Dems Running Against Bush, Again

August 5th, 2010 at 7:49 am | 14 Comments |

| Print

Greg Sargent recently wrote on The Washington Post’s “Plum Line” blog: “Democrats have lately been banging away harder than ever at the message that a vote for Republicans this fall is a vote for none other than George W. Bush.” Amazing—this new tack by the party in power could render 2010 the third straight election cycle in which Democrats run against George W. Bush. Yet it’s Republicans who are said to be bereft of ideas.

But maybe the real problem is that Democrats have too many ideas – unpopular ones?

So while Republicans are debating a rollout of a Contract with America style agenda in September, Democrats are now preparing for an idea-free attempt to tie their opposition to the Bush years.

President Obama himself recently said of Republicans at an Atlanta fundraiser, “(They) don’t have a single idea that’s different from George W. Bush’s ideas. Not one. Instead, they’re betting on amnesia.” Well which is it, Mr. President? Do Republicans lack for ideas, or are they too infatuated with ideas deemed inadequate? The Democratic leadership knows that a campaign vague on specifics can be a successful one. Their aim now is to characterize their opponent not as lacking for ideas, but as promulgating ideas more unpopular than their own. When it comes to their most recent electoral victories, Democrats certainly aren’t betting on amnesia. A campaign against President Bush has proven a strategy that works—but that doesn’t make it an idea.

Recent Posts by Jay Gatsby



14 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    Is this supposed to be a serious article or some sort of spoof?

  • balconesfault

    I look forward to the day when Republicans present how their agenda going forward will substantively differ from what their agenda was during the Bush years.

    For example … one of the only substantive criticisms I ever see consistently from the right about Bush’s management of the budget is regarding passage of the prescription drug benefit for Medicare. So this fall, at public meetings and debates, when Republicans are telling crowds of senior citizens that we have to repeal Healthcare Reform because it’s going to create death panels … they should also call for repeal of Medicare Part D because it’s a budget buster and they can’t renew Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthy and still afford the program.

    That should be fun.

  • Jim_M

    What choice does the Democrat Party have? Two years of PELOSI/REED/bush were awful.

    But the four years of PELOSI/REED and THE FAILED ONE may be unrecoverable.

    Absolutely this is Bush’s bad…pay NO attention to the Mistake of 08 behind the curtain.

    Hurry up Sarah!

  • balconesfault

    Hurry up Sarah!

    Spoof or not … I second that emotion.

  • LFC

    Uh, Jay. You do realize that to a large degree, the Republicans are actually running on the ideas of George W. Bush, don’t you?

    This isn’t a case where the Dems are projecting these positions on the Republican Party. These are the actual positions OF the Republican Party. More (ore extended) tax cuts? REALLY? Less corporate governance, as evidenced by their near unanimous objection to financial regulation of any kind. Less regulation on corporations, as evidenced by blocking oil industry regulation after the BP disaster.

    The GOP is running as The Return of the Bush Years. As bad as they screwed up the country back then, both Bush AND Congressional Republicans, it would be moronic for the Dems to not remind people of what those same people and policies did to the country already.

  • Watusie

    President Obama himself recently said of Republicans at an Atlanta fundraiser, “(They) don’t have a single idea that’s different from George W. Bush’s ideas. Not one. Instead, they’re betting on amnesia.” Well which is it, Mr. President? Do Republicans lack for ideas, or are they too infatuated with ideas deemed inadequate?

    Jay, why on earth do you ask “which is it”? Obama has not, as your question insists, included two contradictory items in his statement. He has said that the Republicans don’t have any new ideas, they are just recycling the disastrous policies of the Bush era and hoping that the voters have, for some reason, forgotten about just how disastrous they were. There is no contradiction there.

    Your rhetorical device is completely wrong, and would get you a failing grade in any introductory writing course. Go back and try again – you really should do better.

  • forgetn

    Sounds about right to me with regards to the Republican strategy: More peeking in the bedroom, less in the boardroom. Less taxes for the rich and less service for the rest. The new twist is less freedom which is truly puzzling (the 14th amendment now), turning towards more government supervision and less freedom.

    I think it would be idiotic for Obama not to point out that the RNC’s 2010 strategy is the same as 2008.

  • forkboy1965

    I would claim that while Democrats don’t have all the answers and not every answer we have is correct, what we do have is a willingness to try something different when we see a previous course doesn’t work.

    This is where the GOP is now failing.

    Their mantra today is the same as it was with Reagan and W. And those policies were, at best, good to the economy, but not great. Personal income growth for all but the wealthy were generally stagnant and we saw then-record deficits.

    Oddly enough it was under the White House of Clinton where we saw great growth and lower deficits.

    I don’t mind that the GOP will have different ideas about how to take this nation forward fiscally, but for me their current mantra is the same old thing and I think that route has been pretty well shown to be only average at best. Times like these require something better than average.

  • balconesfault

    This discussion, regarding administrations and budgets and the economy … always puts me in mind of a parable.

