March 03, 2009
Tipping Point? - UPDATED

Over the weekend I raised the prospect of increased MSM traction for questions being raised about the economic effect of Obama's proposed policies to date. Prior to today, it was largely grumbling from right-leaning sources and on CNBC. Today, Jim Cramer's critique of Obama went mainstream via the Today show:

That caught the attention of certain members of the White House press corps, essentially forcing Obama to respond directly.

For now, it's an annoyance to the White House. Just few more Establishment voices weighing in with similar thoughts via MSM outlets could become a real problem, including regular, direct questions from reporters. That's when it could rapidly become a damaging motif.

All of which is quicker than I anticipated.

UPDATE: on a related theme, Patrick Ruffini tweets this question:

Could Brooks's column today, squishy though he is, prove a turning point in the same way that Betsy McCaughey's TNR cover in '94 was?

That would be this David Brooks column, expressing centrist dismay with the tax & spend liberalism - not post-partisanship - on display by Obama these days. Brooks quotes this Clive Crook column, enunciating a liberal's own dismay with the potential excess of Obama's current plans:

Take this budget at face value, and when Mr Obama talks about "a new era of responsibility" he does not mean: "We are all in this together." He means: "The rich are responsible for this mess and it is payback time." Leftist Democrats are thrilled, and rightly so. The budget has three themes: healthcare reform, public investment and unflinching redistribution. This is indeed a new social contract: we get, they pay. Liberals never had it so good.

Now, as if on cue, there's this from the Politico: Moderate Dems feel sticker shock:

Moderate and conservative Democrats in the Senate are starting to choke over the massive spending and tax increases in President Barack Obama's budget plans and have begun plotting to increase their influence over the agenda of a president who is turning out to be much more liberal than they are.

Interesting to say the least. Even the lagging indicator of Establishment opinion is piling on.

Dare one say that momentum is slipping, whether the public realizes it yet or not?

Posted by Eric Earling at March 03, 2009 04:03 PM | Email This
1. Over the course of the next few months, Americans blinded by hope of change are going to wake up to the nightmare that Obama is. More and more Americans are going to see through the facade of image, pretty talk, and empty promises.

But at the rate the Obama is changing America, will the awakening come too late? You can bet that Obama is counting on it!

Posted by: Reality on March 3, 2009 04:11 PM
2. This is the same Jim (James J.) Cramer who gave $150,000 to the DNC for the 2000 election and also contibuted to the election campaigns of Chris Dodd and Charles Schumer. Let's "hope" the awakening has begun.

Posted by: traknut on March 3, 2009 04:34 PM
3. 42 seconds in...Did she compare the Obama Administration to a serial killer? "Everything planned out..."

Posted by: Glenno on March 3, 2009 04:39 PM
4. "the effect of obama's economic policies to date"? i.e. 42 days after inauguration. why don't you provide some right-leaning analysis of the economy addressing the effect on the economy after 8 years of the bush/republican policies. then, at least, we have your baseline, from which we gauge your 'critique' of 40+ days of obama's policies.

this blog has become irrelevant.

where's stefan?

Posted by: dnandan on March 3, 2009 04:41 PM
5. "the effect of obama's economic policies to date"? i.e. 42 days after inauguration. why don't you provide some right-leaning analysis of the economy addressing the effect on the economy after 8 years of the bush/republican policies. then, at least, we have your baseline, from which we gauge your 'critique' of 40+ days of obama's policies.

this blog has become irrelevant.

where's stefan?

Posted by: dinesh on March 3, 2009 04:43 PM
6. We are seeing the result of:

(1) Obama continually talking down the economy--using rhetoric like "crisis may turn into catastrophe", and "if we don't pass this stimulus package, we might never recover", etc. and
(2) Obama's huge spending program--especially those things that are totally STUPID to do in the middle of a deep recession--tax increases, huge budgets for health care, the idiotic Cap and Trade, the idea of doing cram downs on mortgages in bankruptcy when you are trying to stablize the financial market(!).

I think there should be an economics test and a history test for those who are running for president. Unfortunately, the two choices we had in the past election would have BOTH flunked the econ test and I think Obama would have flunked the history one as well!

Posted by: Bill H on March 3, 2009 04:44 PM
7. Dinesh,

Who controlled the Congress the last two years of the Bush Administration? And controlled the Senate from 2002 to 2003? HINT: it wasn't Republicans!

Ask yourself if you were better off in 2006 (the last year the GOP and President Bush controlled things) or at the end of 2008, after two years of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama reign of economic terror...


Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 3, 2009 05:12 PM
8. Bill H wrote:

I think there should be an economics test and a history test for those who are running for president. Unfortunately, the two choices we had in the past election would have BOTH flunked the econ test and I think Obama would have flunked the history one as well!

