MSNBC Guest Claims GOP 'Mini-Stimulus' Helped Obama Win

The phrase that "success has many fathers" must have been on the mind of Joy-Ann Reid when the MSNBC contributor was a guest during Thursday's edition of the NOW with Alex Wagner program.

While discussing the minimal impact that GOP SuperPACs apparently had on Tuesday's election, Reid nevertheless called the extra millions of dollars spent by those organizations a "mini-stimulus" that "actually boosted the economy slightly" and helped re-elect President Obama.

The comment was made after the host stated: "I guess we're not going to see the end of the SuperPACs. What we may see is a 're-jiggered' SuperPAC" that will still make "insane infusions of cash" to help candidates win elections.

"The conservative SuperPACs have proved that economic stimulus actually does work," Reid responded.

When you pump money into the economy -- I mean, I think these television station groups did tremendously well with this spending. Printers and people who design direct mail.

"So, ironically enough, their spending probably actually boosted the economy slightly, which actually, again, helped Barack Obama," she stated. "It was a mini-stimulus."

As a result, everything the conservative SuperPACs did "had the opposite effect of what they wanted," she added.

Those comments quickly drew fire from Noah Rothman, editor of the Mediaite website, who charged that "this is a remarkable reversal from the Democratic position of just a few weeks ago, which steadfastly contended that the infusion of capital into politics that was unleashed by the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United would reduce opportunities for healthy political discourse."

Rothman was referring to the landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision in 2010, which held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions.

The editor's second point was that "this betrays a stunning lack of understanding about the size and complexity of the American economy, let along the global economy."

If someone believes that a grand total of approximately $2 billion spent over the course of 18 months into consultancy firms and advertising can stimulate the economy, Rothman added, then that individual can also convince himself or herself the economy is small enough to be competently managed from the top down.

"As the Dow Jones Industrial Average sheds points and the markets express their fears that Obama's second term will be characterized by tax increases, reduced capital spending and lost growth," the editor noted, it's possible that the White House might take a great deal of heat if the end of the 2012 campaign produces "an electric shock" instead of an economic recovery.

Now that the Democratic president has been re-elected, his supporters are cheerfully coming up with any possible reason for his victory, and it's incredible that a chief executive with such a poor record on the economy can benefit from a "mini-stimulus" when the original stimulus was such an enormous failure.

We can only wonder what Reid would have thought of the "mini-stimulus" if Romney had won the White House instead of Obama. Actually, we don't have to wonder, do we?

Randy Hall
Randy Hall