Continuing Bush Policies
Posted on March 23, 2012
The front-page story in the New York Times about America’s progress on energy independence had this little nugget: “How the country made this turnabout is a story of industry-friendly policies started by President Bush and largely continued by President Obama — many over the objections of environmental advocates — as well as technological advances that have allowed the extraction of oil and gas once considered too difficult and too expensive to reach.”
Ah, continued by President Obama. How often we hear those words about policies started by President Bush and continued by President Obama.
Gitmo, started by President Bush, condemned by candidate Obama, and continued by President Obama.
The Bush tax cuts, of course started by President Bush, condemned by candidate Obama, and continued by President Obama.
Race to the Top, Mr. Obama’s education policy, is largely a continuation of Mr. Bush’s No Child Left Behind policies.
Obama’s ability to withdrawal from Iraq with more than an ounce of dignity, was chiefly created by President Bush’s surge.
The Obama Administration’s decision to authorize the murder of American citizens abroad sounds a whole lot more like Dick Cheney than Ramsey Clark.
The auto bailout that Mr. Obama now brags about started under the Bush Administration.
Mr. Obama gets blamed for TARP, but it was Hank Paulsen, Mr. Bush’s Treasury Secretary, who begged Congress to pass it.
The only policies promoted by Mr. Obama that were a marked break from the Bush Administration – health care reform, the stimulus package, and the dramatic increase in our presence in Afghanistan – have proven to be the most problematic for the President.
There is a fifty-fifty chance that Obamacare will be declared unconstitutional. Most Americans want us to pull out of Afghanistan. And the stimulus bill, no matter how hard the Obama team tries to spin it, is still very unpopular.
Mr. Obama promised change we can all believe in, but continuity is more of a reality than change. That makes this campaign far more complex than many might think.
The Romney campaign is forced to often times run against both the Bush and Obama administrations (the auto bailout is a perfect example), while the Democrats have uncomfortably embrace policies that both Presidents share (education reform is another one).
Historians will largely look at Mr. Obama’s term in office through the prism of continuity rather than change. Sure, the current President looks a lot different than his predecessor, but many of his policies look exactly the same.