The right wing argument against President Obama is that he’s had over three years in office to create jobs, turn the economy around and reduce the budget deficit but he hasn’t done a bloody thing about anyone it. We liberals respond, “He’s got eight years of Bush economic destruction to reverse, what with the unpaid-for two wars and the tax cuts for the rich that drove up the budget deficit in the first place.” And the right wing response is always the same: they roll their eyes and derisively say, “That’s right, it’s all Bush’s fault. He did it all himself.” Then we liberals respond, “Actually it all started 30 years ago with Reagan and continued on through Clinton up to Bush, Jr.” That’s when the only bullet left in the right wing gun takes us back full circle to “Well, Obama’s had three years and he hasn’t done anything.”
This is when you can pull out the following quote from Jack Abramhoff, another Republican felon, convicted in 2006 of mail fraud and conspiracy and recently released from prison. In 2003, he answered liberal charges that years of Republican and conservative (the Clinton years) rule of government hadn’t lowered the size of government a bit. His response was, “I guess the problem is really this, the liberals and Democrats set an ocean liner on a voyage and they had forty great years of running it, and turning it around is very tough.” This answer strikes at the heart of Republican hypocrisy and duplicity.
In March 2003, Bush had been in office for two years. Unemployment had risen to 5.8% from the 4.2% he had inherited from Clinton, and private sector employers had slashed 308,000 jobs nationwide the previous month. So, using the Republican logic, Bush had had plenty of time in two years to reverse the sins of the Democratic years but if anything, he had made things worse. Bush’s answer to this was to start two wars that he kept off the books for five years, which led to record budget deficits and huge leaps in the unemployment rate.
If the Republicans could not reform government in the 22 years since Reagan took office in 1981, how could Obama be expected to accomplish it in three? According to Republicans, the Democrats had caused all the damage prior to 1981 but they were still at fault for Big Government in 2003. Yet, according to Republicans, although the financial meltdown of 2008, the unpaid-for two wars and tax cuts for the rich skyrocketing the budget deficit and unemployment rate, and federal government being further bloated by the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration had all happened under Bush’s watch, the bad economy was all Obama’s fault since he was the last one to have had it. This makes as much sense as creating a Super Committee comprised of six Democrats and six Republicans to come up with a plan to reduce the budget deficit.
So, when your right wing family, friends, and co-workers try to push the lines of bull that Obama’s had three years to fix the economy and it’s no longer Bush’s fault, just recite that Abramhoff quote and shut them up.