Monday, July 26, 2010

Hard to Fathom. Resurrecting George Bush

For non-Americans living outside of the USA, it is often difficult to follow, let alone understand, the American political system and those who people it. The personalities, and politicians also seem odd, open to influence and poor in quality. To name but a few, think George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Sarah Palin. And then there are those Tea Partyers. What is one to make of them?

Given the appalling 8 years of George Bush's incumbency of the White House - can anyone think of anything positive he did whilst he was in office? - Paul Krugman , writing in The New York Times, reports on attempts by the GOP to resurrect Bush.

"For a couple of years, it was the love that dared not speak his name. In 2008, Republican candidates hardly ever mentioned the president still sitting in the White House. After the election, the G.O.P. did its best to shout down all talk about how we got into the mess we’re in, insisting that we needed to look forward, not back. And many in the news media played along, acting as if it was somehow uncouth for Democrats even to mention the Bush era and its legacy.

The truth, however, is that the only problem Republicans ever had with George W. Bush was his low approval rating. They always loved his policies and his governing style — and they want them back. In recent weeks, G.O.P. leaders have come out for a complete return to the Bush agenda, including tax breaks for the rich and financial deregulation. They’ve even resurrected the plan to cut future Social Security benefits.

But they have a problem: how can they embrace President Bush’s policies, given his record? After all, Mr. Bush’s two signature initiatives were tax cuts and the invasion of Iraq; both, in the eyes of the public, were abject failures. Tax cuts never yielded the promised prosperity, but along with other policies — especially the unfunded war in Iraq — they converted a budget surplus into a persistent deficit. Meanwhile, the W.M.D. we invaded Iraq to eliminate turned out not to exist, and by 2008 a majority of the public believed not just that the invasion was a mistake but that the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation into war. What’s a Republican to do?

You know the answer. There’s now a concerted effort under way to rehabilitate Mr. Bush’s image on at least three fronts: the economy, the deficit and the war."

Continue reading here.

No comments: