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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Miss him yet? No!

It came too late for the election, but Barack Obama may have just received a significant boost in his approval ratings. W is back.

Yes, the man who brought us Iraq and Afghanistan, waterboarding and the search for non-existent WMDs; Katrina; tax cuts, TARP and the Great Recession is back flogging a book and reminding of us the things that happened during his eight years as The Decider.

Like deciding not to act on a memo entitled "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S," because "We didn't have any clear intelligence that said that, you know, 'Get ready. They're gonna fly airplanes into New York buildings.' "

A basically decent human being who was in way over his head, George Bush left a legacy on par with that of Herbert Hoover. Perhaps more troubling is the fact this basically decent man presided over an era where incivility became the calling card of his party and its sycophants.

And he did nothing to change that tone, which has reached the level where talk shows today will undoubtedly feature "discussion" about "Barry from Jakarta" and why he should stay where he came from.

We can and will argue into the history books about what George Bush did or didn't do and whether he ranks among the best or worst in history. What won't be in doubt was the coarsening of discourse during the Bush years has helped us descend in banana republic status.

How can we miss you when you won't go away?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking about missing things, why did Barack miss the chance to hang out with all the other Nobel Prize winners while he's in Asia? They could have compared accomplishments.

November 09, 2010 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Peter Porcupine said...

Liberal - from the first 'He's not MY President' bumper sticker onward, the Democrats hit new lows in their incivility towards George Bush. If you want to bemoan the tone, look in the mirror.

November 09, 2010 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you look at the way Bill Clinton wanted to keep his opinions flowing vs the restraint George W has shown in commenting on Barack, you can see where the divide began to grow wider.

November 10, 2010 4:53 AM  
Blogger Mikhail Silverwood said...

When you compare Obama with GW Bush, you say, A choice between those two I'll pick Obama every day of the week.

For the last two years, Obama has been exposed for his failures. Having his entire election campaign based on meek rhetoric 'hope and change' he was able to build up a powerful and loyal Leftwing base. Just look at the thousands of young activists he was able to rally in following him: he had build himself rhetorically as a man who would come to Washington and eradicate all the GW Bush Right. A lot of Leftists and liberals followed him, voted for him, campaigned for him, and idolised him, just look back on the archives of the old footage from the election.

But then, when Obama failed, then he was exposed for the centre-Right politician that he was, his popularity plummeted. His healthcare reform bill was, for the most part, a pile of junk, with it likely to do more damage than with no bill passed. His financial reform legislation was ever worse, riddled with so many loopholes that the bill was transparently pro-business. Again and again, Obama revealed himself to be no different that previous Democrats, ie centrists and centre-right, never making leftwing policies or law changes.

Those who blindly followed Obama continued to praise him - these people have been exposed for the partisan, apologetic empties they are.

The Leftists who have morals and principles, who don't blindly follow anyone, realised the problems with Obama and instantly began criticising him. Why aren't you giving us our change! If you're not giving us change, why the hell did we vote for you?

Why was all of this able to occur, I ask you? The public made a comparison between the Obama of the election and the Obama of his presidency. Their miserable lives of 2008 with their miserable lives of 2010. High unemployment, no services, poverty rate increase, health services are poor, education falling deeper and deeper into hell, and big business continuing to make huge profits, the oil spill where the environment suffers and yet the corporate executives get away scott free, etc, etc, etc.

By comparing the rhetoric of Obama of 2008 with the reality of the people's lives in 2010, the American public came to conclusion that the president and the Democrats have betrayed their trust, are not bringing change, and are just sitting in the office for the fun of it. And that's why people go so bloody angry.

But now that George W Bush has come onto the scene, it's not surprising that Obama has had a boost to his numbers. The matter of fact is clear, that Bush was such a tremendously horrible president that no one can even speak of him without remembering the horror and misery. 2 illegal wars, including acts of terrorism across large sections of Afghanistan and Bagdad, sitting back and watching an entire city die from starvation following a hurricane, tax cuts for the rich, cutting education and health, increase military spending, trying to ban same-sex marriage, protecting DOMA and DODT, cutting childcare spending so that it's more difficult for women to be working mums, supporting the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, etc, etc, etc.

Again, compare Obama with Bush, and Obama will win out every day of the week. Compare Obama with his election rhetoric, and Obama will lose every day of the week.

November 10, 2010 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good analysis Mikhail. I think the left needs it's own version of the Tea Party to hold the leaders of the left accountable. If it's not real progressive don't support it, stop promising real change and then moving to the middle.

November 11, 2010 4:57 AM  
Blogger Mikhail Silverwood said...

We desperately need to rebuild the Left. Back in the good old days, the 60s and 70s, there were countless thousands who were committed leftwing activists who fought day in day out for leftwing causes, like civil rights, stopping the war, women's rights, gay rights, and to stop Nixon's anti-union assault. Unfortunately, thanks to Carter, Reagan and Bush, the Left was destroyed.

There are certainly vialbe ingredients already available to us. Look at how strong the same-sex marriage movement is; look at the millions of people who came out to march on May Day; look at the strength of the anti-racism campaign in the southern states. We are a long way of, but there beginnings of a Left are there: all it takes is committed activists who are able to organise unions, campaigns, meetings and organisations.

November 13, 2010 11:46 PM  

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