The difference is that McCain knew his limitations; Obama obviously does not. I'll take a man who knows where his weaknesses are any day over one never tested and oblivious to his limitations...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 3, 2009 05:16 PM
9. Comrades Stalin,Castro,Pelosi,Reid,Obama,Murray,Cantwell,
Gregoire.... The Tradition Continues

Posted by: WaFlyGuy on March 3, 2009 06:01 PM
10. The WSJ has has a good opinion article today also taking the President to task for the further decline in the market since his time in office. It also addresses the media misdirection being orchestrated by the bobbleheads within the DNC regarding the Rush Limbaugh/RNC leadership straw man they've set up to divert attention from a demonstrated incompetency on just about every level thus far into their administration (though I hear the acquisition of a dog is moving flawlessly through the channels)that I've yet to see in my lifetime:
Listening to Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, on the weekend, we couldn't help but wonder if they appreciate any of this. They seem preoccupied with going to the barricades against Republicans who wield little power, or picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh, as if this is the kind of economic leadership Americans want. ~ WSJ, March 3,2009

That was pretty much my take on the whole thing even prior to reading the WSJ article. Afterall, the not ready for prime time president and his surrogates are glaringly unprepared for the travails of governing, so why not just change the subject and hope the lemmings buy it like they did in November?

Posted by: Rick D. on March 3, 2009 06:21 PM
11. A small price to pay for alleviating my guilt over slavery.

Posted by: Huey on March 3, 2009 06:23 PM
12. Last year, the "average American" elected an Harvard educated constitutional law professor to the presidency. Average conservatives knew better. They rallied behind Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, people like ourselves; people I proudly call "mediocre Americans."

And that's why Joe is still so immensely popular. He's angry, vicious, ignorant, and intellectually incurious. He's one of us, and like us, he didn't learn about public policy and international relations at a university or from books or journals; he learned everything he needed to know by tuning into Rush, Hannity, Savage, and Ingraham.

This is a great book, one every true conservative should buy, and more importantly, read. Yes, I know that sounds like a tall order, but it's an easy read. Joe uses one and two syllable words (many of them, written forms of various grunts) almost exclusively. If I have one complaint, it's that the publisher, Pearlgate, printed it in ink rather than crayon like the original manuscript. Other than that, I think it truly is the perfect book for the average conservative.

Posted by: kos on March 3, 2009 06:29 PM
13. I have no guilt over slavery... My family (grandparents) were all farmers from Ireland and Germany, and came to the US just before WWI. No slavery here!

Other than the yokes of economic chains strung around by the Slavery Party, that is...


Posted by: Shanghai Dan on March 3, 2009 06:34 PM
14. "proposed policies"


Get real, people.

The stuff we are seeing is the beginning of ENACTED, CODIFIED policies.

There are more in the pipeline but they are not "proposed" either, they are "not yet implemented.

We are doomed.

Face up to--we got what we asked for.

Posted by: Larry Sheldon on March 3, 2009 06:45 PM
15. Jim Cramer? Hmmm....what was he saying just 14 months ago?

1. Goldman Sachs would finish the year (2008) at $300/sh. "Not a prediction -- an inevitability." This, when GS was trading around $150. How'd he do? GS closed the year below $90.

2. "Google stock reaches $1000." It was around $700 on the day of his prediction. After that it dipped and never got above $600; ended the year a little below $325.

3. With Apple at $195, he predicted it would reach $300 in 2008. Immediately after that Apple began a drop that ran down to $119. It never got above $195 for the rest of the year and ended at $86.

4. Last March 11, as Bear Stearns plunged into the $30s from a peak of $169 the previous year, Cramer declared that "Bear Stearns is fine!". Less than a week later, Bear Stearns was gone, sold to JP Morgan for $2/sh.

So, why should care what Jim Cramer says?

Posted by: scottd on March 3, 2009 06:47 PM
16. "profit and earning ratios are starting to get to the point where buying stocks is a potentially good deal if you've got a long-term perspective on it." ~ Barack Obama, March 3,2009

He doesn't even understand the most basic market principles of what comprises a P/E ratio. So, why should I care what Barack Obama says?

Posted by: Rick D. on March 3, 2009 06:54 PM
17. It's almost funny listening to Cramer telling people they need to "Obama-proof" their portfolios. How, pray tell, do you do that? Obama is attacking small business, american business in general, and non-profits. This guy is acting on straight marxist theory, but gee--that hasn't worked well for Cuba has it?
Even though I find Cramer entertaing, I suspect Cramer actually voted for Obama, but I can't really believe he didn't see this all coming when the rest of us could see it miles away. First Santelli, now Cramer. I'm surprised NBC would let this kind of report on the air nationally. Obama is a marxist disaster for this country.

