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by Robert B. Reich
As Bill Clinton is resurrected by the Democrats, George W. Bush is being erased by the
While Clinton stumps for President Obama, Mitt Romney has gone out of his way not to mention the name of the president who came after Clinton and before Obama.
Former President Clinton will have a starring role at the
Republicans want to obliterate any trace of the administration that told America there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and led us into a devastating war; ignored New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; turned a
Mitt Romney, in particular, wants to erase any memory of George W. Bush because the former president's record would undermine Romney's claim that Obama's policies were bad for the economy and exploded the size of government.
Besides, the resemblances between Bush and Romney are too close for comfort. Both were born into wealth, sons of prominent politicians who themselves ran for president; both are closely tied to the nation's corporate and financial elites, and eager to do their bidding; both are socially awkward and, as candidates, tightly scripted for fear of saying something they shouldn't; and both presented themselves to the nation devoid of any consistent policies or principles that might give some clue as to what they actually believe.
They are both men who ran or are running for the presidency for no clear reason other than to surpass their fathers or achieve the aims and ambitions of their wealthy patrons.
Small wonder the
It also helps explain why Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) as a running mate. Ryan has made his name as someone ready to slash government spending, in profound contrast to George W. Bush, who signed every spending bill that came his way. Ryan is also a full generation apart from W, seemingly representing an even sharper break with the Republicans who busted the budget.
While Romney and the
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