It WAS Bush's Fault

It's hard for me to understand how this ends up on the front page of The Washington Post:

Obama's New Tack: Blaming Bush

In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed "an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics."

It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return -- or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome "inheritance" of its predecessor.

Reading through this article, you get the sense that The Post thinks that President Obama is making it up or something, that it really wasn't the fault of George W. Bush and his radically conservative policies that led to the economic crisis the nation now finds itself in. But that couldn't be further from the case.

We're not talking about a recession popping up years into the Obama administration, or even months. This economic downturn began long before Barack Obama was inaugurated or even elected. Indeed, the seeds for the nation's economic woes were sewn by the Republicans before Barack Obama even entered the national political scene four and a half years ago.

What's more, this article seems to gloss over the fact that the right is already trying to place blame for the recession on President Obama. Heck, Rush Limbaugh was proclaiming an "Obama recession" just two days after the November election.

A newspaper can work overtime to try to make it seem like the rhetoric is all Barack Obama's fault, that he's making up an assertion that he inherited a recession -- the worst, perhaps, since the Great Depression -- from George W. Bush, and that the Republicans weren't trying to pin blame for the recession long before he even had any chance to combat the economic problems, but that's just bunk.

Tags: Barack Obama, Economy, George W. Bush (all tags)

Comments

27 Comments

It maybe bunk

but it should have been anticipated.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 09:00AM | 0 recs
Actually, I've been ranting about this...

...for many months.

How, for the life of me and given the history of an absurdly over-the-top Republican habit of twisting reality, could Democrats not have been calling this a Depression for months prior to Obama taking office...and then reminding folks of what he inherited from January 20th, onward?

It's beyond the pale, really. Folks at the top are so close to the story, they lose all context of reality out in middle America...to the point where it's incomprehensible that the GOP could contort something so absurd as to blame Obama for 8 years of an unbridled economy-gone-mad.

But, historically, contorting reality is what the GOP does best! And, ignoring that truth is in-line with Einstein's definition of insanity: "Repeating the same action and expecting a different result."

We're talking about the political party that won in 2004 due to a Swiftboating campaign, for crissakes!

The public's (and the media's) memory goes about as far back as the most recent episode of American Idol!

And, today, folks are surprised when the WaPo latches onto to this Foxified bullshit?

Naivete' has no bounds...even for many Dem's who ignore all-too-recent history.

by bobswern 2009-03-14 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Actually, I've been ranting about this...

It's not naivette. It's that they are pals with most of these people.  You have to understand that this is their social circle. Once you do, the reality of why they tend to hold their punches becomes clear. Think of this way- you have spent the last 30 years being told the world is one way (the GOP is in charge), and now you are in charge- do you step up quickly to the plate, or do you what you are seeing the Democrats do? The party has not released itself from the mentality that defined it for 30 years. This is why this is both a Republican problem AND a Democratic one. We are a couple dancing to the moves we have been dancing to for a long time. Now , you are asking them to change their steps. It will takes several years for the lag between where the public is (severely left of center) to impact the leadership in the Democratic Party. In the short term, I remain concerned, but honeslty , the Blue Dogs etc are living on borrowed time. They will be gone as a power within a few years. So will , I hope- this need to placate the abusers.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 09:55AM | 0 recs
You have to admit

The inheritance line is getting old.  At what point can we look forward instead of constantly blaming Bush.  We had eight years of that, are we going to have eight more.

On a side note, what policies of Bush do you consider "radically conservative"?

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-14 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit

Like I said crazy guy on the subway. It's March 2009. He started in Jan 2009. If it's getting "old" it's because you are an idealogical nutjob who hates him so its' his fault even when it's yours. I mean- let's be honest here- your party was blaming Clinton in 2008 for the meltdown. So, getting old is a joke from you. The truth is you like your party leader- Rush- want Obama to fail. Your talking point is just part of that strategy of branding and messaging. You've got nothing else in the way of substance ot add.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit

Bush burned the economy (and our standing in the world) TO THE FUCKING GROUND!

Obama started his term with DOUBLE the national debt that Clinton left bush and a 1.5 TRILLION dollar deficit (Bush was left with a surplus)  Bush OWNS this problem.  You don't understand that, but I don't expect you to.

