When the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent earlier this month, the Republicans were beside themselves. They were not happy that more people had jobs. They have not been happy that despite their best efforts to the contrary, the economy is improving.
Republicans' goal is to make people feel badly enough so that they can get their puppet into the White House with a right-wing House and Senate that will serve him up bills he will just sign, and secure their hold on power forever: unlimited money in campaigns, repeal of the Voting Rights Act, end of internet neutrality, non-enforcement of regulations, non-prosecution of white collar crimes, massive new restrictions on women's right-to-choose as in the states controlled by Republicans.
The positive jobs report was a knee-in-the-groin to that aspiration.
The attack on the Bureau of Labor Statistics has another purpose: to blunt the impact of the next unemployment report due on November 2, the Friday before the election. That is when people make up their minds about for whom they will vote. In 1980, President Carter and candidate Reagan were virtually tied until the weekend prior to the election -- and then the big shift in sentiment occurred and Reagan won handily.
If current trends continue, on November 2, the BLS will report an upward revision of the September figure of 114,000, and another 100,000+, perhaps even a 150,000+, job growth figure. The unemployment rate may be lower than 7.8 percent.
If it is as low as 7.5 percent, the Republicans will be in major freak-out mode because, as people prepare to go into the voting booth, the ultimate question they will be asking is whether to continue down this path, or to bet on a risky, vague plan that may (indeed, it will!) screw everything up again.
Thus, the Republicans "pre-trash" the Bureau of Labor Statistics to try to blunt the last-weekend impact their unemployment report will have. It is standard, right-wing operating procedure. If they do not like a fact, then, just confuse or attack the source.
Here is how the election will go, depending on the November 2 report:
1. >8.4 percent Comfortable Romney and Republican victory
2. 8.2-8.3 percent Close Romney and Republican victory.
3. 8.1 percent Nail-biter. Probably Romney, Republican House, Uncertain Senate
4. 8 percent Nail-biter. Probably Obama, Republican House, Uncertain Senate
5. 7.9 percent Close Obama, Republican House, Democratic Senate
6. 7.7-7.8 percent Comfortable Obama, Uncertain House, Democratic Senate
7. 7.6 percent Major Obama Victory, Democratic House, Solid Democratic Senate
8. < 7.5 percent Blowout for Obama and Democrats
It is not that these differences themselves will sway the voters. It is the feeling they will convey. At 7.6 percent there is a strong trend that is continuing. An unemployment number of 7.5 percent (or below) can be correctly portrayed, as "Reagan territory."
It was in Reagan's second term that the rate of job growth doubled. For President Obama, that would be a prospect of about 10 million new jobs, based upon continuing the policies he has set in place. The late-deciders, and some who have decided based upon frustration, will switch in droves to the president.
For a counter example, if the unemployment rate ticks up to eight percent, it will seem that we are stuck -- some will take a risk on a secret plan, others will find that very risky as the situation remains fragile. So, it will be a nail-biter, but Romney and Republicans have not engendered enough trust, and the president's American jobs act might seem a better choice.
I am on record predicting that this election would be made to be close until the last weekend, but that a major shift, one way or the other, would occur on the last weekend, so that it would be a blowout.
I predict an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, on the cusp of a blowout. Alan West, Michelle Bachmann, Todd Akin, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan will lose their seats, just to name a few.
And, they will not darken our doorposts again.