Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Blame Game


As proud as I am of President Obama, I tend to find myself falling in the rut of hating the right more than celebrating our accomplishments on the left. I guess it has something to do with the idea that if you hear ten compliments but one criticism, you're likely to focus on that one criticism.

But what Obama and his team have been doing is attempting to highlight their accomplishments by reminding people where he started from on January 20, 2009. In doing so he's accused of still blaming Bush as if poor W didn't do anything wrong and all the messes are Obama's. Fine. Whatever. But the point remains that Obama MUST highlight the past to spotlight the present. And all presidents have done it.

Let's take a look at what W was saying in his radio address about his predecessor this far into his own administration -- well, a little further actually. Let's look at December 2002 which was four months further into his own administration than Obama is now:

Good Morning. 2002 Brought Great Challenges to America, and we had many successes at home and abroad. In 2002, our economy was still recovering from the attacks of September the 11th, 2001, and it was pulling out of a recession that began before I took office.
Many will argue that we were NOT in a recession at the end of Clinton's administration and that the actual recession began a month or so after Bush took office. But you can see where he'd want to give some of the blame to Clinton. Sure. I'll give him that. But geez, Obama can't criticize the worst recession since the Great Depression without getting in trouble for blaming Bush.

Well, surely Bush stopped blaming Clinton by the election... right?
But a senior administration official says the budgetary problems stem from what he called inadequate defense, intelligence and homeland security resources that were handed down from Clinton.
I should probably add that by "election" I meant the 2008 election. Did I forget to mention that? Yes, the Bush administration was still blaming Clinton for its financial problems in July of 2008.

We could argue forever about the nuances of who is to blame and who is just making excuses. But the point stands: all presidents put blame on previous presidents and they do it for as long as they are seeking to pass bills, get elected or keep their party in power.

As a regular ol' citizen, I plan on blaming Bush for the wars and the economy until I die or until dementia sets in. But that's just me.

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