Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Let Bush be ^ | September 13, 2012 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 09/13/2012 6:17:42 AM PDT by Kaslin

The theme of the president's 2012 re-election campaign is that George W. Bush left such a terrible mess that Barack Obama could hardly be expected to clean it up in four years.

In other words, 43 months of unemployment rates above 8 percent, $5 trillion in new borrowing, $16 trillion in aggregate debt, gas prices of nearly $4 per gallon, a dive in average family income and involvement in two wars were all due to George Bush and simply too difficult for anyone else to overcome. So Obama cannot be judged on his record between 2009 and 2012.

At first glance, this is a most unusual claim. Gerald Ford followed the mess of Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal and the Arab oil embargo. After serving for less than three years, he failed to win re-election. His successor, Jimmy Carter, seemed to make a bad situation even worse. He exited four years later, tagged with a high "misery index" fueled by rampant unemployment and roaring inflation.

Ronald Reagan took office under Carter's baleful legacy but ran for re-election successfully in 1984 based not on "Carter did it," but on the recovery he engineered.

Bill Clinton was elected on "it's the economy, stupid" in 1992, and he was re-elected four years later after claiming credit for boom times. George W. Bush inherited the aftershocks of the meltdown, and a country ill-equipped to respond to terrorist assaults after the nonchalance of the 1980s and 1990s. Despite the 9/11 attacks, Bush was re-elected on the themes of a good economy and a safer country.

Blaming or praising presidents for their four years of governance is an American tradition. That is why Obama asserted at the outset that if he could not turn around the economy, his presidency would be a "one-term proposition."

Like all presidents, Obama inherited both positive and negative legacies. True, there was a war in Iraq, but the surge -- which candidate Obama opposed -- had by mid-2008 mostly won the peace. That is why Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker had already negotiated a timetable for American withdrawal. Obama followed that settlement; he no more ended the war alone than did he start it. For Obama to claim sole credit for ending the war in Iraq would be about as fair as blaming Obama for making things worse in Afghanistan -- given that more than twice as many Americans have died in that war on Obama's watch than were lost during the entire eight years of the Bush administration.

Obama did inherit a terrible economy in January 2009, but one not quite still in full free fall from the mid-September 2008 panic -- which abruptly gave Obama a four-point lead over John McCain in the polls after being down four points.

By Inauguration Day 2009, the gyrating stock market had bottomed out, and the Dow Jones industrial average had not dipped below 8,000 in four months. The TARP (Troubled Assets Relief Program) rescue package had been enacted by Bush in October 2008, stopping runs on the banks and mostly restoring financial stability.

Blaming Bush for some of the mess is legitimate in politics, but the housing bubble and collapse -- the catalysts for the September meltdown -- were a bipartisan caper of pushing Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to underwrite risky subprime loans to the unqualified who had no business buying homes at inflated prices. Washington insiders ranging from Clintonite Rahm Emanuel (Obama's former chief of staff) and Franklin Raines (a Clinton administration grandee) to Tom Donilon (the current national security advisor), James Johnson (an Obama campaign bundler) and Jamie Gorelick (deputy attorney general in the Clinton administration) got in on the Freddie/Fannie profit-making despite thin banking resumes. Even with the last four months of crisis, Bush still averaged a 5.3 unemployment rate for his eight years in office.

Obama should be congratulated for ordering the successful hit on Osama bin Laden. But the intelligence apparatus and antiterrorism protocols that provided much of the expertise for the mission were well established when Obama entered office -- despite his own prior verbal attacks on Guantanamo Bay, renditions, tribunals, preventative detention and the Patriot Act, all of which he almost immediately embraced without a nod of thanks to his predecessor.

Obama, for example, inherited the controversial Predator drone program, an anathema to liberals during the Bush administration. But Obama expanded the drone missions and in four years approved the killings of seven times as many suspected terrorists as Bush had in eight -- to the sudden silence of the antiwar Left.

It is past time for President Obama to forget Bush, and, like all of his predecessors, make the argument that things are better than when he entered office almost four years ago, and that he deserves the credit for the turnaround.

Voters will weigh that claim. And history will judge George W. Bush on his two terms -- as it will judge Barack Obama's own four (or eight) years in office.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: barackobama; blamebush; campaign2012; georgewbush; jimmycarter; ronaldreagan

1 posted on 09/13/2012 6:17:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
For the Obama and the Democrats, G.W. Bush is the real-life Emmanuel Goldstein.
2 posted on 09/13/2012 6:23:24 AM PDT by Maceman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
George Bush is gracious enough to fade into retirement and keep his political mouth shut.

Give him his retirement he has earned it.

There isn't a dimocrat exPOTUS alive that CAN keep their political mouth shut and they are sticking their noses in to things where they have no business sticking them!

3 posted on 09/13/2012 6:26:45 AM PDT by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Republicans and conservatives, of all people, need to be honest about Bush. I remember when he was president, if you posted anything bad about him, you were a RINO. Bush did a lot of good things, especially with regard to the wars and foreign policy. He also tried to deal with the housing crisis and was thwarted by Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. However, he was horrible on entitlements and spending. Saying that Congress spends as some type of excuse doesn’t cut it. Bush submitted budgets, the Republican Congress passed them. Bush did not submit balanced budgets. True, he had to deal with the war, but when you cut out military spending, he was increasing domestic spending by double digits too. Bush was part of the spending and entitlement problem that led us to where we are today. Obama is worse, but that doesn’t mean that Bush was not part of the problem too.

4 posted on 09/13/2012 6:29:02 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Maceman

Goldstein, Snowball, Trotsky and DA JOOOOS! all rolled into one.

5 posted on 09/13/2012 6:31:28 AM PDT by Old Sarge (We are now officially over the precipice, we just havent struck the ground yet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Maceman
Well, the face of Emmanuel Goldstein in that link looks just like Ron Paul.
6 posted on 09/13/2012 6:36:12 AM PDT by eCSMaster ('Nancy Pelosi is a DINGBAT.' - Gov. Sarah Palin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

That is admirable but our republic now stands on the precipice of destruction... yet still he will not defend himself and by proxy... us. Even George Washington came to a point where he had to fight back... and Bush is no George Washington... very few have been.


7 posted on 09/13/2012 6:48:37 AM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
8 posted on 09/13/2012 7:11:53 AM PDT by RetSignman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Anyone that thinks Obama and his Nutnicks WILL EVER “let George Bush be”, probably also thinks Islam is a religion of peace.

9 posted on 09/13/2012 7:43:38 AM PDT by moovova (Hope-ium...Time to kick the habit.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Obama surrogate and Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright has finally revealed when they’ll stop blaming current conditions on Former President Bush. Never. At a campaign rally in Highlands Ranch, Colorado last week Albright told an anecdote: “All of a sudden this man gets up and says, ‘How long are you people going to blame the previous administration?’ and I said, ‘Forever.’”

10 posted on 09/13/2012 7:45:58 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Forgive me if you’ve seen this before, but it bears repeating.

Bush’s Fault?

January 3rd, 2007 was the day the Democrats took over the Senate and the Congress. At the time:
The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
The Unemployment rate was 4.6%
George Bush’s Economic policies SET A RECORD of 52 STRAIGHT MONTHS of JOB GROWTH

Remember the day...
January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?

Unemployment... to this CRISIS by (among MANY other things) dumping 5-6 TRILLION Dollars of toxic loans on the economy from YOUR Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac FIASCOES!
Bush asked Congress 17 TIMES to stop Fannie & Freddie - starting in 2001 because it was financially risky for the US economy.
And who took the THIRD highest payoff from Fannie Mae AND Freddie Mac? OBAMA
And who fought against reform of Fannie and Freddie? OBAMA and the Democrat Congress

So when someone tries to blame Bush...
Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democrat Party.
Furthermore, the Democrats controlled the budget process for 2008 & 2009 as well as 2010 & 2011.
In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases.
For 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the 2009 budgets.

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete 2009.

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets.

If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

*I found and saved this, but failed to save the name of the author. If you know who it is, I’d like to properly credit it.

