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Auchter's Art: Spinning the news

John Auchter for Michigan Radio

It's getting increasingly difficult to tell whether a politician has done a good job because of the willingness (nay, enthusiasm) there is for spinning news. That is, making news (any news) unfavorable for the other team.

In the recent past, Joe Biden was roundly blamed for a spike in gas prices. Currently, it's easy to find gas at less than $3/gallon many parts of Michigan. Did Biden deserve the blame then or the credit now? Not really. The price of energy has become a global market issue — way beyond the control of the President of the United States. And even if the position was "Dictator of the United States" (which a certain former President seems to be aiming for), the price of gas would still be impossible for one person to control.

There are plenty of more clear metrics that a politician can be judged on. Governor Whitmer, for example, has done a pretty good job this past year in accomplishing many of the things she told us she wanted to accomplish — supporting labor, protecting abortion rights, pushing investments in electric vehicles, to name a few. You may not like it, but it was mostly promises kept. In other cases, particularly in government ethics and transparency, she has fallen well short.

Who knows? If we can keep to praising and blaming politicians for things they are actually responsible for, we might end up with better politicians.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganPublic.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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