It is fascinating to witness the level of patience Republicans have for their own initiatives and for the legacy of President Bush. But, when it comes to assessing President Obama and the Democrats, if a problem is not fixed immediately, it is considered an abject failure in the eyes of the GOP. The news of the last few days speaks to this point quite vividly.
August 9, 2009
In what should be considered a dose of good news for the still staggering economy, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate in July dropped to 9.4 percent. This is a slight improvement from the 9.5 percent mark reported for the month of June.
This report marked the first time in 15 months that the unemployment rate showed a percentage decline. In total, the nation has lost 6.7 million jobs since December of 2007, the most significant employment decline since World War II.
The White House’s reaction to this news was far from a celebration.
“While the number itself shows that we're losing fewer jobs, obviously we've got a lot of work to do," explained White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The reaction of some Republicans was the gloom and doom many have come to expect.
“Today’s unemployment report is yet another reminder that more spending, taxing and borrowing does not mean more jobs for the American people,” explained House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH).
Boehner later said, “Instead of rewriting history on their “stimulus” promises, Washington Democrats should abandon their job-killing agenda.”
Boehner’s speedy assessment of the Democratic Party’s performance is in stark contrast to the lengthy amount of time many Republicans need when grading the efforts of the last guy to inhabit the White House.
Karl Rove’s rosy colored view of President Bush is a prime example of this level of patience.
“History though is going to be kind to him (President Bush) at the end. I'm absolutely confident of that,” said Rove while appearing on FOX News in December.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney concurred with Rove during an interview with CNN way back in 2006. Clearly, this is a continual theme of the previous administration.
“I think, ultimately, in the final analysis, that history will judge this president as a very successful, very effective leader. And I'm proud to be part of his team,” explained Cheney.
So, the undisputedly unpopular Bush Presidency has 10, 50 or maybe even 100 years for its level of accomplishment to be judged. But, President Obama only gets about 200 days to turn the worst economic climate since the Great Depression into a period of unbridled prosperity. Again, this is an economic situation Mr. Obama inherited from an administration and Republican Party completely blindsided by this epic and historic downturn.
While the economy is still in awful shape, the climate does appear to be improving ever so slightly. This was a situation where the bleeding needed to be stopped before the patient would have the opportunity to enter the road to recovery. A swift turnabout was completely impossible.
This recession was not the normal, cyclical economic downturn our economy is used to experiencing every few years. This was our entire economic system practically collapsing due to years of an inflated stock market, a completely bogus real estate bubble, unimaginable corporate misconduct and the near disintegration of some of America’s most legendary companies.
To think that this would all be resolved with the snap of a finger or by doing nothing, like the Republicans suggested, is the definition of malarkey. To think that a John McCain Presidency would somehow mean an unparalleled boom, is rather hard to fathom considering that his economic philosophy is very similar to that of President Bush.
It is amazing to witness a group of people drive our economy into a ditch and then get angry when the guy called upon to fix the crisis does not make things better instantaneously.