To your second point.  Bush is NOT a conservitive.  Not of any stripe.

by lojasmo 2009-03-14 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit

Clinton doubled the national debt just the same.  Only one year we didn't add to it with a budget deficit.  Look he is the best president we have had in the last 20 years, but we still have to be accurate.

I am not arguing that Bush does not own the problem, but at some point you have to find a new whipping boy.

Thanks.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-14 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit
A new whipping boy? Are you kidding me? Well in that case, Madoff has been talked about too much so why not just let him off the hook? It is said because it is true.
by selfevident 2009-03-14 12:59PM | 0 recs
ok

new whipping boy = Ronald Reagan.

by DTOzone 2009-03-14 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit

No.  When Clinton entered office, the debt was four trillion, when he left it was six trillion (60% of GDP)  It is now twelve trillion (115% of GDP)

And yes.  Some day the economic situation will be on Obama's hands, but not now.  The economy is IN FLAMES, and it IS Bush's fault.

by lojasmo 2009-03-15 02:40AM | 0 recs
Re: You have to admit

Thanks for the correction, it is certainly more accurate to say he increased national by 50%.  No shit Bush blew the budget out of wack and I understand the troughing around Bush as the problem.

I just draw the line when people say the economic philosophies of the two administrations are different and we need to blame classical economic theory for the down turn.  It needs to be clearly illustrated that both administrations are pretty heavy demand-siders.  

My final point is that it is less about looking at blaming Bush and more looking at blaming specific Bush(and congress) policies that is more important.  Repeating those policies mistakes will not absolve the individual from blame.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-15 12:08PM | 0 recs
You're absolutely right....

we can't blame Bush..directly.

The guy was the most checked-out President we have ever had.

It would like putting the goofball VP of the Frat, the party chairmen, the guy who gets the kegs, in charge of the country?

No one would be dumb enough to do that?

Still, Rich Boy Loser went through the presidency like he did the rest of his life, letting Daddies older friends run things...(Peter Pan Syndrome, I would rather be riding my mountain bike and clearing brush that understanding things above my attention level...)

So, for once, your right CL?

We need to blame Cheney and the NeoCons for their disasterous war fought on the back of tax cuts, for their handing the Oil companies the keys energy policy..

For stacking the SEC with Ayn Rand Commando Ideologues, talk about guarding the chicken house with Foxes...

And, who can forget Libertarian Criminals like Phil Gramm, who in his lunacy and arrogance thought he could touch the feet of FDR, and undid the firewalls between banks and mortgage traders and investment houses...

You know, the war against the New Deal that Libertarian cultists have been posting for 50 years...

Ah, then he published the secrets to the Hydrogen Bomb...Oh, I meant rammed the Securities Moderization Act through Congress...

It modernized it all right...Right back to the Wild West of gunslingers and big swinging wall street dicks.

You're completely correct, Bush was just the class clown while the other Republican FreeMarket terrorists blew up the world economy with the toxic Credit Default Swap Burrittos of doom!

KA-BOOM!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-14 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: You're absolutely right....

Why the instance on posting inaccuracies.  The wild rhetoric only clouds the debate.

1. Neo cons are hardly libertarians.  The reference is a flat out lie or just a lack of understanding.  Do you really see President Obama changing foreign policy that much?  The timetable in Iraq sees consistent with Bush and it certainly doesn't look like he is bringing the troops home for Afghanistan.

2. If you can outline the SEC Ayn Rand commandos I  would love to discus it further with you.  These wide flung accusations are stupid.  As far as policy I do not see the President reversing Bush's policy changes to the SEC regarding short selling that which removed the FDR's uptick rule.  

3. Why is Phil Gramm a criminal again?

4. What war against FDR?  Is Bill Clinton's Welfare reform all that was accomplished?  

5. Just how did Bush ram through the Securities Modernization Act? Final passage of the bill was far from partisan and signed into law by Bill Clinton.

6. If your are suggesting Bush was some sort of "Ayn Rand Commando" or "Libertarian Criminal" or that the market is some how "right back to the Wild West", than we should have let the market correct the problem and let all of the criminal bankers who pushed the legal limits crumble.  No Bush saved them and so did Obama.  

You are so full of shit, I am not sure why you constantly trail me.  Bring me something new once and a while at least.  

I know you want to blame the free market for the markets going south and exposing all of the crooks.  Guess what...I agree, but we are far from the worst economic times.  During the great depression our economy lost 50% of its output.  Today, the doom and gloom people are saying we have lost 2%.  

