Posted by | May 17, 2010 15:00 | Filed under: Top Stories

There was a nice piece on Crooks and Liars the other day by David Neiwert that got me thinking on the terms we Democrats, liberals and progressives tend to use and how to improve them. It was on how the right is howling about “blaming Bush for everything” and why it was necessary to keep bringing Dubya up:

It’s true that the miseries we’re currently enduring are not merely the fault of the sole personage of George W. Bush, the man now widely viewed by conservatives as The Man Who Betrayed Conservative Values. He had lots and lots of help. In fact, he had millions of little helpers — all those movement conservatives who now want to pretend that he wasn’t a real conservative.

This is because, in reality, Bush is The Man Who Nearly Destroyed the American Economy. It wasn’t Bush’s “betrayal” of the “conservative values” they believe are so time-honored and proven that caused his abysmal failure — it was those values themselves, and Bush’s steady adherence to them throughout his tenure.

I get that but, as the righties love to point out, George W. Bush won’t be on anyone’s ballot this year. Neiwert continues:

Conservatives need to be slapped with the Bush legacy on a daily basis. Sure, they’ll whine. But they have it coming.

I agree wholeheartedly but here’s a suggestion: instead of blaming Bush for the problems we’re forced to clean up after now, let’s put the blame where it belongs – conservatism itself and its political party, the Republicans. That is the laboratory that created Bushenstein and gave him the rubber stamp Congress that got us to where we are now.

For decades prior to Bush, we were hammered with all these conservative theories that sounded so good to so many people. Cutting taxes would increase revenue, giving tax cuts to the wealthiest would give us nearly full employment since “poor people don’t give people jobs,” government regulation was strangling business and unnecessary because the invisible hand of a free market would weed out the crooks by denying them an income and correct any problem on its own. Things like that.

This has been preached by the right for as long as I can remember: previous to, during, and after the 8 years of the righties’ secular saint, Ronald Reagan. When the Republicans did win the White House they tried to act on those theories but they all had one thing in common: a Democratic Congress to stop their excesses.

Then came the Clinton scandals, George W. Bush and the takeover of the entire legislative and executive branches of the federal government by the Republicans. Now the road was clear for the cons to finally put their ideas into action without those darn Democrats standing in the way.

No need to repeat what happened when those theories failed in the real world – we’re all living through it now. It’s not difficult to understand the right’s real platform once you boil away the distractions to get the gullible to vote for it – it’s to enrich the rich, comfort the comfortable and oppress the oppressed. They really did, and do, believe that this would fix the nation for the better, but the facts just don’t back them up.

This is not just George W. Bush’s fault or failure. Contrary to the claims being made by conservatives now, Dubya was most definitely one of them. What’s happening now would have happened if Reagan or Daddy Bush had the Republican Congress Dubya did and will happen again if the Republicans ever get back into a position where they control the House, Senate and the White House.

So, don’t just blame Bush. He didn’t fail, his conservative beliefs did and we need to hammer that message home.

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: James Frye

Long time progressive activist in the Pacific Northwest and self-studying student of politics