Why does Obama keep doing the things he blames Bush for?

There’s one big reason Barack Obama is getting nowhere by blaming his predecessor for all that ails us today, and it’s not because Americans have short memories. No, it’s because we have long memories — long enough to recognize Obama has been doing many of the very same things he and his supporters on the left criticize George W. Bush for doing.

The pattern has been obvious for some time, but the latest examples came with yesterday’s news that Obama was claiming executive privilege to withhold certain documents from a House investigation of the “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal.

In that 2009-10 operation, federal agents allowed about 2,000 firearms to be smuggled into Mexico. But rather than tracking down the recipients in drug cartels, the feds lost track of them — until, that is, the weapons showed up on murder scenes. The guns have been connected to the deaths of scores of Mexican citizens and a border patrol agent, Brian Terry.

Not only did then-Sen. Obama slam Bush in 2007 for “try[ing] to hide behind executive privilege” to keep information under wraps when there was “something a little shaky that’s taking place.” (That case involved no deaths, just the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, whose service at the pleasure of the president was evident when Bill Clinton fired all 93 of them upon taking office in 1993.)

But, what’s more, documents the Obama administration has released indicate Fast and Furious was similar to a smaller operation federal agents tried in 2006-07. They ended it after realizing their gun-tracking methods didn’t work. The Obama administration didn’t just ignore those bad results; it quadrupled-down on the bad blueprint.

If that reminds you of our national debt problems, join the club.

Once upon a time — call it July 3, 2008 — Obama said it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for a president to add “$4 trillion [in debt] all by his lonesome.”

Maybe he found Bush’s profligacy irresponsible and unpatriotic because it took him eight years to accomplish, whereas Obama has pulled it off in just three (not counting the 2009 fiscal year that covered the first eight months of his presidency and included the first part of his “stimulus” and hundreds of billions in other spending he OK’d).

Of course, Obama blamed Bush’s large deficits in part on “tax cuts for the rich.” Then he extended those same tax cuts in 2010 as the economy was recovering from a recession, which was also the situation when Bush signed the cuts in 2001.

Then there was the “off the books” war spending. Obama moved the war spending on the books, all right. Now Obama requests the money not via supplemental budgets, but through the regular budgets Harry Reid’s Senate has ignored the past three years.

And defense spending is, by the way, more than it was even during the final Bush years.

Maybe that’s because Obama kept the Bush timeline for withdrawing our soldiers from Iraq. After trying to negotiate an extension to keep them there longer. Just as Bush had.

And maybe it’s because he ordered a troop “surge” in tribally fractured Afghanistan. The same kind of surge he said wouldn’t work in ethnically fractured Iraq. Which Bush ordered.

Even comparatively smaller things get the blame-but-copy-Bush treatment.

Lose billions of taxpayer dollars on job-creation “investments” at private alternative-energy firms such as Solyndra? Tell Congress you were just making loans under a Bush-era program.

Workers from the General Services Administration blow $840,000 on a lavish Las Vegas conference? Answer that the trend started under the previous administration.

Blame, copy, repeat.

In fact, Google returns more than 5.6 million results for “Obama blames Bush.” I didn’t have time to check whether the president followed his predecessor’s lead in each instance.

The ship of state may turn only slowly, but three and a half years is time enough for a president to plot his own course. It’s long enough to stop doing things he describes as mistakes by the old regime.

If he hasn’t stopped repeating mistakes by now, it tells us something about his judgment, competence or both.

The last three and a half years might not quite amount to “Bush’s third term.” But they have repeated the worst of Bush’s years in a way that offers no confidence for another go-round.

– By Kyle Wingfield

Find me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

236 comments Add your comment

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:08 am

If Obama is responsible for this economy I think it only right Bush should take his responsibility for 9/11 which was on his watch.

No, UIC, both occurred on W’s watch.

markie mark

June 21st, 2012
10:09 am

and while we are on the subject….if you children on the left have been reading the small print, you would know HOW the Mexican Cartels got the guns. Justice had a good idea of who the “straw buyers” were….and manipulated the background checks so they would pass.

So when this little operation started going south, some in the Justice Department (most believe its Holder. but only the documents shielded now by Exec Prv will show it) decided they wanted to use the gun sales as proof that our gun laws were too lax….Imagine, first they manipulate background checks to make the sales possible, then some genius floats the idea that this is why we need more gun laws.

K Mom

June 21st, 2012
10:12 am

Tiberius and Ellen,

This may seem a bit simplistic to you all, but I don’t know who is responsible for the death of Mr. Terry! I wasn’t there! What I do know is that throughout history, things have been done by this country on many fronts that we know nothing about and they have been done in the name of national security. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t. I believe the people that sign up for such missions know the risk and accept them for benefit of the many. I also know that as long as this country exist, it will continue whether its with Obama, Romney or whoever takes the seat at 1600. I wish people on both sides will quit acting “brand new” when something like this happens!

I have always wanted to ask the question; if a president has a 40+ approval rating and congress, for the most part has a <20, why do we immediately want to replace the president and yet vote in the same folks for congress? By the way, I bet if you ask 10 of those senators yesterday the name of the field agent, maybe three of them could tell you!

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:12 am

“So we should quit holding Bush accountable?”

No, but we should stop wrongly blaming his policies as being the root cause of the latest recession, and actually start blaming the REAL polices that did. You can blame him for overspending and getting us into two wars. You can blame him for trying to work with Democrats across the aisle on a bad prescription drug program. But you can’t blame him for the artificial housing bubble and underlying weakness in the financial markets which were begun 30 years previously.

