75,000 New Jobs Are Nothing To Brag About
I don’t see how any Bush cheerleader can spin today’s jobs report for May. The consensus among economists appeared to be that the Labor Department would report another 170,000-180,000 new jobs were added in May. Well, they were only off by about 100,000. Instead, only 75,000 new jobs were created in May. Worse yet, and calling into question those highly-touted numbers by the White House these last eight weeks, the Labor Department also reported that their numbers for March and April were being revised downward as well. In fact, some economists are now wondering if a downturn is possible in the second half of this year.
The economy added just over 300,000 jobs in March and April combined, rather than the 338,000 originally reported. Factory jobs were actually lost last month heading into summer, and average hourly earnings went up less than economists were expecting at a time of escalating gas prices. Also, the average time the unemployed spent looking for work went up last month for the first time since February. It was also reported just now that factory orders fell the most in three months.
Even if the May report is revised upward next month to report that 100,000 rather than 75,000 new jobs were created, it would still mean that the Bush economy, which has been trumpeted by this White House for the last eight weeks and which Rove wants to make one of the key selling points in the midterms, has created at best only 400,000 jobs in the March-May period. Creating only 133,000 new jobs a month, in a supposedly strong economy at a time of weakening wage growth and higher energy prices is pathetic, especially with the falloff in factory jobs.
So if touting the economy now won't work as planned this November, and bashing the immigrants won’t work, what will Rove bring out of the playbook? Well, we know that we'll get the usual "Democrats are bad on taxes and spending your money" red herrings. For all his alleged mastery of politics, Rove is quite consistent and limited in his arsenal. You guessed it: Let’s tell Iran all summer long that they are “out of time”, sending oil prices even higher. And let’s also demonize gays once again.
These guys inside the White House still think that using the usual tricks on the sheeple in the base will drive them from the pews to the polls this November. But even if it works in Red State America, bashing gays and Iran at a time of high gas prices, a war without end in Iraq, and a faltering economy this fall is a recipe for GOP moderates in swing districts to get bludgeoned. And this assumes there won't be another hurricane and FEMA failure between now and November.
If this is the fall campaign, to demonize gays and to talk up another war, the White House will lose at least the House this fall, and possibly the Senate as well.