President Barack Obama and his surrogates have struggled to answer the most basic question for an incumbent president: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
We’ve gotten all sorts of answers. No one could have done better. Of course we are. We will be soon. That’s a silly question.
The answers were obviously contradictory. Tellingly, the president would not say in his acceptance speech that we are better off. Do we really think he would have omitted it if he had been certain the voters would have bought the claim?
With the August jobs numbers and with each report before the November election, the better-off question will be renewed. The jobs gains are not accelerating; they are slowing from the beginning of the year, and if not for the mass exodus from the job market we’d have double-digit unemployment.
For self-government to function properly it is essential to hold officials accountable for their record. Ironically it was that sage political commentator Clint Eastwood who reminded us, “When someone isn’t doing the job, we’ve got to let him go.’” In that admonition he demonstrated a deeper understanding of our democracy than the pseudo-intellectuals who sneered at his performance and now tell us to ignore the president’s track record.
In short, if you’ve done a lousy job, you should expect to be shown the door. The presidency is no different from other jobs in that regard, no matter how many non sequiturs and convoluted arguments the lefty pundits churn out.Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog (washingtonpost.com/blogs/ right-turn) for The Washington Post, offering opinion from a conservative perspective.