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GOP patient when evaluating Bush, but ready to assess final grades for Obama

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.

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.   


  • Steve from Somerset 5 years ago

    A brilliant article. I don't recall encountering any other essay that makes this point.

  • jeff 5 years ago

    Jon, You hit the nail on the head with this one. excellent article! (also worth mentioning, is that Obama NEVER said he would fix things quickly. He has always been up front with people and said it will take a long time to climb out of this mess).

  • Frumius 5 years ago

    Thank you. A shred of reason and thinking here... How can anyone think that the Bush administration did anything good. It was the most corrupt, thoughtless and careless administration of any I've ever witnessed. How much? Let me enumerate (some) of the ways):

    Destruction of our economy, illegal war(s), Katrina, illegal wiretapping, lies to get us into those war(s), completely irresponsible- if not complicit- response to intelligence regarding 9/11, capitalizing on the tragedy of 9/11 to mess with our constitution. Cheney's assassination squads, illegal and politically motivated Justice Dept. hiring... can I stop now? No- infiltration of peace movement activist groups, sanctioned torture, the destruction of our good standing in the world, sending our troops off to battle without the proper equipment... ok. I'm getting tired. But the list does go on. And on.

    I know Obama is not above criticism, but there is no comparison, and I don't think there will be in the long run, either.

  • scott from Stockton 5 years ago

    so we lost 250,000 jobs in the cancer is spreading slower. wow. 9.4 unemployment better? when people give up looking for work and become househusbands and the wife continues to work. Househusbands watching the kids are not counted as unemployed. Thank goodness for women in service jobs, else we all be homeless! Unemployment rates doesn't so those who give up looking for work!

  • Gee 5 years ago

    Republicans are in denial. What possible solution do the "PARTY OF NO" (Republican Party) think they have to fix the economy which takes them 8 years to tank have? The Republican party waisted 1.5 tillion dollars to fight war without a single Americans benefiting from the proceed. But, they cleverly lied and blame it on National Security. The New administration is sparing no effort making an investment of the American, by the american and for the American. Big Big agenda which previous American administration are afraid of taken on because of fear roar from their constituency. At the end of the day, it is a win win lottery for this administration. Republican should get comfortable with party of minority.

  • Where can we point a finger. . . 5 years ago

    You cannot blame the entire economic crisis on the Bush administration. If you want to point your finger at something, point it at the banks who loaned money to those who wouldn't be able to pay the loan back. Point your finger at those who took the money and had no way of paying it back. Point your finger at the real estate market that drove prices to an unsustainable level and point your finger at those who took loans out to pay for that house and had no way of paying the bill. Sure there were financial mishaps during the Bush administration but the Clinton administration certainly contributed to this problem as well. But the blame cannot rest solely upon one man or government in general for that matter. Capitalism can only work when one entity is fairly dealing with another. One cannot take advantage of another and call it capitalism. What I don't understand is how spending trillions we don't have is going to save this economy. Isn't that also partially the problem?

  • Frumius 5 years ago

    Scott from Stockton.

    You're right. And??? Maybe Obama's plans will work- maybe they won't. The point of this article is that it's only been half a year. It took 8 years for Bush to destroy things.

    The Bush administration was at best careless, and at worst intentionally negligent. I don't know which. Obama and the current administration is at least trying to put things right again. We've never been here before, and it's hard to know WHAT to do.

    I don't personally agree with many of the things that are being done, but I do think the intention is to put things right. That's a HUGE difference from a careless or willfully negligent attitude.

  • Glenn from Louisville 5 years ago

    Jon has a wide brush there. There's different folks in both parties. Conservatives, I think, would assign Bush his share of blame for the shopping list above. Especially, teeing up the socialist football for the next POTUS. Trashing the free market system to save the free market system sounds like the present administration policy, but it was done by Bush. Statists are statists no matter to what party they belong and they see government as the solution to everything. The government saw to cheap money for the system. Bush's Housing Initiative was just a continuation of liberal policy. Business got winks/nods from an administration that refused to enforce law. How is it that Bush, Kennedy,McCain were all on the same page allowing the illegal invasion of our country. Any dumbass could tell that you're headed for trouble allowing open borders in a welfare state let alone including the invaders in your monetary system. Some folks see the statist continuation. Say no to more big government!

  • RipTide 5 years ago

    I agree with all you. I think most Americans would agree with this article.. Of course Rrepublicans still cant accept the fact that they were voted out for a reason... maybe george was the reason? Republicans have become a leaderless, corrupt party that only knows how to throw insults and only provide the public with conspiracy theories instead of facts. I have always hated both parties, but I think the republicants have really done a great job of getting under my skin... If I ever came face to face with rush limpballs or steele, there would be hell.

    Its time to vote out both parties, we have other choices why not try something new?

    Both parties have underestimated how upset Americans have become,especially those who have lost everything while wall street makes billions!!!!