How Come (Just About) Everybody Hates Joe?
I was watching Joe give a speech yesterday on the jobs report, and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how come he is so disliked? I thought about it more this morning and now I’ll share my thoughts with you. But let’s first start off with a few facts. Not alternate facts, real facts, okay?
The unemployment rate is 3.5% That’s not full employment. That’s more jobs available than there are people to fill them or even apply for them. When I drive to work in the morning, I go past a dozen or so machine shops which make metal components for the big items - refrigerators, heavy machinery, cars – and every, single shop has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in front of it, something I have never seen before, and I have been driving past these shops since 1995.
The local supermarket chain is advertising warehouse jobs starting at $16.95 plus a sign-on bonus of a thousand bucks. The local convenience chain will pay $105,000 plus bennies for someone to deliver gasoline from the wholesale depot to their retail pumps. You can rent a very nice, two-bedroom apartment with off-street parking for $800 a month. Do the math, get it?
Everybody made a big what Grandpa would call a ‘gevalt’ (read: complaint) when we pulled out of Kabul. But for the first time in more than twenty years, American troops aren’t coming back from the Middle East in steel coffins. They’re coming off the C-17 Globemaster airplane walking on their own two feet.
Now it used to be that if everyone had a job and no troops were getting killed, that the President would receive at least passing grades. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and if the economy was strong and the world was at peace, you couldn’t blame Ike just because the D.C. baseball team – the Senators – were the worst team in the American League.
But all of a sudden, everyone or just about everyone (except me and my sister) tell the pollsters that Joe’s doing a lousy job. He’s doing such a lousy job that every day there’s another unnamed source in the Democratic Party who says that Joe should not even think of running again in 2024.
What the f*** is going on?
Here’s a guy who: a) shellacked Trump; b) turned things around in terms of the government’s response to Covid-19; c) restored the NATO alliance in response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine; d) passed a trillion-dollar ‘rescue’ bill which gave just about every American household up to $1,400 and expanded the child tax credit; e) passed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill which will establish a national network of plug-in car chargers, among other things; f) passed the first gun-control law in almost 30 years; g) is about to pass another major bill to strip away some tax loopholes which favor only the top 5 percent, and may also ease inflation pressures somewhat.
Talking about inflation, the U.S. inflation rate is – what? – 9.6 percent? Which happens to be lower than the average inflation rate currently being reported by the other 37 advanced national economies which comprise the OECD. In other words, inflation isn’t an American problem, it’s not just a question of pulling one of those 12 mpg trucks up to the pump and seeing a higher price.
And by the way, I don’t remember the last time I saw any of those guys with their ‘Trump-2024’ flags attached to the antenna actually hauling something in the back of the truck. Want to show what a big, tough guy you are? Drive around in a Ford F-250 Super Duty and complain about the cost of gas. Good for you.
Anyway, back to Joe.
The latest poll which shows Joe losing ground comes out of New Hampshire, and it has him at 20% of all voters who want him to run in 2024. But guess what happens when you drill down and look at what the overall number really means? Joe’s standing among Democrats goes up to 31%, but what drags down his overall numbers are low percentages from voters who are more than 50, and particularly voters who are more than 65.
You would think that Joe would do better with the older voters – old farts usually like other old farts. But that’s not what this poll shows.
What I’m beginning to believe, and please feel free to respond and tell me whether or not I’m full of shit, is that Joe didn’t win in 2020 because voters wanted to vote for him. He won because voters wanted to come out and vote against Trump.
Which means that probably any Democrat can win if Trump runs again in 2024. And despite the fact that I like Joe very much, kicking Orange Shithead’s ass again is all that matters to me.