Quit Blaming Bush
"Now Gov. Romney believes that with even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy, and fewer regulations on
This is Obama's core message. In one way or another, he says it all the time. It's his kicker on the stump. You cannot watch an interview with the president or one of his subalterns without hearing it.
And yet, I don't think I've ever heard a TV interviewer, host or pundit ask, "What are you talking about?"
Klein is right. So is Kessler. "It is time for the Obama campaign to retire this talking point," Kessler concluded, "no matter how much it seems to resonate with voters." He would have given it the full four Pinocchios save for the fact that Obama occasionally throws in "deregulation" along with "tax cuts" as part of the explanation. In its defense, the Obama camp says it means all of Bush's policies, not just the tax cuts it harps on almost exclusively -- never mind that even Obama admits Bush issued more regulations than he did.
The question of what caused the crisis is obviously still controversial (though, Kessler notes, the official inquiry makes no mention of Bush's tax cuts). But a consensus seems to be forming around the following narrative: The federal government, out of an abundance of concern for the plight of the poor and middle class, made it too easy to buy a home.
A mixture of greed, idealism, cynicism and stupidity led to the practice of bundling those iffy mortgages into financial instruments that
Some Obama defenders will say that Bush's deficits made it harder to deal with the crisis. That seems reasonable, even if it's a red herring in the debate about what caused the crisis. And Obama's record on deficits hardly gives him much standing.
I once thought that Obama's relentless Bush-blaming was simply a mix of political expediency and gracelessness. But the truth is more complicated. Liberals have smartly, albeit cynically, laid the case that Bush was
Obama has done largely the same thing. The first bailouts of the crisis were supported by Obama but launched by Bush. The same goes for the first stimulus. Obama simply tripled down on all that while claiming he was breaking with Bush.
Or maybe I have that all wrong. Maybe we could get some clarity by asking the president, "What are you talking about?"
Read the latest political news.
- United States Presidential Elections in Perspective
- Early Latino Turnout Could Swing Vote
- A Letter to Women Voters
- The Final Days, The Biggest Issue and The Clearest Choice
- Another Electoral College Nightmare?
- Why We're Still in Deep Trouble No Matter Who Wins The Presidency
- FEMA vs 'Romnesia'
- An Unscripted October Surprise
- Stormy Weather Politics
- Storm Saves Obama From Himself
- A Romney Presidency Would Erase Decades of Progress
- President Obama Has Earned Our Trust -- and Our Vote
- Conservatives Long for the Sad Days of Yesteryear
- The Key Election Factor -- Hispanic Turnout
- Presidential race will be 'all about turnout'
- Romney: Obama Victory Would Mean More Gridlock
- Obama: 'You Know I Tell the Truth'
- Romney Pledges Bipartisanship in Final Push
- Gaffes and Zingers, Highlights of Mitt Romney's Campaign
- Women Voters: Kingmakers in 2012
- Obama: 'We've Got More Work to Do'
- The Uncool President
- The 2012 Choice
- Busting Myths about Benghazi
- Benghazi -- No Mere 'October surprise'
- The Vanishing Act of Dubya
- Not an Easy Makeover for Florida Representative Allen West
- What Men of the GOP Don't Get About Rape and Abortion
- In GOP View, Life is Sacred ... Except When It's Not
- Romney the Wrong Man to Handle United States Foreign Policy
- Mitt Romney AWOL in Foreign Policy Debate
- How the Election Could Go Wrong for Romney
- Mitt Romney's Question-Mark Economy
- Will Money Talk?
- With Time Short, Obama and Romney Hit Key States
- Romney: One Campaign Taking on Water
- The Winning Road to 270
- Obama Blasts Romney in Foreign Policy Debate
- Foreign Affairs Debate Analysis
- Ann Coulter Calls President Obama Offensive Name
- What Did Ohioans Think of the Debate?
- A Vote for Election Day
- Principled Pragmatism Beats Bush-style Bluster
- Teacher Would Show 'Em How To Run A Debate
- Presidential Candidates Not Speaking the Same Language
- Foreign Policy Comes to the Fore
- Mitt Romney's Foreign Policy a Puzzle that Doesn't Fit Together
- Reality: Product of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
- The Politics of Fear and the Party of Non-Voters
- Bainport: A Taste of the Romney Economy
- Billionaire Koch Brothers Try to Buy Court
- Mitt's Hubris Shows Through in Town Hall Debate
- Obama's Economic Spin: A New Pony or Manure?
- Moderators Must Push Debates Past Talking Points
- The Second Presidential Debate
- Mitt Romney's Case to Women Fails to Convince
- Mitt Romney's 'Binders' Bind
- Obama's Recovery
- Left Wants Multiculturalism to Trump Free Speech
- Needed: A New Foreign Policy
- Quit Blaming Bush
- A Bright and Shining Libyan Lie
- Florida's Amendment 8 An Assault on Church-State Separation
- VP Debate Winner? Barack Obama
- As Vice President Role Grows, Spotlight Becomes Brighter
- Biden vs Ryan: Old vs New
- Red, Blue and Faithful
- Presidential Debates Reveal More About the Candidates and Less
- A Memo to Mitt and Ann Romney
- Mitt Romney's Biggest Problem is His Own Party
- The 'Self-Made' Hallucination of America's Rich
- Why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are Going Down
- Four Reasons Why Mitt Romney Might Still Win
- America Needs Good Refs -- On the Gridiron and in Politics
- How the GOP Protects Its Falsehoods
Quit Blaming Bush | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc