number is coming out tomorrow, which brings me to a second observation on Tuesday's midterms. Do you see that guy in the picture above, signing the Affordable Care Act? Well, he must be the Worst -- Salesman -- Ever.
I mean -- come on! -- the unemployment rate, which climbed as high as 10 percent in October, 2009, is now down below six percent. (Watch this number come out worse than expected tomorrow and make a fool out of me.) And the vast majority of job growth has been in the private sector. The stock market, in case you haven't been paying attention, is back up near its all-time highs after more than doubling from its lows in March, 2009. (Rich people, especially, should love this guy.) What else? Gas prices (which I know you're paying attention to) are falling, interest rates are still at rock-bottom lows and the deficit has been cut in half!
Now, as readers of this blog know, I think median household wealth and income are the most important indicators and the reason everyone's in such a foul mood, but wouldn't you think the president would blow his own horn just a little? How about that stimulus, which passed without one Republican vote in the House and headed off another Great Depression? How about saving the American auto industry and all those jobs? How about universal health care, which Democrats had been trying to pass since FDR? What about Dodd-Frank, the most sweeping financial reform since the New Deal?
Why doesn't this guy get any credit for all this? Maybe it's because he's so reluctant to take it himself. And don't even get me started on the rest of the Democrats. What a bunch of cowards! If you really believe the Affordable Care Act was a good thing (I'd argue the biggest domestic achievement since Medicare and Medicaid), and you voted for it, then why turn around and run from it as fast as you can? Why not talk it up a little? (Why not explain it, for crying out loud? Psst: there are no death panels.) I know, I know: Obamacare doesn't poll well. Boo-hoo! Bill Maher was right when he said that while Democrats follow polls, Republicans move them. That's right; if they don't get the response they want they just take to Fox News and the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and make their case until their followers fall into line. For that I give them credit.
Which brings me to a third observation. As much as I admire President Obama (and I think he's the greatest president of my lifetime), sometimes I think that what these times call for is more of a street fighter, a la FDR or LBJ, not a constitutional law professor. (Again, I know, I know: those two presidents had big Democratic majorities in Congress, but still.) The Republican opposition has shown itself to be nothing short of ruthless -- they would rather see the country fail than have this president succeed. (They said as much.) Do you think Mitch McConnell would hesitate for one second to kneecap this guy? (At least the Clintons knew who they were dealing with.) Anthony Weiner may have been right about one thing when he said "too often we progressives come to knife fights carrying library books."