The CTRL+F School of Criticism

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 5 2012 12:18 PM

The CTRL+F School of Criticism

CHARLOTTE -- The difficulty Republicans have in 2012 is that they have to make the same argument -- the economy is terrible -- in different ways every day. It's a nice problem to have! But it's straining. These were the bullet points that RNC spox Sean Spicer sent out to reporters as the first day of conventioneering ended.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

· Not a single speaker said we were better off than we were four years ago.
· A majority of speakers didn’t even utter the word jobs.
· Zero speakers offered any sense for what the Obama Administration would do to turn the stalling economy around in the 2nd term.

This is CTRL+F criticism, isn't it? Saying "we're better off than we were four years ago" would have been defensive, a signal to the lizard brain that Democrats were worried about the questions they were asked on Sunday shows. Instead, they just, you know, implied that people were better off:

Ted Strickland:

Today, from the staggering depths of the Great Recession, the nation has had 29 straight months of job growth.

Deval Patrick:

This is the president who saved the American auto industry from extinction, the American financial industry from self-destruction, and the American economy from depression.

Same goes for "jobs." It's like watching a performance of the Nutcracker and pointing out that the mouse king wasn't onstage all the time. Are the ballerinas ashamed of their record on mouse kings? No. They are putting together a big senses-overwhelming show.

The third point's just sort of depressing; neither party is using its convention time to describe how it'll re-enact the roaring 80s. Mitt Romney promised "12 million jobs" at one point, which is exactly what Moody's is predicting if current policies stay in place -- if, in other words, Barack Obama is president.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 



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