Posted by: Michele on March 3, 2009 06:56 PM
18. kos says "...elected an Harvard educated constitutional law professor..."

It's a shame he didn't learn any economics or any history, maybe we might actually have faith that he knows what the hell he's doing...

Posted by: Bill H on March 3, 2009 07:03 PM
19. Let's not pretend this is just about Obama, this is about a reaction against Pelosi's Congress.

Posted by: Crusader on March 3, 2009 08:06 PM
20. POTUS Obama is willfully ignorant when it comes to rebuilding the economy. He is trying to disprove Reagan's quote that "Big government is not the solution, big government is the problem, but he will be proven wrong once again like all of the Marxists who have tried it and failed before him. He is acting like an ideologue out to adopt his agenda to fit the one world economy. He is governing to the left and sometimes far left, instead of seemingly to the center as it seemed when he was assembling his cabinet. However, once he let Pelosi write the Stimulus package, the cat was out of the bag.

BHO speaks so well and he and his gang are invoking Chicago ward politics on this country. How quickly that this administration goes from the most transparent to the most corrupt one and after the last two presidents, that is saying a lot. He apparently cannot help himself in playing political power games and has lost my confidence and trust until he does something that will improve the economy. I see a disturbing trend developing - hope I am wrong.

Posted by: KS on March 3, 2009 08:19 PM
21. POTUS is making good on his promise of hope and change. I sure "hope" my retirement doesn't completely disappear. Please excuse me for a minute as I just looked at my 401K, and I need to "change" my shorts.

Posted by: Ed on March 3, 2009 08:52 PM
22. When Lord Obama Fails .....
From Dr. Hurd.

The Country is infected with hopium and blind to the reality of the situation. The masses (I was going to say stupid masses but that is redundant) are scared shitless, rightfully so, and as a consequence they have adopted Jesus Obama as their savior. Unfortunately, as we know, reality has a way of surfacing sooner or later, and when it does they will feel totally lost and bewildered. The streets will become a mass of protests and riotous gangs trying to take what is only "fair."

The Country will survive but will emerge as a stranger to many. I predict a Balkanization of the Country into areas that are homogeneous -- California and the SouthWest as Hispanic-America, the NorthEast as Liberal-America, Mid-West as "solid values" America etc. We are headed toward what Europe is experiencing now in Spain, Greece, etc. We may see the redefinition of America as separate government areas; I'm not even sure we could agree among these "Super States" on a common army and defense policy. We have abandoned the commonality and ideal of this Country; as conditions deteriorate we will fall into a pattern of basic human behavior that I had hopes that we could evolve above. Things will be very rough when Lord Obama fails as would anyone who takes on the problems we have. It will be worse because of the faith people have invested in him and the support that he gets from the liberal press.

Posted by: Bill K. on March 3, 2009 09:59 PM
23. Nice to see Cramer could rent a pair of stones from Santelli.

Santelli gets the first penguin award.

Posted by: Andy on March 3, 2009 10:06 PM
24. Well scottd, if everything that Cramer predicted actually turned out worse than he predicted, then we might be seeing Obama effects that are even worse than Jim Cramer thinks.

Obama is going to own this failure like nothing has ever been owned.

The left, overreach? But of course.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 3, 2009 10:38 PM
25. kos's attitude will play poorly this time next year.

I learned public policy and international relations from a university, and I also learned history. I learned economics from running my own business. People like me who saw through Obama's socialist designs are numerous, and the day will come when "mediocre" Americans will lift the educated fools who gave us Obama and his henchmen to the mockery and scorn they deserve. Our supposed superiors who displayed little intellectual curiosity gave us this government because his light made their legs tingle.

Posted by: James on March 4, 2009 05:15 AM
26. Fackless
So how many of you hope Obama's policies fail?

Count me as one. Just look at our 401K and the stockmarket.

They see Obama's spending spree is NOT good for America.
Heck even lib lover Cramer is seeing the truth.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 4, 2009 06:14 AM
27. I remember the days when an incoming president actually had a plan for improving the economy. Nearly 8 years ago to the day, an Op-Ed ran
in the New York Times reflecting on Bush's plans to take us out of the looming Clinton recession. 8 years later, Obama hasn't a clue, his tax guru hasn't a clue or a plan and while their collective underwear flutter in the wind, our 401K's are reduced to 201K's and nose-diving daily.

If this is the promised "change" we could believe in, I'll take the status quo back in a heartbeat.

Posted by: Rick D. on March 4, 2009 06:28 AM
28. Nice to see old-timer dinesh reporting in.

But he is right. I need more analysis for comparing Bush v. Obama with respect to the economy.

