Addicted To Bush

BushCokePaul Krugman says Republicans can’t live without a bit of Bush, in the New York Times:

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?…

[continues in the New York Times]

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  • Andrew

    Addicted to splitting and projection is more like it.

    • justagirl

      HA! naughties.

  • 5by5

    I just don't want to know where that finger's been.

  • okaiskdsiwjdiwdndwidsjdksjd

    The reality is, Democrats are the ones addicted to Bush. Mainstream entertainment and news, all still make reference to him; whereas most idependents or republicans, would like to forget him, save for those mentioned in this article. I remember watching the Daily Show during his administration, Bush was their bread and butter, Bush was Comedy Central's bread and butter (hell they based a cartoon on him.) However I watched the Daily Show in Feb of this year and they were still doing Bush schtick. Regarding the news, Jimmy Buffet and others blamed Bush for the BP oil spill. I am no fan of Bush either, but when are poeple going to realize he is no longer the President? This article itself is also another example of how the ideological left needs him.

    • Urza9814

      While everything you say is true – Fox news is _still_ blaming things on Clinton. Past Presidents get blamed by people who don't like them. That's just kinda how the mainstream media works…

      • Zebrahead

        I wouldn't know, I don't watch Fox.

      • 1qooooooo

        Your rebuttle is dodging the point. It's not about Clinton, it's about republicans or non-left leaning people being addicted to Bush, which is not true. Republicans see Bush as an embarrassment, whereas liberals see him as an asset. Thus democrats are addicted to Bush, is a more true statement. In pop-culture one could argue he is the most popular “character” of any Presidents.

        • Honuman

          I think there's some truth to what you say but this use of Bush as a prop representing what the left says they despise is still grounded in truths that are grittier than simple sound bites or pictures supposedly encapsulating Bush and his presidency. It doesn't take alot of effort to see that Bush and his cabinet encouraged an environment of extreme croneyism (no bid contracts, tax cuts for corporations) at best and were a bunch of thugs who murdered and subverted the constitution at worst (dummying up evidence for the wars in Afghanistan/Iraq, warrantless wiretapping and using the DOJ to fire political enemies). The effects of Bush's presidency are relevant today because they have now and will continue to have far reaching effects on this country for years. So to the people complaining that the dems use Bush too much as an excuse or that they should get over Bush since he's no longer in office, you need to check yourself. The Obama presidency doesn't exist in a vacuum and he came in with a lot on his plate, much of which came from Bush. Bush is entirely relevant to the current political discussions. I'm not a dye in the wool Obama supporter. He's tied into the power elite as well but if we're talking left versus right here, there's no way you can talk about Obama's policies and what he's trying to do without considering the results of Bush's policies and presidency.

          • 4ijf93jf03

            Much like you can't talk about Bush without going back to Clinton. Yes this is true, earlier events effect present events. At some point the onus the situation is that of the current President.

            But this is off topic, the point is that this article is a form of projection, the Democrats need Bush, the writer of this article clearly needs Bush and non-democrats don't care about Bush. This was proven in the last election when independants and republicans who previously voted for Bush, later voted Obama into office.

          • Honuman

            I think you're simplifying. I agree every president has the burden or luxury of the previous administration's policies and their effects but, and this is where some might argue that this is being too partisan even if the facts bear out, that Bush's presidency was truly a damaging and overly criminal one (I'm willing to allow that democrat presidents are corrupt too). Bush took corruption to another level in his 8 years and I'd say that it marks him as different than prior presidents (with the possible exception of Nixon) of the last 50 years so therefore it's not the same apples to oranges comparison as say, Clinton to Bush. Also, tell me what Clinton did that was comparable to Bush's missdeeds? The order of magnitude of f-ups between the two are different. The Waco debacle, as truly shitty as that was, is really as close to Bush's worst f-ups as Clinton got. That's not to dismiss that even either. Clinton has blood on his hands but not nearly at the level of Bush. And also, please tell me how you can compare the venom and lies coming from the right as being on par with the criticisms coming from the left? The whole false equivalency of the left's b.s. and the right's b.s. is a bogus meme. If you're paying attention, objectively, the right is far far more extreme and dangerous than the left.

            And also 4if… repubs DO care about Bush. Why else would they have all their pundits propping Bush's legacy up? The indies and repubs who voted for Obama did so out of a moment of clarity that Bush truly did damage to this country. Since then, they've scrambled back to their right wing homes. If they claim to not care about Bush, it's only because they're loathe to admit that someone on their team stunk up the joint.

    • Haystack

      The Daily Show piece, if I remember right, was poking fun at Fox News for (still) blaming things on Clinton. Typically, when they invoke Bush, its to draw comparisons between the positions certain public figures took under Bush, and the positions they take under analogous circumstances, when a democrat is in the White House.

      The fixation on Bush by comedians has less to do with ideology, in my opinion, than the fact that he was an utterly ridiculous president.

      • j9248284242

        Good point but for those comedians that are politically savy, they should do comedy that's relevant and be the voice of dissent no matter who is in power. Obama is a fairly flawless orator, but like anyone he does make mistakes and it seems as though that any true parody or criticism is verboteon. This is not to say there hasn't been any, but it seems like all the good shots are made at Bush and that material is just getting old, along with the insult that non-democrats actually liked him.

  • DeepCough

    It's not that the Republicans are addicted to Bush, but that they are crackfiends for Reagan, and in a lot of aspects, Bush is so very much like Reagan (or rather, he tried to ape Reagan) that one could say he is Diet Reagan or Reagan Lite.

    • A Bad Joke

      I think you hit the nail on the head here.

  • sartorius

    “Paul Krugman says Republicans can’t live without a bit of Bush, in the New York Times:”

    Paul Krugman says a lot of shit.

    • Honuman

      and he knows alot of shit too

  • Me

    Krugman is a shill, a hack, and knows very little about Economics.

    • 5by5

      And I suppose you have a B.A. in Economics from Yale, a Ph.D. from MIT, were a staff member in the Reagan White House, taught at Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, and Stanford before becoming a tenured Professor of Economics & International Affairs at Princeton, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, a member of the Group of Thirty, wrote and/or co-wrote 35 books, and have also won a Nobel Prize in Economics?

      Oh… no wait…. all that was what Paul Krugman has achieved. And your credentials are…. ?

  • guest51

    Republicans have to keep their plans a secret until after they are voted in office. That is because the plans would be the resurection of the Bush pollicies that destroyed America and Republicans thought that was cool.

  • tonyviner

    All Presidents are bad. Even Zachary Taylor.

  • Chlod

    Obama and the democrats shouldn't hide behind Bush either, it's not like America was a paradise before Bush came along. And the Bush years can't be a scapegoat for the questionable policies of the current government, which is very much the continuation of the Bush-Clinton governments.

    • Haystack

      The 90's seem like a paradise, compared to today.

  • justagirl

    HA! naughties.

  • Poetre

    I think it is as important for people to remember what Bush did as much as what Hitler did so that the same mistakes aren’t repeated again. People should know the Bush policies which made the United States the most hated country in the world. All republicans want to forget Bush and keep his policies just as the article has stated.