangerous.
    – Response to Katrina pretty awesome.
    – Scooter Libby, why everybody so mean to him?

  23. 23

    I’d be a lot more inclined to listen to yapping about "The Anointed One" from somebody who can actually spell the word, Crittenden, you dink.

  24. 24
    Paul L. says:

    In 2001 when did Bush help pass a 800 Billon + Spendulus package?
    I am willing to bet back in 2001 that Steve Benen blamed the recession entirely on G.W. Bush.

  25. 25

    I am going to say this again, the DC sniper case was damn near as terrorizing for people living in and around our nation’s capital as 9-11 and it happened a year later. People were getting picked off pumping gas and just walking down the street and NOBODY could do anything about it. Are we supposed to give the Bush Administration a pass because it wasn’t an al Qaeda member who carried out the attacks? Put it this way, had it been someone named Ahchmed (and I am not trying to be funny here) who was found to have killed all of the people in the DC sniper case most of us would still be ducking and dodging today when we got out to pump our gas.

    It would be nice if just once a journalist or talking head pointed out both the anthrax attacks and the DC sniper cases as how the Bush Administration DIDN’T protect us after 9-11

  26. 26
    Montysano says:

    Michelle’s biceps share part of the blame for …… well, for everything.

  27. 27
    AhabTRuler says:

    @neddie jingo: That’s OK. He forgot to call John "potty-mouthed," as well. What sting hath his galls without that little ad-hom as a fare-thee-well.

  28. 28
    Libby says:

    @neddie jingo:

    Well to be fair, whenever I try to spell his name it always comes out as Cretinden. Freudian slips, you know.

  29. 29
    WyldPirate says:

    libby @9

    Camchuck, I wasn’t sure if it was the Beck/Norris revolutionaries or the tea partytea-bagging contingent that turned the tide, but they are surely fearsome to behold.

    fixed…

  30. 30
  31. 31
    El Cid says:

    In 2001 when did Bush help pass a 800 Billon + Spendulus package?

    He waited until 2003 and called it the Iraq war, but he and his toadies made up a bunch of sh*t about how it wouldn’t take long and it would all be paid for by magic ponies running out of Iraqi oil wells, so they decided instead to just keep it all off the budget in the same way that if you spend a lot of money on a credit card but never look at the bill means it’s free.

  32. 32

    @ krp,comrade darkness

    The very idea of Obama in the White House caused the markets to hit the fainting couch.

    I’ve seen this theory take it back to April, when it become clear Obama would get the Democratic nomination.

    @sg white in Florida,

    The D. C. sniper was named Mohammed. John Mohammed. So, I think the conclusion is that under no circumstances would George Bush be blamed for a terror attack.

    Can you imagine if that was being carried out by two guys who’d trained in Afghanistan, instead of dumbass and this kid he knew? In four or five or ten cities?

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    here’s my generalized theory of economic credit/blame.

  34. 34
    El Cid says:

    @joe from Lowell: During the days of the DC Sniper, Glenn Beck was on the air every day proclaiming that "Now America Has Changed," his theory being that now you would be able to go nowhere without encountering sniper fire because some mixture of sleeper cell Islamic jihads and generalized unhappy malcontents (presumably leftists and blacks) would be engaging in open guerrilla war.

    When they arrested the 2 nitwits in the car, Beck never went back and said, ‘Hey, whoops, sorry, I guess America Hasn’t Changed, forget all that stuff from a few weeks ago. You can probably go shopping without people shooting at you from now on, my bad.’

  35. 35
    Libby says:

    @cleek:

    Good one Cleek. I especially like #10.

  36. 36
    Keith says:

    I knew someone back in 2002 who had this exact same philosophy. It was the first time I ever experienced the right-wing strategy of saying stuff just to piss off liberals. The recession was due to Clinton, so I asked who created the previous boom – it was Reagan even though Reagan had been out of office for more than 10 years. The Bush 41 recession? That was caused by Jimmy Carter. I honestly had someone make these arguments to me, and that was the point where I realized that that kind of person cannot be debated, as he believed that "conservatism" (a loaded word these days to mean whatever the self-proclaimed conservative claims it to mean) is in and of itself an inherent good, so anything bad by necessity came from its opposite – liberalism.
    Incredibly frustrating to attempt to make an argument with someone who takes on that mindset, but it’s similar to the difference between followers of faith vs. followers of science.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    I’m trying to find a 2001 interview where Al Gore publicly announces, repeatedly, that the Bush Administration is leaving the United States vulnerable to an imminent attack.
    I can’t find one.
    But, then, Gore was and is a patriot. I’m sure he would consider that reckless. After all, he is a former Vice President. If he had serious concerns, he would have contacted President Bush directly, and privately. I think it’s unlikely that any sitting US President refuses a call from a former Vice President, on an urgent matter of national security, certainly. That’s probably the best approach.
    I wonder why Dick Cheney has decided to announce that the US is vulnerable on a series of appearances on political chat shows? I think this is another break from tradition, for conservatives. Truly frightening behavior, by the former Vice President. Is he something of a loose cannon on the Right, or can he be persuaded to show some restraint?

