Free Markets, Free People
When even Michael Moore gets it, perhaps it is time for Democrat politicians to finally let it go. Moore, appearing on “Real Time” with Bill Maher responds to Joe Sestack’s standard Democrat talking point of the last two years about “the damage done under the Bush administration”:
“No one’s forgetting the fact that this frat boy totally destroyed this country economically, our standing around the world– we all get that. But it’s two years later, and you can’t keep blaming the people who created the mess. Yes, we’ll never stop being pissed at Bush for what he did. But right now we’ve got to fix this, and you guys– the Democrats and Obama– have to be the ones that do it. If you do it– if you actually get in there and do it– you’ll have everybody behind you all the way.”
When even members of the radical left say "enough, for goodness sake – you can’t blame the other guy forever", perhaps, just perhaps, the canard has outlived its usefulness, you think? Any bets on how long it actually takes for this meme to finally die? Because, as we’ve all seen, some politicians are among the most tone-deaf people in the world as they constantly remind us by their inapt words and deeds. Moore is like the tire wear indicator on a tire. When he finally says, "that’s enough", you really need to change the tire.
The “blame Bush” strategy for explaining the economy isn’t resonating with voters an LA Times story tells us. And I think the reason is summed up very nicely by a 68 year old woman from Columbus, OH:
But Peggy Swope, for one, isn’t so sure. There are plenty of reasons the economy tanked, says the 68-year-old independent, and it’s not like Obama has done such a great job turning things around. "He was so fixated doing what he thought he needed to do on healthcare that he let everything else go," said Swope, a Columbus retiree.
Now we obviously can get tied down in arguments of whether or not Bush had a hand in the downturn and whether or not Obama really could do all that much. But those arguments are going to fall on deaf ears because, as we’ve pointed out many, many times, in politics, perception is reality. And I think Ms. Swope’s perception of why we’re still in the economic shape we’re in is one that is shared by a large number of voters.
And most voters aren’t interested in what got us there – that’s history, and besides, even if you believe Bush to be at least partly at fault, he’s been gone for almost 2 years.
What they are interested in is why it got worse and most importantly, why it doesn’t seem to be getting any better in the economy. And blaming that on Bush is a hard sale – especially when Democrats spent all their time and effort on ramming health care through and essentially ignoring the economy as millions more Americans joined the unemployment line.
Though most Americans remain critical of Bush’s record on the economy — 71% in a recent USA Today-Gallup poll said he deserved a great deal or moderate amount of blame for the slow growth and high jobless rate — more than half of those polled were unhappy with Obama’s performance. More to the point, they hold him responsible for fixing the problem, regardless of who caused it.
Bottom line: blaming Bush is a loser and viewed as nothing more than the usual sniping that politicians do at this point. This economy now belongs to the Democrats and Obama. They chose health care over jobs. Now they get to pay the piper. Playing the blame game isn’t going to advance the Democrats chances anymore. That era is ended. They’re now stuck with the one they run. And the voters are in no mood for the games of 5 year olds when it comes to the economy.
It sure seems to me to be how many Democrats view it. If in trouble, ethically challenged, or just doing a miserable job, blame Bush. It has become the all purpose, "get out of jail free" card for Democrats, or so they seem to think.
The latest example? Why the Democratic Representative from Los Angeles, Maxine Waters. Instead of answering direct questions concerning her role is obtaining TARP funds for a bank in which her husband had an interest and sat on the board of directors, we got this:
Embattled Rep. Maxine Waters on Friday blamed the Bush administration for her ethics problems — saying she had to intervene with the Treasury Department on behalf of minority-owned banks seeking federal bailout funds — including one tied to her husband — because the Treasury Department wouldn’t schedule its own appointments.
"The question at this point should not be why I called Secretary Paulson, but why I had to," she said. "The question at this point should be why a trade association representing over 100 minority banks could not get a meeting at the height of the crisis."
Actually those aren’t the questions that should be asked. Instead they should be asking, “why didn’t you disclose the fact that your husband had a position in one of these banks when you came begging for money?” Or, “if you did nothing ethically wrong, then why is it this information wasn’t volunteered initially when you contacted Sec. Paulson?” And finally, “would you have contacted the Secretary if a bank in which your husband had an interest hadn’t been part of that association”?
I mean there were plenty of banks in trouble at the time – why that particular association? Why that particular bank?
This finger pointing and blame-shifting is getting old. When the meeting Waters demanded took place -surprise, surprise- the officers of only one bank showed up – OneUnited, her husband’s bank. Payoff (or ripoff if you prefer)? 50 million of your dollars.
Yet somehow it is the Bush administration’s fault. In fact, everything that is wrong in America isn’t the fault of the Democrats. Oh no. They – the masters of victimhood – are the victims of that awful and scurrilous George W. Bush.
Even a third-grader would have learned by now that trying to shift blame on someone else for something you’ve done rarely if ever works. Democrats have yet to come to that realization. But, as we’ve often noted here, the pubic certainly has, and for the most part are sick and tired of the whining, crying and attempts to duck responsibility for their actions.
That’s primarily because the current administration has been in power 18 months, it has spent like there’s no tomorrow with borrowed funds and the economy is still in the tank. Most adults consider that more than enough time to do address the "inherited" problems and if not fix them, be on the road to doing so. But blaming the previous administration is no longer a viable option.
Forty-eight percent of likely voters blame Obama’s policies for the nation’s economic condition, compared to 47 percent who fault former President George W. Bush, according to Rasmussen Reports.
Although the difference is small and within the margin of error, the poll marks the first time in Obama’s presidency that more people blame him than Bush for the economy.
Obama’s 48 percent also shows a three percentage point increase over the past month, according to Rasmussen. As noted, the margin is small and within the margin of error but is, for the first time, against the Obama administration. More importantly, that’s the way it has been trending in past polls.
So essentially what you should expect to see, as the months pass and the unemployment rate remains high, GDP growth sluggish, consumer confidence down and businesses sitting on the side lines is more and more Americans coming to consider this mess the "Obama economy".
The White House has repeatedly tried to inoculate the president from economic blame with the message that Obama inherited a bad economy from Bush, and has made difficult, unpopular decisions to turn it around.
In a speech to the AFL-CIO, Obama made the case that the problems he faces are the result of Bush economic policies.
"We’re not going to go back to digging the hole," he said. "We’re not going to go back to the policies that took Bill Clinton’s surplus and in eight years turned it into record deficits."
That’s obviously not how the American people are seeing those policies and their effect. There’s nothing in the Bush years that even approach the record deficits being piled (and projected) by this administration.
So that old song and dance seem to finally be getting old. And it is surprising the White House is still trying to push it. You’d think they’d understand that it was a perishable excuse and it has long since passed its expiration date. And, as the poll indicates, people have grown tired of it and just don’t accept it as a reasonable excuse anymore.
Not that it will stop the "Blameshifter-in-Chief” and his henchmen from continuing to trot it out there at every opportunity. Their problem is it just isn’t viable anymore.