The splendid national political conventions are over. These inevitably put one in mind of The Tempest:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.
We awaken from Hillary’s stirring acceptance speech to discover that The Washington Post reports the second quarter growth rate at 1.2 percent, half of analysts’ expectations.
Note to Self:
2.4 percent is disappointing. 1.2 percent foretells probable political catastrophe for the incumbent party. (Meaning Hillary.)
Consider the implications of The New York Review of Books’ Michael Tomasky’s recent observation:
There’s no disputing the fact that, absent a major event like a terrorist attack or a legal indictment, the economy is the most important factor in any presidential election. More specifically, as John Sides and Lynn Vavreck argue in The Gamble, it’s the economic conditions that obtain in the last few months or perhaps the last year before the voting.
Tomasky is a principled “until the last dog dies” Hillary loyalist, appalled by Trump (as, less so, by Sanders). Yet also he is one of the most honest and rigorous political analysts at work, unblinded by his own neoliberal preferences. Continue Reading