    Two drivers on a long trip … and with driver A at the wheel, they’ve made some considerable progress towards their goal. Then driver B takes his turn at the wheel, and very quickly drives the car off the road, insisting that some backroad is really the fastest way, and even as the car is getting bounced around and obviously going farther from the goal and finally gets stuck in a rut insists that his way is best.

    Driver A gets the wheel again, and after some very tricky maneuvering finally gets the car out of the rut, and starts to head back towards the main road.

    All the while Driver B is shouting at the top of his lungs that Driver A didn’t get them out of the rut fast enough, and is hitting too many bumps, and will never get them anywhere, and if they’d just kept going the way they were before everything would end up fine.

  • easton

    balcone, ooh, oooh, let me guess driver A is a Democrat and driver B is a Republican. Seriously, I knew this but just want to help out the brain dead teabaggers who come to this site.

    By the way Jay, the Democrats have passed most of their agenda, like it or not, and the parts that remain have been and will continue to be very, very difficult to address, like immigration (Bush, massive FAIL on this, and not entirely his fault) and climate change (whatever we do, in the end nature is going to kick our ass since Republicans were too stupid to address sending billions of dollars annually to Middle Eastern oligarchs who fund terrorists who are out to kill us, if they could not even figure that out we are pretty doomed since Republicans fancy themselves the National Security party)

  • sdspringy

    Since the election of 2006 Democrats have had control of both Houses of Congress. Did we see earmark reform,NO.
    Did we see any change in the direction of the Iraq or Afghan wars, NO.
    Did we see any improvement in the partisan nature of politics, NO.
    Did we see any improvement in the ethics displayed by members of Congress, NO.

    Balcone, your Driver A is a blind and tone deaf as Driver B was in 2006, we are still in a rut, the only difference is Driver A is picking the radio station, big whoop.

  • balconesfault

    Since the election of 2006 Democrats have had control of both Houses of Congress. Did we see earmark reform,NO.

    So what? Earmarks are:
    a) part of the political process
    b) a trivial portion of the federal budget
    c) ways Congressmen use to circumvent bureaucratic processes for allocating funding in order to bring money back to their districts – and last I checked, Republicans seemed to be all about Congress circumventing processes involving decision-making by unelected bureaucrats

    Did we see any change in the direction of the Iraq or Afghan wars, NO.

    We certainly have not seen any Congressional challenge to the ways those wars have been fought, no. For better or worse, depending on your viewpoint, Congress has been exceptionally loathe to be labelled as “rooting for defeat” and “undercutting our troops” by using the power of the pursestring to affect the war efforts.

    Did we see any improvement in the partisan nature of politics, NO.

    Given that the Republicans have made it clear from even before Obama was inaugurated that they intended to do whatever they could to block anything he tried to do … this is true. Then again, contrary to right wing strawmen, nobody views Obama as a diety, and it would take a diety to change the hearts of the current Republican leadership.

    Did we see any improvement in the ethics displayed by members of Congress, NO.

    Actually, I’d call the corruption charges of today kind of quaint compared to the massive financial corruptions evident in the last decade.

    Remember Duke Cunningham? Biggest bribery scandal of all time. How about Ted Stevens? And don’t forget the Jack Abramoff gang:

    Tom DeLay (R-TX) House Majority Leader, reprimanded twice by House Ethics Committee and aides indicted (2004–2005); eventually DeLay himself was indicted (October 2005); DeLay resigned from the House 9 June 2006.
    James W. Ellis (R) runs DeLay’s PAC, indicted
    John D. Calyandro (R) runs Texans for a Republican Majority, indicted
    Adam Kidon business partner of Abramoff, pleaded guilty to fraud, sentenced to 70 months
    Michael Scanlon (R) former staff to Tom DeLay: working for Abramoff, pleaded guilty to bribery
    Tony Rudy (R) former staff to Tom DeLay, pleaded guilty to conspiracy
    Robert Ney (R-OH) bribed by Abramoff, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, sentenced to 30 months
    Neil Volz (R) former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to conspiracy
    William Heaton (R) former staff to Robert Ney, pleaded guilty to fraud, 24 months probation
    John Albaugh (R) former COS to Ernest Istook (R-OK) pled guilty
    Jared Carpenter (R) Counsel of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy, pled guilty to income tax evasion, got 45 days, plus 4 years probation
    Robert E. Coughlin (R) Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division, Justice Department, pled guilty to accepting bribes.[55]
    Adam Kidan private citizen, pled guilty and received 70 months
    Trevor Blackann private citizen, pled guilty
    James Hirni, (R) former staff to Tim Hutchinson (R-AR) indicted for wire fraud
    Kevin A. Ring, (R) former staff to John Doolittle (R-CA) indicted for 10 counts of corruption

  • Watusie

    Did we see the reinstating of PAYGO? Yes.
    Did we have PAYGO in the Clinton years? Yes.
    Did it produce a budget surplus? Yes.
    Did the Republicans dismantle PAYGO as soon as they came to power? Yes.
    Did the Republicans turn that surplus into a massive deficit? Yes.