Friday, January 3, 2014

He's Still On The Hook

While catching up on some internet reading, I came across an old article the other day.
If you want to look kindly on Bush’s presidency, you can fairly say that, while he deserves significant blame for ignoring warnings of an Al Qaeda strike and the housing bubble, the disasters of his tenure were not entirely his fault. But what did he do? His economic policies exacerbated income inequality without producing prosperity. His massive increase of the structural budget deficit, which ballooned to over a trillion dollars before President Obama took office, left the United States less fiscally equipped to respond to the economic crisis he also left his predecessor. He initiated a costly war on the basis of both mistaken and deliberately cooked intelligence, and failed to plan for the postwar period. His policies not only ignored the crises of climate change and a costly and cruel health insurance system, but made both much harder to solve.
It came up because I was reading a more recent piece by Chait in which he unpacks recent comparisons that Obama has drawn to Bush the Lesser. Basically, Chait exposes this as so much nonsense.  He shows that Obama never enjoyed any support from the Republican party, whereas Bush did not face a sustained and unified opposition for the first five years of his presidency. This was not because Bush was less partisan or more centrist, but because democrats in Washington made a political calculation to negotiate in order to appear bipartisan and win concessions. As Chait argues, it was only when Bush began to push his second term agenda to privatize Social Security that democrats abandoned this posture.

Both pieces are worth a read.


Philo Vaihinger said...

It may amuse you to know I voted for Bush over Big Al in 2000 in large part because Al did not renounce Democratic intervention in the Balkans while GW promised a more humble foreign policy.

In 2004 I voted for Nader.

In 2008 and 2012 I returned to the duopoly and voted for Obama.

Philo Vaihinger said...

Why the devil did you turn on moderation? And comment verification?

Knight of Nothing said...

I voted Nader in 1996 and 2000 (I was fed up with DLC & blue dog Dems), but I gave up on Nader as an opportunist and went with Kerry in 2004.

For those lurking who loathe Nader voters: there was zero chance that anyone other than Clinton and Gore were going to win in Minnesota in those years, so I felt safe voting for a third party. I had hoped that my vote would help elevate the Greens to the 5% threshold needed for Federal matching funds.

The Green Party was kind of big in Minnesota at the time, and I believed that working and voting for an alternative to the two-party system was the only way to do away with the two-party system. Ahh, youth.

Regarding moderation & verification - I turned on comment verification because I was getting spammed, and I later added moderation for posts older than a couple weeks because I missed a few comments on old posts. I apologize, especially for the verification - I know how annoying it is. You'd think that Google could simply verify users via their blogger/g+ accounts. Perhaps they can now - I actually haven't looked into it for a while.