Sunday, February 14, 2010

What We Should Have Learned From Bush

I think that Democrats in general and President Obama in particular have learned the wrong lessons from the Bush years. George W Bush made some horrendous decisions when it came to our economy and domestic policy. He also deboed us into a war in Iraq while we were already at war in Afghanistan. And yet he still was reelected (allegedly) and the Republicans maintained control of Congress for 6 of his 8 years in Congress.

Now imagine for a brief moment that instead of tax cuts in the middle of two wars, Bush was a progressive pushing for a stimulus package. Please recall that he had a few Republicans hitting him for proposing those tax cuts but he gave them the middle finger and passed that shit through reconciliation. Do you think HIS stimulus would have been watered down like the one Congress passed last year? Or do you think it would have been chocked full of infrastructure spending?

Imagine again that instead of pushing for the Iraq War, which if you recall drew tons of protesters, he was pushing for health care reform. Do you think he would have sat out the negotiations and allowed the process to go on this long with super majority in the Senate?

Here's the thing, if President Bush had President Obama's agenda he may have gone down as one of the greatest Presidents ever. No matter whatever else you want to say about the guy, he got shit done. It was just the wrong shit most of the time. But now its as if President Obama is so worried about being seen as "meddling" like Bush did that he is allowing his agenda to get flushed down the toilet. Bush didn't give a damn about public opinion. Hell if the polls weren't on his side he would make up a poll that showed the American people agreed with him.

I say all that to say, at some point President Obama is going to have to, in the immortal words of Malcolm X, stop singing and start swinging. I'm not just talking about rhetorically swinging. I'm talking about kicking members of his own party in the ass. Let me point out something, Michael Steele threatened Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins with primary challenges if they didn't start getting in line. Everybody in the media and many on the left thought he was bonkers for saying he would go after them, knowing full well the Democrats would welcome them with open arms. But you know what, after he threatened them they have become hard core Republicans ever since. They have joined with every filibuster and they have repeated every talking point, most recently with Susan Collins trying to hit President Obama over the underpants bomber.

You can bet your ass that several folks would have lost their gavels and been threatened with primaries by now if Bush had been in office and this health care fight would have dragged on this long. The American people want results and they could care less about who wins debates or summits or question times. Until a bill is signed they won't care at all except to hit Democrats for being too weak to govern. If President Obama has that steel spine Joe Biden said he had during the campaign, its about time he started showing it. And that's real

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