  38. 38
    JenJen says:

    @kay: I remember Gore saying that, numerous times, but I think it was in fall of 2002 during the book tour for "Spirit of Family" and "Joined at the Heart."

    From the NYT at the time…and I remember the usual suspects jumping all over Gore for it. In fact I think our own host here had a lot to say about it at the time. ;-)

    So now, they are both former vice-presidents who have criticized a sitting president from the opposite party, but the similarity ends there. Gore had only recently lost an election in which he won the popular vote, and in the fall of 2002 was still considering a run/rematch against Bush in 2004. Cheney has no electoral motive to attack the current president.

  39. 39
    kay says:

    @JenJen:

    Thanks so much. I don’t think it’s the same thing, though. That was after an attack. I would expect Cheney to come out after an attack and say what he would have done differently, particularly if Obama (or his Democratic surrogates) blamed the Bush Administration FOR the attack, as conservatives blamed the Clinton Administration after 9/11.
    Dick Cheney is angry that Obama isn’t relying on the expansive Presidential powers that Cheney and a bunch of conservative lawyers invented. He’s saying that Obama cannot keep the country safe without this particular view of the Presidency, and without the preemptive war doctrine. Cheney’s doctrine was rejected, in an election. He can’t impose it using threats.

  40. 40
    bootlegger says:

    Do the Rep-Beck yahoos even realize, are they even self-aware enough, to know that most Americans with 2 brain cells to rub together are listening to this "its not our fault" whining and wondering what happened to the party of personal responsibility! Of course it never existed but now their hypocrisy is obvious and if the wingnuts keep the putsch on America will need a new political party to go back to our 2-party system.

  41. 41
    A Mom Anon says:

    Can someone explain to me what it would seriously take to put this country on a solid economic footing again? In layman’s terms? I am really trying to understand all this and there’s so much conflicting info out there that it’s tough to know. I just can’t see how throwing more money at the same people who fucked us all over is the answer,and I REALLY don’t get why that seems to be the only answer anyone is coming up with.

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @JenJen:

    "Cheney said he had seen a report itemizing specific attacks that had been stopped because of the intelligence gathered through those programs.
    "It’s still classified. I can’t give you the details of it without violating classification, but I can say there were a great many of them," he said.

    Lordy. He’s beyond the pale.

  43. 43
    JenJen says:

    @kay: And can you begin to imagine what Cheney will sound like in the horrible event of another attack?

    I’ve always been fascinated, and impressed, by the way the country united behind Bush after the 9/11 attacks. Politically, I’ve always thought that a Democratic president would’ve received the same support from the people, but from the Villagers and the GOP… not so much. It is my most fervent hope that we never have to find out.

  44. 44
    Svensker says:

    @kay:

    "It’s still classified. I can’t give you the details of it without violating classification, but I can say there were a great many of them," he said.

    Yup. Some guys in clown shoes were gonna throw BALLOONS in the Lincoln Tunnel — we would have all DIED!!! And then that guy who was gonna cut down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch — scariest thing everrrrr! And there was a Muslim — a big one with bad teeth and a squint! — who was gonna make mean faces while a Bush motorcade drove by. ZOMG!!! And did you know Muslims in the south were actually going to PAINT BALL with paint ball GUNS?! Why, it would almost be like they really shot people or something!!**!! There was a particularly terrifying group that was going to wear camo clothes and mumble mumble mumble the Sears Tower!!!

    Fortunately, Big Dick was there to make sure all the bad guys were tortured, so we Americans could sleep snug in our beds.

  45. 45
    Svensker says:

    I wonder what got me moderated? S**rs?

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    @JenJen: I think that if the 9/11 attacks had somehow gone down the same under Gore, the Republican/ Hannity brigades would have been at the White House gates within days carrying pitchforks and torches demanding that Gore resign, be impeached, or simply dragged out for allowing the biggest ever attack on U.S. soil.

    When it’s a Republican in power, though, it’s his predecessor’s fault 8 months later, and it’s time to start screaming at people that you’re either with the Republican policies or you’re with the terr’iss.

  47. 47

    Pamela Leedin (sp?) CEO of Corchoran Group (sp?), a realestate firm was just on CNN Your Money being asked about ‘is it time to buy, who is buying, why, etc?’ She said the magic words, a house is a home not an investment vehicle. When the word home is used a lot of things change. If you haven’t dealt with both points of view you don’t realize how different they are. You would’t really expect someone to talk up the investment quality of a house while the market is still falling, but unless you’re talking about rental properties or such, a house is a home.

