Conservative Jobs Conspiracy Is Nuts
Tis the season for conservative, crackpot, conspiracy theories. From poll numbers they don’t like to—today—economic data that displeases them, elements of the conservative coalition (including some high profile ones) are seeing, and loudly proclaiming, conspiracy after conspiracy to re-elect the president. Which leads to the question: Have conservatives gone nuts?
Take today’s unemployment data. The private sector created 114,000 news jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also revised upward its estimates from July and August by 86,000 jobs. That all netted out to a 0.3 percent drop in the unemployment rate, from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent. This is good for the country and so has the salutary effect of being good for the Obama re-election effort. It is also bad for some conservatives’ relationship with reality.
[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]
Quite simply the unexpected good news prompted some on the right to skip past, “huh?” or even “huh” and go straight to cries of “conspiracy!” Think Progress rounds up some of the conspiracy theory reaction: Former GE CEO Jack Welch tweeted that “these Chicago guys will do anything … can’t debate so change numbers;” Tea Party darling Rep. Allen West of Florida agrees with Welch that “Chicago style politics is at work here”; Fox News’s Eric Bolling suggests “something far more insideous” [sic]; Americans for Limited Government put out a release that “the conclusions are obvious” that the numbers were cooked; CNBC’s Rick Santelli, who essentially ignited the Tea Party movement long ago, nodded in the fudged numbers direction; and Laura Ingraham described the labor data as “total pro-Obama propaganda.” Of course in the same tweet she says that labor-force participation is at a 30 year low, which would presumably make the data only partial pro-Obama propaganda. Fox News (of course) asked, “Is the number real?” My favorite conspiracy comes from the Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll who tweeted, apparently seriously, that while he doesn’t think the jobs data was “cooked,” he does suspect that a “bunch of Dems lied about getting jobs. That would have same effect.” Rrrrrright.