We’re putting your husbands back to work

Made me laugh, although lefties were in high dudgeon about the clip earlier this afternoon. “WOMEN WORK TOO, YOU KNOW.”

In fairness, wanting to go back to the way things used to be has been the underlying theme of MAGA since the beginning. A simpler time, when all of those “housewives” who live in the suburbs didn’t need to worry about the wrong kind of people moving into the neighborhood:

The good news about the clip is that he really did put a lot of husbands — and wives — back to work over his first three years in office and his best shot at reelection remains emphasizing that fact on the stump. Michigan’s unemployment rate dropped from a low 4.9 percent when he took office to a low-low 3.6 percent before COVID arrived. The total number out of work declined by 57,000 over the same period. With a record like that, it’s hard to believe he’s down nearly 10 points in state polls. But a bad attitude about the pandemic and a lot, lot, lot of indecorous behavior over four years will do that, apparently.

It may be a matter too of which kinds of jobs have been created and which haven’t. Trump’s appeal in the Rust Belt was due in part to his nationalist promises to repatriate jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs. According to one recent analysis, though, Michigan saw a 211 percent increase in jobs being offshored between 2017 and 2019 relative to the prior three years. Yesterday WaPo looked back at one of Trump’s most famous moments as president — actually, president-elect at the time — when he swooped in and convinced management at Carrier in Indiana not to follow through on a plan to move their plant to Mexico. That was a huge PR victory for him during the transition period, with Trump telling Carrier employees, “Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not going to happen. We’re not going to have it anymore.”

But:

This year alone, Indiana employers have sent more jobs to Mexico, China, India and other foreign countries than were saved at Carrier. Without headlines or presidential notice, at least 17 companies — names like Vibracoustic, Molnlycke Health Care, Allura, Altex, Stanley Black & Decker, Dometic, Johnson Controls and Horizon Terra — have closed plants or otherwise reduced employment in Indiana and moved jobs abroad, according to U.S. Department of Labor filings…

Indeed, the domestic manufacturing renaissance that the president promised has withered. After rising by 4 percent during his first two years on the job, manufacturing employment began sliding late last year even before the pandemic put the economy in a deep freeze. Today, the United States has fewer factory workers than when Trump was inaugurated and about as many as in 1941. Indiana manufacturing employment stands at a six-year low.

There are other holes in the protectionist pitch. In August the U.S. trade deficit reached a 14-year high. And last year an NBC poll found support for free trade climbing to more than 70 percent among independents and Democrats, with even Republicans shifting back to narrow majority support. How much of that is due to Trump’s personal unpopularity infecting the popularity of his policy positions and how much of it is a reaction on the merits to whether his trade war has worked or not, who knows. But it may be spilling over into the Rust Belt polling.

Back to the clip up top, though. Trump can and will be forgiven by most voters for the insinuation that men work while women stay at home — he’s 74, and the olds get extra slack on stuff like that — but I’m surprised this soundbite from a few days ago didn’t get more media attention. This felt less like a case of a senior citizen idly lapsing into an antiquated view of women and more like a case of Trump deliberately implying that having a woman as president would be a special liability for the country.

“Especially a female”? What’s he getting at there? What makes Bernie Sanders preferable to Bernadette Sanders?

The fact that the press largely glossed over that one even though he said it in the final days of a campaign which the media is desperate to see Biden win is among the best proof yet that they’re just exhausted from chasing after Trump’s daily cringy statements after four years. There are only so many hours in the day they can spend at the keyboard. Some stuff has to go by the boards.

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