Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Give or Take 100,000

    This week, the Obama campaign launched another (surprise!) group to assist in the 2012 effort to return Barack Obama to the White House in November.  The Educators for Obama webpage explains how the president actually cares about education while Mitt Romney would prefer illiteracy and ignorance to run rampant across the land (I'm paraphrasing.)  If I've learned anything about the Obama campaign, it's their willingness to throw numbers around with abandon if there are political points to be scored, and this new group is no exception.  Reaching back to the 2009 "stimulus" (although no source is actually cited for the statistic,) the campaign claims the following on the Educators for Obama home page:
When states were cutting their budgets and laying off teachers, the President took action to keep 300,000 educators in the classrooms where they were needed.
    While the underlying validity of the claim is debatable, the source of one such discrepancy has a rather unusual source.  The Obama campaign!  Just a week before the new website was launched, the campaign put this out on Twitter:

Once again, no source is cited.  More than 100,000 educators vanished in less than a week with no explanation.  And this is actually the second time the numbers have changed, as I wrote last week.  No doubt if pressed, Jay Carney or some other administration spokesman could pull a rabbit out of the hat to justify the inconsistency.  But when you have demonstrated that you are willing to abuse numbers to advance your cause, what's 100,000 teachers anyway? After all, there are plenty more groups out there just begging for pandering.

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