You have to love political irony on a slow Friday afternoon.  Two e-mails hit my inbox today with completely contradictory messages.

First, today is 3rd anniversary of the passing of President Obama’s stimulus bill and the Republican Party of Arkansas sent out press release predictably slamming it’s passage.  Their release said in part:

“Three years after President Obama signed his massive stimulus spending bill into law, it’s clear that even by the President’s own standards, the bill has been a failure.”

I’ll spare you the rest of the release since you already know what is going to say: stimulus bad, it failed, etc. Can’t fault the RPA, they’re just doing their job.

The irony comes from the second e-mail I received from The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch with the following subject line:

“Leading indicators point to U.S. economy picking up in spring or summer: Conference Board”

The e-mail says in part:

“The economy is expected to continue strengthening, possibly picking up this spring and summer, the Conference Board said Friday as it reported that its index of leading economic indicators grew 0.4% in January, led by the interest-rate spread and manufacturing hours.”

The e-mails just happened to hit the inbox right after each other. Ironic.

On the national level, Republicans are terrified of the prospect of a strengthening economy in a Presidential year because it runs counter to their entire narrative that Obama’s policies have hurt the economy.  Moreover, Republicans are scared of the sense of hope and the slowly growing feeling that things are starting to move in the right direction because it has a direct impact on how people vote.

Witness some Republicans’ reactions to the recent Clint Eastwood Superbowl commercial for Chrysler which struck a nerve because it captured the feeling that America is getting stronger economically.

Politically, it’s often irrelevant what various economic indicators show because if voters believe the economy is getting better, then perception becomes reality and that worries the Republican Party.

We still have a way to go, but I, like many Americans, am hopeful our economy will continue to grow and put more people back to work.  And that’s not because I’m a Democrat — it’s because I’m an American.

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Michael Cook
Michael Cook is the moderator for his opinion blog, Cook's Outlook. He can be reached by e-mail at Michael@CooksOutlook.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mcookAR or on Facebook: facebook.com/CooksOutlook.