11 posted on 09/13/2012 9:08:49 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Opinionated Blowhard

The only thing “good” GWB did, as I recall, were his “tax cuts” and Samuel Alito. Everything else was at best questionable.

12 posted on 09/13/2012 9:17:55 AM PDT by Theodore R. ( Who among us has not erred? Akin's the One!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: JimRed

Ever since that arrogant, lazy lying pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave started blaming President Bush for the disaster he (0bama) voted for when he was in the Senate, I pointed out that the economy was thriving and unemployment was practically nonexistent when the Republicans where in control. Things changed to the bad however, when the rats took over and there is nothing they can do about it. These are the facts.

13 posted on 09/13/2012 9:39:58 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: LibLieSlayer

That might be. However, could you tell me honestly that if he had tried to defend himself publicly, would anyone really hear it? The way the mainstream news is, would they have even bothered to report it? No, they wouldn’t! Even when he has made an attempt to defend himself at all, it was in speeches made directly to non-political organizations, and in books, (”Decision Points”, etc..) and local news org.s, articles in magazines!

When he did try to defend his actions, the mainstream news couldn’t be bothered, without twisting things he said! I personally saw, heard, read about him defending decisions he made quite often during his presidency and after; but I had to dig for it! I believe him/that; I’m sorry you don’t see it!

14 posted on 09/13/2012 12:20:05 PM PDT by dsutah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: dsutah

In the second paragraph, I meant to say “when the mainstream news did bother to report something he said to defend himself, they twisted what he said, or blamed him even more!”. Also, if had to go on defending himself every time someone attacked him, he would’ve never got anything done; because he was being attacked almost constantly by the “other side” and his own side, too!

15 posted on 09/13/2012 12:33:53 PM PDT by dsutah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: dsutah
He was President of the US... and he would have been heard but he didn't and we know how that turned out. His new tone was also a failure. Rove has even admitted that he was wrong in not allowing Bush to defend his actions.


16 posted on 09/13/2012 1:15:43 PM PDT by LibLieSlayer ("if it looks like you are not gonna make it you gotta get mean, I mean plumb mad-dog mean" J. Wales)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
I am old and I am tired! I am also getting pretty damn upset with people who are still spending their lives bashing President G.W.Bush! There are no perfect people nor are there any Perfect Presidents, but as I look back, I have to give President Bush so much Credit for his calm in the face of Destruction and Adversity. He held this Nation together during during a frightening and perilous time! BUT, I felt SAFE!!! That means one Heck of a lot in my book. I have not felt safe since the “Boy Wonder/Big Spender in Chief” moved into the W.H. He appears to be throwing our Money to the 4 winds along with playing Golf, having Parties, watching Basketball games and having a love affair with Air Force 1. He obviously isn't too intelligent either and it appears to many that he is simply someone’s Puppet. I fear for our Country due to HIS lack of critical thinking and childish demeanor of “ME ME ME”! The faster he gets out of the W.H., the better off and safer we will be providing THE Republican Candidate beats The Boy Wonder in the coming Election. God knows, the new President cannot possibly be anything but a Great Improvement! We will also have a First Lady of whom we can be proud. Four more years of the Boy Wonder and we may not have a Country left!!!
Ruth aka Patsygirl...
17 posted on 09/13/2012 3:53:24 PM PDT by Patsygirl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Things changed to the bad however, when the rats took over and there is nothing they can do about it. These are the facts.

Many, or maybe most, Americans are not aware of that connection. With the MSM ignoring it and continuing with the "he inherited it" lie, and the general preoccupation of the "working class" with who got kicked off the island or which celebrity is in what kind of trouble this week/can dance better than the other celebrities, only those who actively seek information will connect the dots.

My local Gannett newsrag might be an example. They do publish letters to the editor from both sides, but they are the opinion based ones, not fact based. My submissions are always fact based. Last year I had five published out of seven submissions. This year, I'm zero for five. In every case they have been factual responses to lies on the editorial page, in slanted articles or in letters that were published.

That includes the information in the post I added to this thread. Agenda, maybe?

18 posted on 09/14/2012 5:51:53 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed &water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS, NOW & FOREVER!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson