Today's Wehner Fallacy Winner

by Jonathan Chait | January 15, 2010

Charles Krauthammer! The winning entry is Krauthammer's column in today's Washington Post, which spends roughly 700 words gloating over the decline in Obama's poll ratings as a function of his wild liberalism, without a single reference to unemployment:

What went wrong? A year ago, he was king of the world. Now President Obama's approval rating, according to CBS, has dropped to 46 percent -- and his disapproval rating is the highest ever recorded by Gallup at the beginning of an (elected) president's second year. ...

The reason for today's vast discontent, presaged by spontaneous national Tea Party opposition, is not that Obama is too cool or compliant but that he's too left....

The health-care drive is the most important reason Obama has sunk to 46 percent. But this reflects something larger. In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30. And the American people -- disorganized and unled but nonetheless agitated and mobilized -- have put up a stout defense somewhere just left of midfield.

Etc., etc. The economy never comes up. Krauthammer wants us to believe that, if unemployment were 3% right now, we'd be seeing essentially the same climate of public opinion. If you want to learn more about the Wehner fallacy -- attempts to explain the Democrats' declining popularity as a function of their agenda, without any allowance for economic conditions -- and why it's so deeply hackish, click here.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/todays-wehner-fallacy-winner