At this point it seems to me that regardless of who is elected president, much of the blood drawn in this election will be that of Big Media-based “fact-checking” columns or adjuncts. The latest fact check making news is a check by Politifact.com of former President Bill Clinton’s remark in his speech last night that more jobs were created during the terms of Democratic presidents than during those of Republican presidents. Clearly, as a matter of historical fact that’s true.
I could make all sorts of analyses of the analysis in the fact-check but I’ll limit my observations to just three. First, I don’t think that anything previous to 1979 matters at all. Not even a little. In 1979 China renounced its official policy of autarky. That’s not just a once a decade or once a century development. That was a once in a millennium development. The entire economic game has changed and whatever went before is just nostalgia.
Additionally, I think that policies matter and, indeed, matter much more than party labels. I think that Nixon was more like Kennedy and Clinton like Reagan than Bush 43 was like Reagan or Obama like Kennedy. Presumably, that’s an observation which will make almost no one happy.
However, what struck me most about the analysis was the bare net job creation during the Obama presidency to date that the fact check presented: 332,000 jobs in four years. That’s fewer than any president of any party with any term length over the period of the last 50 years other than Bush 43. And Democratic presidents are supposed to create more jobs than Republican ones. This is good news?