Relax on the hype a little.  And don't get so defensive.  I am far from defending President Bush.

by Classical Liberal 2009-03-15 01:08PM | 0 recs
facts can not get old.

that is all.

by JDF 2009-03-15 06:50AM | 0 recs
it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

I agree with whoever it was (Naomi Klein?) who said that Democrats have been so busy blaming all of the economic problems on Bush that we didn't own up to some mistakes dating from the Clinton era.

As a result, no case against putting someone like Larry Summers back in power was ever made.

I also believe that Obama has unnecessarily taken on responsibility for some very bad decisions (TARP) by appointing Geithner, who was very involved in policy-making during Bush's final months.

by desmoinesdem 2009-03-14 10:07AM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

THe mistake here is that you aren't blaming the right thing. Blame the idealogical forces, not the person. It's irrelevant whether it was Bush or Clinton. The problem is that it's the underlying idealogical believes. Obama needs to be hammering home night and day- not that it's Bush's fault, but the fault of conservatism. Say over and over again- "conservatism is a bankrupt idealogical belief that does not solve America's problem, it causes America's problems"

by bruh3 2009-03-14 10:13AM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

You're absolutely right "bruh". Conservatism IS the problem. But it should not be called conservatism, call it what it is, REGRESSIVISM. Goldwater was a regressive (The father of the radical movement, that pushed the true conservatives out of the Republican party.) Nixon was actually more progressive (Since progressivism is a economic governing outlook.) than he was liberal (Which is a social outlook.). Reagan was a regressive nutjob. His social bretheren were the  Falwell's, Robertson's,& Weyrich's (Who knew his side could only win by cheating. Youtube him)socially and politically, and the Laffer's, and Greenspan's of the world economically. Horrible. H.W. Bush was a moderate, old school conservative economically and socially, and this is why he was HATED by the regressives. His son was neither,was'nt smart enough to be, but he was a vacuum for the regressive to finish the job they started 32 years prior with Goldwater. They had their congress and their empty suit president, but unfortunately, for them, and in the short-term for us, they had no excuses. They had every chance to show America that a dictatorship (Unitary executive.) and a burgeoning corporate fascistic society was the way to go. We have all seen the results of their work. I do believe that it will be a long time before America makes the mistake of allowing a group of people who have a certain psychological makeup (theauthoritarians.com)have control again.

by onlinesavant 2009-03-14 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

You are historically right, but for branding purposes we should call it conservatism because no one realizes what you describe. For the last 32 years this "know nothing" regressivism has been what people call conservatism. Its what the GOP has willingly branded itself as. Academically, it's not the only form of conservatism. No more than the brand of capitalism we practice in America is the only form of capitalism. To argue what you want to argue so that people understand it would require that we were addressing a society steeped in history, context and meaning. We aren't. Therefore, it would produce a big thud to explain political theory to them.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

I agree with the vast majoriy of what you write put please understand something. The reason that I believe regressives MUST be called out for what they are, is because calling them "conservative" is not truthful nor acerbic enough. I argue that we don't have to pervert and distort "regressive" like they did "liberal", and we should'nt try to do so. They have , through the course of decades, implanted in American society, a perception of liberals that is so far from the truth of what we are that so many of us run from the term altogether. However, in starting a movement to call them "regressives" at every opportunity, we give ourselves a chance to just tell the truth about who they are historically. By calling them "regressives" we are able to outline how it was they who did'nt want to fight the Revolutionary War nor WW1 or 2. It was they who did'nt want Social Security, nor Women's Suffrage. It was they who didn't want the Civil Right's act nor the Voting Rights Act to pass. It was they who wanted to stay in Vietnam, even though they kept their children out of the fight. On and On. There are so many ways in which we could directly indict them in their desire to hold back American progress. Essentially, all we have to do is say that if it were for them, America would never have left the monarchy.

by onlinesavant 2009-03-14 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

I don't disagree with what you are saying. I just question whether anyone else cares.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 09:07PM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

One other follow up- this is why, by the way, although there was a tradition of progressive economic ideas going back to Theodore Roosovelt and Lincoln in the GOP, these ideas have mostly been stamped out. Even the most "moderate" Republican at this time in history is really just a moderate regressive. They are not moderate in the sense of a Roosovelt, Lincoln or even Eisenhower. I can't imagine any of these figures in the modern GOP. They would have been pushed out of the party. If the party reall wanted a way out of the wilderness they would look to these men, but instead they look to the charlatan that was Reagan.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 03:51PM | 0 recs
Re: it was his fault, but not ONLY his fault