People on the far left I communicate with say Bush left them this horrible economy and Obama is saving them. Hey, really. That is what they believe.

And then we whine about how much money Bush spent- you know, spent like a drunk Democrat. Other than the war, what programs and costs have gone overboard on spending.

Notice also how the tricky One is counting the savings from the Iraq war as a deficit reducer- i.e. he is counting the Iraq War costs as if it were to continue unabated for the next 10 years when Bush was going to drawdown the forces in the next year or so?

Posted by: swatter on March 4, 2009 07:18 AM
29. @26:

This hypocritical arguement is a smoke screen. I suspect you understand that since I could sit you down for an hour and play you clips of lefties that "wanted Bush to fail" in the most venomous ways. Did you want Bush to succeed in his policies? War on Iraq, cutting taxes, wire-tapping? Give it a rest. We know this is just a whiny diversion to distract from the out of control spending and power grab (exactly how many Czars do we need that report directly to Presbo?).

Prove my point? Okay, follow these 3 easy steps:

1. Read a statement about the spending bill, omnibus bill and stimulus bill, warts and all.

2. Then have the mainstream media "mistakenly" report that this was done by the Bush administration.

3. Call for Bush to be impeached.

You didn't like runaway spending when Bush did it (and neither did I) and I sure as hell don't like it on steriods with Obama. Until you can get past your partisan BS and hypocricy, don't waste my time.

Posted by: BrassTax on March 4, 2009 07:34 AM
30. Swatter.
One is counting the savings from the Iraq war as a deficit reducer-

This is the same trick that Clinton used when he cut the heck out of our Armend Forces.
I so remember when Gore siad they had rid the government of 500.000 government jobs... Just failed to say who it was.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 4, 2009 07:42 AM
31. "...spent like a drunk Democrat."

Speaking of which, The liberal Lyin' Ted Kennedy is due to be knighted in England and announced today by Gordy Brown. No word yet on whether Sir Theodore of Chappaquidick's victim Mary Jo Kopechne's family is in full approval of said annointment.

Posted by: Rick D. on March 4, 2009 07:57 AM
32. Jeff @ 24:

All of the examples I cited occured during the Bush administration -- try to pay attention.

My point is that Cramer is a talking head whose main job is to entertain people with his financial stylings and keep them tuned to CNBC. As an economic adviser, his advice is worthless.

Posted by: scottd on March 4, 2009 08:11 AM
33. Scottd

Maybe you missed it. Cramer is a big lib. So to seeing him bashing the Obama plan is, well down right funny.

You noticed how fast the White House went after him.

LOL, loving it.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 4, 2009 08:15 AM
34. M/V:

This may seem unorthodox to you, but I don't waste time checking on one's political ideology before deciding whether he is credible. I look at the quality of his argument and his past record.

Cramer is an idiot. Plenty of those on both sides of the political spectrum.

Posted by: scottd on March 4, 2009 08:36 AM
35. Scottd
I agree Cramer is a fool, but maybe you just don't get it.
I've never seen him go after anything the dem's have done. So this is a shock & a laugh.

Posted by: Medic/Vet on March 4, 2009 08:54 AM
36. And scottd @ 33,

All of those example from Cramer show stocks that he said would trade much higher than they actually ended up trading. Pay attention. My point is that according to your examples, he seems to be adept at overestimating success. So by that logic, he's understating how bad it really is now.

But I agree, Cramer is just one loud mouth voice echoing the market that is doing the speaking. The market is speculative about the future, and does not like what it sees in the Obama plans. This might be a tough pill for you to swallow, but it's reality. If you really think that the market is not taking Obama in to account, then you should definitely get a financial advisor.

Posted by: Jeff B. on March 4, 2009 08:58 AM
37. No Facts - do you even understand basic economics? Government is the problem, not the solution.

Posted by: Crusader on March 4, 2009 11:57 AM

"The military has banned media from photographing coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware since 1991. This, after a 1989 incident in which some TV news outlets used a split screen to juxtapose images of deceased Americans being returned home with images of President George H.W. Bush joking with reporters at a live news conference. It was a cheap shot that made the president seem insensitive to the somber ceremony and the sacrifice it commemorated. Hence, the ban."

That's from syndicated liberal Leonard Pitts, via the Miami Herald, and that's the rest of the story that NPR -- totally in the Democrat tank -- didn't tell you in its eagerness to cast Cheney as the designated villain in an anti-Bush diatribe.

You'd think On The Media would honestly discuss media culpability in using coffins as props to advance a liberal media agenda, but that would require a level of honesty and professionalism often absent from the "profession" of journalism and from NPR.

Posted by: Transparent Coffins Coming Home on March 4, 2009 01:01 PM
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