Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
It's All You-Know-Who's Fault
Well, President Obama has made it official. In the upcoming midterm elections, whether the race is in the east, west, north or south; whether it’s in a big city or a small town, his fellow Democrats -- all of them! -- will all be running against just one bogeyman, that handy piñata, George W. Bush.
At a fundraiser in Atlanta, Mr. Obama, who usually blames “the previous administration” for everything that has gone wrong since he took office, went after his predecessor by name. Republicans, Mr. Obama said, “don’t have a single idea that’s different from George Bush’s ideas–not one.”
Mentioning W. by name didn’t happen by accident. Mr. Obama knows that it’s still the economy, stupid. He knows that Mr. Bush left office with poll numbers in the gutter. He knows that the financial meltdown began on President Bush’s watch. So, bring W. up as often as you can and maybe those dumb voters will connect the dots and blame Republicans – and not Obama and his Democratic Congressional cronies -- for the crummy state of the economy.
A strategy paper written by a liberal outfit that did polling and strategic planning during candidate Obama’s run for the White House has found that “less than two years after leaving office, only 25% of Americans believe that if Republicans return to power in Congress their economic agenda will mean a return to former President Bush’s economic policies. 65% say that a Republican Congress will promote a ‘new economic agenda that is different from George W. Bush’s policies.”
And that’s the good news! The report goes on to say that:
“Even Democrats and liberals are unconvinced that a Republican Congress means a return to Bushanomics. And moderates and Independents, the key swing blocs in all major policy debates, have completely divorced congressional Republicans from the economic philosophy and failed policies of President Bush.”
Uh,oh! What to do? Here’s the handy-dandy three-point solution:
“For progressives to win the debate over the economic future, we must:
1. Marry conservative economic ideas to those of President Bush.
2. Emphasize a vision for private sector growth and fiscal discipline.
3. Relate to the middle class through tomorrow’s promise, not today’s pain.”
And so we get a campaign ad for Democrats posing as an op-ed, in the ever-friendly New York Times, by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, which cheerily tells us that, “a review of recent data on the American economy shows that we [are] on a path back to growth.”
How’s that for “Relat[ing] to the middle class through tomorrow’s promise, not today’s pain?
And just to make sure no one misses the point that the puny recovery is not President Obama’s fault, Geithner writes: “The plunge in economic activity started an entire year before President Obama took office and was accelerating at the end of 2008…”
A plain old political hack could not have done better.
But nowhere in the op-ed – and nowhere in President Obama’s recent fundraiser speech – is there a word about the president’s promise last year, that if Congress passed his nearly trillion dollar “stimulus package” the unemployment rate would not go above 8 percent. Democrats passed the bill and we got a 10 percent unemployment rate.
This is a president who apologizes with ease for his own country’s supposed misdeeds – and on foreign soil no less – but can’t muster the courage to simply say every now and then, “I was wrong.”
The reason for this is simple. There are no limits to how much Mr. Obama admires, respects and believes in himself. His country is another matter all together.