Obama vs. Bush

There has been much comment made about President Barack Obama’s assertions that the problems in the United States are still the fault of his predecessor, George W. Bush.  Conservatives are telling the President to stop living in the past.  Liberals are saying that conservatives are just mad because the truth hurts.

Such commentary leads to two questions:  One, is the President right?  Two, right or wrong, is this the strategy that will help President Obama hold on to the White House in three years?

One could argue that Bush does deserve much of the responsibility for what has gone wrong with the country.  He supported, and in some cases suggested, huge increases in various areas of domestic spending while simultaneously pushing through a huge tax cut and getting us involved in two wars.  How does all of that impact the American economy?  Ask Lyndon Johnson, architect of the modern welfare system in the US and head cheerleader for the Vietnam War.  Republicans could counter that the economy didn’t really start to circle the drain until the Democrats re-took control of Congress in 2006.  And a real conservative wouldn’t have advocated all those increases in social spending.  So where does that leave you?  Probably where you started.

Will the Blame Bush gambit work for President Obama?  Well, other politicians have tried looking backwards to win a race.  Jimmy Carter kept attacking the Nixon-Ford Administration when Carter was running against Ford in 1976.  Ronald Reagan returned the favor in 1984.  He was running against Walter Mondale and kept reminding voters of the Carter-Mondale years.  Both Carter and Reagan won their elections, but it worked in their favor that the men they were running against had both served as vice presidents for unpopular Presidents.  So I think we can all agree that President Obama has come up with the perfect strategy in 2012…

…as long as Dick Cheney is his opponent.