Friday, March 13, 2009
I have a friend. We'll call him "Byron." He lives out West and we've been close pals for over 25 years. We have a lot in common, except when it comes to politics. He's a die-hard conservative. A Republican apologist. A partisan stooge, as I affectionately call him. So it comes as no surprise when he refers to the U.S.'s current economic woes as the "Obama recession." Interestingly, he's been calling it that since early December, despite the fact that Barack Obama had yet to take office.
We know that Republicans have a hard time with accountability. Or with giving credit where credit is due. We've heard the relentless whining about how 9-11 occurred on George Bush's watch, but was the result of Bill Clinton's failed anti-terrorism policies. Or how Bush inherited Clinton's recession, or how Clinton was gifted with the Internet boom, which conveniently and dismissively explains how he created 22-million new jobs during his presidency and presided over one of America's greatest periods of economic prosperity.
So against this backdrop, the Obama recession makes perfect sense. But why stop there? With this week's huge stock market gains stemming from the spate of semi-positive news in the housing, banking and retail sectors, why not call this run-up the Bush Rally? And when the economy begins to grow, we can call that the Bush Recovery .
Now look, don't go giving us any of that reality-based bunk about how "Bush is no longer president, so how can we give him credit for Obama's economic turnaround when and if it comes?" To guys like Byron, that sort of logic just gets in the way of good old-fashioned Republican spin.