  48. 48
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @smiley, there certainly is no lack of photographic evidence of something there. Funny, but the notion makes me think better of Bush. ‘Course, that’s not all that hard. Finding out he didn’t kick puppies would make me think better of him.

  49. 49
    bootlegger says:

    @A Mom Anon: People were buying (demand) so there was more supply and thus everyone was employed and happy. Problem was that buying was happening with money borrowed against, hedged, the rising value of real estate. When people who bought too much home couldn’t keep up with the payments foreclosures started, prices fell, and the whole house of cards collapsed.

    The bottom line is the economy won’t improve until people are buying again and they won’t do that until they are convinced that we hit bottom. A simultaneous concern is that we support the buying (demand) side in a way that won’t collapse like the last one. Hence Obama’s focus on long-term structural investments–energy, education and health care.

    At least that’s what I have so far.

  50. 50
    A Mom Anon says:

    @bootlegger:

    That part I get(mostly,lol). I also think people have to get back to work again making a living wage doing something tangible. We simply don’t make the stuff we need here anymore. IMO,one of the most idiotic things we ever did was to give up control of the food supply to big businesses and importing food in from other countries. It makes no sense that I can go to the store and buy green beans picked and processed in China for less than half of what I pay for green beans grown by a farmer in my state. That shit needs to stop. That’s not the only example of course,but it’s one that makes sense to me since I’m the goddess of the budget for my family.

    I know none of this is simple,but there needs to be more focus on local economies and commerce. A bonus side effect might be people getting to know their neighbors again. Maybe.

  51. 51

    @sgwhiteinfla: Yeah, funny how the fucking mayhem in their own backyard always slips their mind. And gosh, they were some of the first people tried and convicted under Virginia’s new terrorism laws.

    And there were a few attempts to blow up family planning clinics but somehow that doesn’t count either.

    Oh well. I kind of suspect that if someone had blown something up they would have spent days running around alternately screaming that it wasn’t a real terrorist attack and la la la, I can’t heeear yooooou.

    And then they would have bombed the fuck out of Syria.

  52. 52
    The Cat Who Would Be Tunch says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: Further adding to your and sgwhiteinfla’s point, how many people here remember this particular case?
    Texan pleads guilty to possessing a weapon of mass destruction

  53. 53
    gex says:

    @sgwhiteinfla: I get your point, but I don’t think we needed to help the Republicans play the "Oh my God! Brown people! Quick, shred the Bill of Rights" fear card.

    A realistic view of whether it is even possible, in a country with as many people and guns as ours, that you could do *anything* to prevent a DC Sniper. Pinning it on Bush might be fun, but it isn’t a standard I’d hold a Democrat to. Unless we can get this country to think realistically and eschew security theater, there’s no point going down this road. Especially given my first point, in that the Republicans wanted Americans to be scared shitless.

  54. 54
    mollyd says:

    Truman explained it.

    "The buck stops here" referred to the most senior Democrat past or future.

  55. 55
    The Populist says:

    Since the right like to ask what qualifies anybody for their job (if they aren’t "one" of them) I want to ask Jonah what his qualifications are?

    I get it, he is getting by on the fact his mommy is influential, but c’mon. Newspapers do not see why readership is down and yet they still allow idiots like this moron to write this fluffy, hacktacular nonsense.

    Hey righties, when you want to challenge somebody’s qualifications please make sure you aren’t some momma’s boy who can’t do anything but parrot a party line, okay?

  56. 56
    The Populist says:

    I just can’t see how throwing more money at the same people who fucked us all over is the answer,and I REALLY don’t get why that seems to be the only answer anyone is coming up with.

    Bernanke had a good point to this question last night on 60 minutes. When the economy started to tank before the Great Depression, the Fed decided to let some banks fail. Problem is it reverberated across the economy and the market failed because of it.

    I am with you, I hate bailing these big companies out BUT if we do not we run the risk of the mess taking all of us down with it. Bernanke made another point…you and me aren’t "really" paying for these bail outs. What they are doing is printing tons and tons of new money which then devalues the dollar. Unless a foreign nation steps in to buy our debt paper or bonds, which usually gives the gov’t an infusion of foreign cash, to help keep these new dollars backed by something.

    So basically, I see this as no different than bailing out homeowners (who should have been first when this mess started). If your neighbor defaults, and then another neighbor defaults it brings down values of other’s homes in the area. NOW if we let those homes rot away, your neighborhood becomes a cesspool of green pools, bugs, animals, break ins and general lawlessness. Nobody wants this. The banks and AIG should fail BUT we allowed them to get too big and hence the problem we face.

    When this is all said and done I expect government to regulat more heavily AND break some of these companies up.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The communications instructor also known as John Cole shows signs of getting it, though I think it’s a stab at irony. Cole, you dope, don’t you know everything is that Cheney minion George Bush’s fault? The Annointed One has explained all. […]

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