When James Carville famously lashed out at the warlords of the Republican Party with “It’s the economy, retard,” it wasn’t merely a memorable phrase. It sparked the fire that did not rest at merely heating the seat of the G.O.P. It effectively roasted them.
The phrase, which Bill Clinton himself framed and put up on his wall, was altered slightly, so as not to offend the mentally challenged: “it’s the economy, stupid.”
The phrase is remembered as “it’s the economy, stupid”—and, if I’m not mistaken, it has, as recently as this Monday, been invoked against a democrat—our President— one whom is highly praised by Clinton himself.
And by a Republican, for god’s sake: the one and only John Barrasso, Senator of Wyomissing.
While Carville coined the phrase in order to dash the hopes of George H. W. Bush and his groupies from banking on the nearly 90 percent approval rating Bush experienced during his presidency (due to the end of the Cold War) -highlighting Bush’s lack of attention to the economy—it seems at least this Republican finds it fitting to pull it out of context. And, I suppose, no one was supposed to notice.
While some pundits, of course, and unfortunately, found it convenient that the horse was already a mile down the road by the time the doors were half open, so they could make fun and play the blame game, our President has not been doing so.
His priority and full attention is on the economy. Mr. Barrasso, nonetheless, in what can only be a Freudian slip, said this Monday in the middle of a rant, “it’s the economy…[pause]…Mr. President.” And, no, I’m not making that up.
Precisely what Clinton meant the framed words to mean when he placed them on his wall—a reminder, along with “change vs. more of the same” and “don’t forget about healthcare”—is what Obama is ostensibly focused upon.
The link between healthcare reform and the economy has been a recently emerging argument, issued by no other than a Canadian-born politician—who happens to be the first female governor of Michigan.
Jennifer Granholm, argued this weekend, that universal healthcare takes billions of dollars worth of burden off the backs of states. She said, moreover, that to think of this sort of perspective as being economically negligent is deeply detached.
Healthcare and the economy are the same issue.
I am irritated by the headlines and the flashing introductions to news programs claiming that Obama is too confident while he overloads himself.
The argument he gave since the first days of his campaign, and one which he still gives today, remains the truest one.
To answer this big question—“how can we save our economy?”—we desperately need prudence, pragmatism and to seek different answers.
I propound that Obama should alter my above phrase to end with “valid answers,” so as not to offend the economically challenged.