by evanmcmurry

Under the Jennifer Rubin formula, in which “[anything] x a Jennifer Rubin column = Mitt Romney,” the coming economic forecast x today’s Jennifer Rubin column = Mitt Romney. I let her ‘splain, since she’s so good at it:

The divergence between what the Obama campaign and the media (I repeat myself) are talking about (Bain, Bain and Bain) and the most important economic (and hence political) news of the year is breathtaking. To put it bluntly, we are looking at economic contraction. In lay’s terms that is a recession.

Speaking on behalf of the lays, thanks; we preesh the jarg.

For the left flogging the Bain story and the right bemoaning Mitt Romney’s response, stop. Just stop. You’re making fools of yourselves. If we are indeed heading for zero percent growth (and/or zero job gain-territory), there is no way that anything else matters. Obama can call Romney a criminal. The lefty bloggers can attack Congress (really, this is the formula for reelecting Obama?). But it will make no difference. None.

Good to know. Actually, the economy’s been in full slowdown mode for three months. It’s been rather covered in the media, however you define that word. People, even lays, know about it. And yet Obama’s approval ratings have remained where they are—not great, but not the poll numbers of a president who’s got 8.2% unemployment around his neck, either. Actually, not only do a sizable portion of voters still blame Bush for the Great Recession, but there’s a sliver of an indication that blame for the economy is shifting onto the GOP House, as their little debt ceiling escapade was also covered by the media, and the lays seemed to have noticed.

It’s likely that Obama will still suffer more than he has for the stagnant labor market. But as there’s no evidence that it’s happened yet, I don’t get how anybody’s making fools of themselves by acting as if it hasn’t happened. Rubin’s calling the media irresponsible because they won’t report a narrative that has no empirical basis.

Instead, Rubin’s real hand is accidentally tipped in the paragraph above. “There is no way that anything else matters. Obama can call Romney a criminal…But it will make no difference.” Sure, Obama can call Romney a criminal, or Romney can be a criminal, it doesn’t matter: if the economy sucks, Romney wins. This exact strategy—that Romney should do nothing but sit on his hands while he gets called a vulture and outsourcer and a fetus disposer and a liar, while he waits for the economy to tank—is why he really, really appears to be losing the election.

Earlier I asked if anybody saw an out for Romney from the Bain Capital trap the Obama campaign had set for him that didn’t involve closing his eyes and wishing for 10% unemployment. That’s almost literally what Jennifer Rubin is proposing he do. Can the Washington Post really not find a better conservative columnist?