My last follow up:

Ironically, I would argue that the current Democratic Party fits along the line of old style Republicans.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 03:55PM | 0 recs
Re: It WAS Bush's Fault

bruh3 got it right. Since Nixon, the business party, today we call them Republicans, has been in charge. Jimmy Carter was part of the deregulation and privatization of everything. So was Clinton. This whole deal was a mistake. Its taken 30 years to trash the world's economy this time, instead of the 10 years it took in the 20's, but only because of the defenses Roosevelt erected the last time they did it. Let them convince us it was only George W Bush and they'll get a hold of it all in another 10 years. This is what capitalism is about.

by johnmorris 2009-03-14 04:57PM | 0 recs
Re: It WAS Bush's Fault

I am not anti-capitalism. Just this variant of it that we practice. There are other models of capitalism that are and can produce results that are very good for Americans. The problem is that this variant that we practice is not that form. One of the worse mistakes I think Democrats are making is to allow people like Ginrich and Co to pretend that they practice the only form of capitalism that exists in the world. My views would push a more complicated reality that there are many, and thus, it's capitalism or not capitalism. It's which form? That's how the debate should be framed.

by bruh3 2009-03-14 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: It WAS Bush's Fault

Obama needs a better communications team to fight back against BS like this.

by bsavage 2009-03-14 05:47PM | 0 recs
I don't see how this suprises anyone.
This has been a standard republican trope for a LONG time. Anything good is attributed to republicans, anything bad is attributed to Democrats.
The fact is, what happens in the private sector very rarely has anything to do with the politicians in charge at the time. Clinton's golden years didn't happen because of Clinton, they happened because of the tech boom of the nineties. That tech boom would've happened whether he was in office or not. What he DID was, through his tax policy, make sure that the wealth was shared. Rich people still got crazy rich, but the middle and lower classes also did well. That bubble was ALWAYS going to collapse, and Clinton did very little to stop it from overinflating, but it wasn't his FAULT that it popped. It was predestined. And it's hard to think of a way he could have regulated that bubble away. (Pets.com worth 100,000,000, really?) It was the fact that the market was just stupid for dot-com stocks that had little to no real earnings.
The crazy financial bubble during Bush was similar, but it was also moch more foreseeable. As Jon Stewart said, there was no way someone leveraged 30-1 was a good idea. Home prices going up 300% in a year could NOT be real earnings. And mortgage agents going from being loan watchdogs to used car salesmen could POSSIBLY be a good idea.
Was it Bush's fault? You can make the case both ways. Yes, it was absolutely, irredeemably stupid to lower taxes during two wars. You can also make the argument that his idea of zero regulation created the problem. But, fundamentally, it doesn't get to the heart of the problem.Because if the free market worked the way conservatives think it does, we would've been fine. They believe it's self-regulating, and that a financial bubble like the one we've experienced couldn't happen. Because conservatives believe that the free market really is "free". And that shady, back-room dealing doesn't hurt the country as a whole.
Bush did nothing. He ignored it all. Because he trusted market economics to puck up the slack. He was wrong.
So Bush didn't destroy the economy.
Bush's trust of the unrestricted free market destroyed the economy.
And it's an important distinction.
by EvilAsh 2009-03-14 07:58PM | 0 recs
Eactly!

If you want to thank someone for the Clinton Economic rebound, thank Bob Noyce from Intel and Bill Gates (oh!  Horrors! Someone said something NICE about Bill Gates....)

The semiconductor boom, which actually the government HAD been seeding since the days of the Moon shots EXPLODED in the Clinton Era.

Add to that MS hand in the PC revolution....

Now, you are also absoultely right, Bush (actually, the Idealogues that had control in his regime) did what IS possible ....They turned the Free Market on it's head, allowed the corporations to "rig the game...."

But, again that was ALWAYS the true agenda of Reganism.

Transference of Wealth and Ownership to the top...

The Coors, the Nestles, the Gallos, and a group of US Dynastic Wealth, funded Heritage, Cato, The Federalist Society, in an attempt to return to the good old days before FDR....

And, to a large extent, they did just that!

by WashStateBlue 2009-03-15 09:24AM | 0 recs

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