Scary rhetoric?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

The Politico's Roger Simon claims that in order to gin up support for the stimulus bill Obama has to try to scare Americans straight [emphasis added]:

He must simultaneously petrify people and also restore their confidence. He must scare us to death and calm our fears. He must convince the nation that the times are so dire we must carry out his bold plans immediately, and then he must persuade us to be patient and give his plans time to work.

This echoes the right-wing media chatter about how Obama is supposedly fear-mongering the issue of the economy; how he's spooking out Americans who, apparently, would otherwise be unconcerned about the state of the country's finances.

Not quite. Last month--and before Obama started allegedly fear-mongering the issue--pollsters with the Diegeo/Hotline survey asked voters:

Which of the following would you say best describes the current economic situation in the United States? The biggest economic crisis the U.S. has faced in your lifetime. A crisis, but not the worst in your lifetime. A major problem, but not a crisis. OR, Not a major problem.

An astonishing 60 percent of voters said the current situation represented the worst financial crisis the country had faced in their lifetime. Just 18 percent thought it was not a problem.

There's no proof Obama has to "scare" anybody.

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