The Commerce Department has issued their initial estimate for the third quarter GDP: grew at one-and-a-half percent. This is a disaster for this country. It is literally a disaster. John Podhoretz at Commentary magazine has a little post here that puts some of this in perspective. He says that the economic growth rate of one-and-a-half percent is quite simply catastrophic for President Kardashian. The economy is weakening, is what this means. The economy is weakening as the election approaches. Now, Podhoretz says no one’s ever won reelection in such circumstance. Nobody, no one. Forget the unemployment statistic, which is no incumbent has ever been reelected with the unemployment rate higher than 7.9%. Throw that out. No one has ever won reelection with the economy contracting, which it’s doing.

Now, he points out that things are not as bad for Obama as they were for Jimmy Carter. In the second quarter of 1980, the economy actually contracted by .7%. However, get this. This surprised me. Oh, I should tell you, Rasmussen’s out today with a poll that has Romney up five. Romney is up over Obama by five points, and that is identical to the lead Obama had at this very same time in 2008, five-point lead. Now, 1936, FDR won a landslide despite the Great Depression. Now, a lot of people think the Great Depression was the economy contracting and people jumping out windows on Wall Street. But Amity Shlaes, who is an FDR Depression expert, she’s written a couple books about it, she posted an interesting stat on Twitter yesterday. I thought Twitter was down yesterday? Twitter must have come back up.

Anyway, do you know what the annual GDP, the economic growth rate, was from 1933 to 1936? This will shock you. It stunned me. It averaged 9%. Economic growth during the Great Depression, 1933 to 1936, averaged 9%. Snerdley’s saying, “How come they call it a depression?” That’s to put this in context. That’s the interesting thing here that’s been discovered by Amity Shlaes and John Podhoretz. Now, Podhoretz says: “the most interesting analogy is to 1992 — a year in which the economy was actually staging a recovery from a recession in 1991.” And you remember 1992, Clinton, Carville, Stephanopoulos running around, “Worst economy in the last 50 years.” We were taking phone calls from people, “It can’t get any worse, Rush. It can’t get any worse.” It drove me crazy. But perceptions in politics are reality, and that’s what people believed.

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