For the last seven plus years, democrats have refused to give President Bush credit for any of his work. Keep the nation safe from a follow-up to 9-11? Coincidence. Establish a democracy in the heart of the Middle East, and in so doing place a physical check to the aggression of Iran’s Islamic radicals and take out one of the more disgusting dictators of our time? Blame him for every death as if War is normally fought without cost or pain, and ignore the clear evidence and decisions which authorized the war. Democrats have blamed Bush for things he might have done better, along with things he could never have done better and for which no prior President was blamed, and yet they consistently refuse to grant credit for any of the many accomplishments during Bush’s terms. Democrats have paid no attention to Bush’s unprecedented work in fighting AIDS and Malaria, and in developing African countries’ infrastructure. Most Americans have never heard of PEPFAR, or that two of every three sub-Saharan African countries are governed by democratic elections, an accomplishment considered impossible by most just a few years ago. In addition to a number of clear successes, George W. Bush is also notable for being the first president in more than a decade to attempt to proactively address the Social Security crisis which will begin to hit in less than 3 years from now, and for trying to create a realistic solution to border control (Bush spent more on border security than any prior president) and immigration reform. While reasonable people may and do disagree on whether a specific action should be praised, the deliberate denigration of every action by President Bush is dishonorable, and portends problems for President Obama.
It is no secret that I consider President Bush to be one of our better presidents, easily the best of the last three men to hold that office. So I understand that many who read this article will disagree with my appraisal of W. It is not to establish his reputation that I write today, however – Time will give us the judgment in better context. It is, rather, an admonition to the democrats that they may find their tactics used against one enemy, may as effectively disable their own chosen leader. After the 2002 elections, in particular, the republicans held power to a degree remarkably similar to what the democrats expect to enjoy this coming January. But it will now be their lot to try to defend their claims and keep their promises, some promises being especially hard to make real given the wild and exaggerated standards used in their speeches and campaigning. It’s one thing to note that some voters expected Obama’s administration to pay their mortgage for them and give them money, but quite another to consider how these people will react once they realize they have been lied to by the democrats.
Barack Obama has backed off a lot of his promises, wiping them from his website and choosing far more restraint in post-election comments than he ever showed during the campaign. It’s increasingly obvious that Obama is dialing back expectations before he takes office, though it is absurd to imagine that the voters will forget everything he promises, just because he cannot possibly do what he said he would do. But they’re trying hard to spin things in the most positive light – the grudging admission that raising taxes on the people who provide jobs and doling out money to people who do not even pay taxes would both be very poor plans, is being touted as ‘leadership’ by his team, in hopes that folks will ignore that the inability to keep these basic promises means either that Obama was so naïve that he did not understand how the office works, or that he was so dishonest that he figured no one would hold him accountable for the lies. It’s quite a double-standard: Bush is blamed for ‘lies’ which were never false or else were never intended to be misleading, while Obama is praised for clearly false and misleading statements used to win the election. The bar for expectations and standards in the Obama Administration is being set, and it seems quite a low bar indeed.