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Massachusetts Liberal

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

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Bushnesia

In GOP World, the United States of America went directly from Jan. 19, 2001 to Jan. 20, 2009. It's not just Romnesia. It's as if George W. Bush never existed.

Listen to Mitt Romney's closing "argument" and you are struck by its tone-deafness, its failure to acknowledge what the eight years of the Bush administration created: wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; a budget surplus turned into a yawing deficit thanks to tax cuts for the wealthy, an expensive Medicare drug program not paid for -- not to mention the credit card bills coming due for the wars.

And when the economy collapsed because of the reckless behavior of an unregulated Wall Street, there was additional spending by Bush (and a Democratic Congress) trying to prevent what has been called the Great Recession turn into the Great Depression II.

That included the much-reviled TARP program, a product of Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to bailout evil-doers like AIG. There was also a stimulus program aimed at slowing an explosion of unemployment in the final months of 2008.

At the same time, the auto industry, led by General Motors, where a chief executive once declared "...what was good for the country was good for General Motors and vice versa," collapsed largely of its own incompetence but threatening millions of jobs in the process.

While Wall Street ran amok and Detroit ran into the ground, Osama bin Laden ran free. Bush, who once declared bin Laden was "Wanted: Dead or Alive," six months later came to view the man who launched the worst terrorist attack on US soil, after Bush ignored the intelligence reports, as unimportant:
"I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
Today, as the Obama campaign notes, GM is Alive and bin Laden is Dead. The economy is growing, albeit very slowly and unemployment is also creeping downward after the explosion of joblessness in early 2009 after Obama took the reins from his incompetent predecessor.

A stimulus program -- too small to really do the job but insisted upon by Republicans whose principal goal was to make Obama a one-term president -- prevented worse economic devastation.

A health care law that will begin to spread coverage to millions of Americans and wring out some of the excess cost and waste of the system is in place.

Bush is the Man Who Never Was. Ignored by his party, defended only by his brother, he mercifully retreated from the chaos and destruction he caused. All that's left is his political spawn, a man he nicknamed Turd Blossom, who coordinates attacks on Obama and other Democrats for failing to clean up, well, the turd blossoms Bush left behind.

That's a short history lesson for those "stubbornly unconvinced" voters who are also unaware of Romney's own history of shape shifting to ponder this weekend.

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