To hear the left tell it, you would think we’re still living in 2008 and the last two and a half years were all “just a bad dream.” In reality though, Obama has been in charge long enough, and criticism of Bush cannot hide his failed policies.
For starters, the left talks about the economy like it is still “Bush’s economy.” Granted, we’re still spending on two wars that were started under Bush (and continued under Obama) as well as an unpaid-for prescription drug benefits for seniors plan. But they completely ignore the effects that the economic stimulus, Obamacare, and quantitative easing have taken on the economy. Bush added $4.9 trillion in debt over eight years, while Obama has already racked up $3.9 trillion in just over two years – that’s a spending ratio three times faster than that of the Bush administration. Inflation has gone up to a near 3 year high since quantitative easing started and unemployment has ballooned from 7.8% to 9.2% since Obama took office. And, Obama extended the Bush tax cuts when he had a chance to let them expire.
This is Obama’s economy now. He doesn’t get to disavow any responsibility for it until things turn around. The responsibilities of elected office are not that convenient.
The nostalgia of 2008 is blinding many on the left as they continue to believe that Obama is still beloved by all. They remain supremely confident his re-election is locked. That is not the case. The honeymoon was over a long time ago. Gallup recently highlighted his approval rating sinking from 69% when he first took office to an all-time low of 40% this week. Pew also shows the majority of independents turning against Obama, and CNN polls show him losing support amongst even his own liberal base.
But most importantly, the left doesn’t even want to acknowledge the Tea Party movement that has developed over the last two years. The vast majority of progressives either dismisses the Tea Party movement as insignificant or try to discredit it as a fringe rural-based movement.
The Tea Party is a legitimate movement and is here to stay. The effects of its presence and actions have been felt all over the country, especially in the last nine months. Since then, they gave the Republican Party its largest majority in the House of Representatives since 1946 and have completely changed the conversation in Washington. During 2009 and 2010, the question was not if Democrats would pass everything they wanted on the liberal agenda, but by how many votes. The Democrats were making plans about how much more tax payer money to spend.
In the post-2010 election world, we are now discussing spending cuts, deficit reduction, and entitlement reform. The days of unconditional, clean debt ceiling raises are over. The Tea Party movement has put the astronomical U.S. debt and out of control federal spending in the national spotlight.
But the left is not getting the message. Liberals from Vice President Joe Biden to economist Paul Krugman are instead talking about the “need” for more spending, more quantitative easing, more taxes, and more stimulus. They claim that the economy’s persistently bad numbers are the effects of liberal policies, but because we haven’t done enough of it.
This mentality is wishful thinking at best and borderline delusion at worst. News flash: the last two and a half years were not a bad dream. This is not 2008 anymore. The left is not on the outside trying to implement their ideas; we have been neck deep in them. The old “it’s Bush’s fault” argument is losing its luster, and unless they come up with a new message by 2012, they’re going to wish “hope and change” was still something new.
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