“We should stop pointing out that the reason we are in the situation we are in has a lot to do with his policies?”

Yes, you should stop, as outlined above, since you don’t know what the Hell you’re talking about.

“And we shouldn’t point out that electing another Republican to the White House will resurrect all those bad policies?”

No, you shouldn’t point that out, because it isn’t true. Despite protestations to the contrary, Romney has actually acknowledged the spending issues of Democrat and Republican Congresses, and has promised to address them with real policies to slow down our path to fiscal Armageddon. Unlike the current pretender who has yet to cut spending by a single, solitary dollar in 3 1/2 years.

markie mark

June 21st, 2012
10:12 am

ok Finn, you can’t have it both ways….9/11 happened about 7 months into Bush’s watch….we are now 3.5 years into Obama’s watch. You want Bush responsible for what, intelligence 2 years before he was elected (remember, Clinton was offered Bin Laden on a platter and he turned it down), and now almost 4 years after he is gone? he MUST be a god with that kind of effect…..

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:14 am

“This may seem a bit simplistic to you all, but I don’t know who is responsible for the death of Mr. Terry!”

Good for you in admitting your ignorance, K Mom.

Now, let’s see if you can identify the person(s) capable of providing those answers to the Terry family.

It’s really not that complicated!

md

June 21st, 2012
10:16 am

“While we are looking for answers I want to know why Wall Street hasn’t be broken up after collapsing the economy and stealing our citizens savings and retirement funds. Good job Bush for Sept 2008.”

I still find it amazing that some folks don’t realize that had people actually paid for what they borrowed the collapse would never had happened. And I still have yet to see evidence of even a solitary individual that was forced into a contract on a home…………and one may also remember that Bush tried to rein in Fannie and Freddie but that certainly fell on deaf ears…….

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:17 am

md, I keep hoping that GT is only that person’s initials, and not where they went to college.

Otherwise, that institution’s stellar educational reputation is severely tarnished.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:17 am

Finn,
the White House will resurrect all those bad policies?

Finn, did you read the column Kyle wrote? Oblamer has latched onto those same policies and is less capable of bringing them to fruition that W. Either Bush was wrong and therefore Oblamer is wrong or Bush was right and you need to apologize. Take your pick.

MarkV

June 21st, 2012
10:20 am

Kyle: “Once upon a time — call it July 3, 2008 — Obama said it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for a president to add “$4 trillion [in debt] all by his lonesome.”
Maybe he found Bush’s profligacy irresponsible and unpatriotic because it took him eight years to
accomplish, whereas Obama has pulled it off in just three.”

Ignoring how much the increase in national debt was due to Bush’s policies (5 trillion) and Obama’s policies (1 trillion).

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/adding-to-the-deficit-bush-vs-obama/2012/01/31/gIQAQ0kFgQ_graphic.html

K Mom

June 21st, 2012
10:21 am

Tiberius,

Its not a matter of being ignorant, the way you obviously meant it! I would like for the family of Mr. Terry to have the answers they need. However, I would also like for congress to work this hard on ANYTHING that would benefit the rest of the country. Again, right now, their approval rating is 17% (according to FOX News)

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:21 am

the red herring

Free Bubble Up and rainbow stew, I love it! You know you are disparaging the retirement plans of 75 million Democrat voters. Well, to be fair, I think they are counting on adding in some lottery winnings as well.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:21 am

So, during the Vietnam war, Romney was PRO-draft and PRO-War but didn’t step to the head of the line? He actually evaded service with deferments?

Typical Republican.

Who Cares?

June 21st, 2012
10:23 am

GREAT article Kyle!! I have to admit that I am a little shocked that the AJC allowed this to be printed/posted on their site though. There are enough bed wetting & booger eating liberals who follow and worship the usual liberal agenda of the left here, that you’ll probably get flamed and requests will be sent to the editor requesting your release. Blah, blah, blah,…..Obama is still blaming everyone but himself and his administration for where we are today. Just like the spineless and ignorant twit that was an embarrassment to Georgia in the 1970s, Obama will be remembered in the same light as Jimmy Carter. ‘Cest la vie to both!

md

June 21st, 2012
10:24 am

“I have always wanted to ask the question; if a president has a 40+ approval rating and congress, for the most part has a <20, why do we immediately want to replace the president and yet vote in the same folks for congress?"

Well, in the case of the President, evidently 60% think something else and in the case of Congress, it is always the other guys representative that sucks…………..

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:25 am

I agree, blaming 9/11 on Bush is wrong cause the seeds were sown much earlier. Blaming the financial collapse on W is wrong because the seeds were sown much earlier.

But you said “occurred on his watch”. Wrong, they both occurred on W’s watch.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:25 am

“Ignoring how much the increase in national debt was due to Bush’s policies (5 trillion) and Obama’s policies (1 trillion).”

I’m calling BS on MaryV’s remark.

Obama could have changed Bush’s policies at any time during his term, but didn’t. That’s called being a President and a leader, not a blamer and a whiner. Hell, Obama has had no problems simply ignoring current law. Why didn’t he just ignore the bad Bush policies he inherited?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:25 am

K Mom

However, I would also like for congress to work this hard on ANYTHING that would benefit the rest of the country.

Please pass on your sentiments to Hairy the Reed. There are over 30 House passed bills, i.e., a budget, jobs bills, and others that would improve the economy. Nothing is being done in the Senate on those bills. They are busy voting down amendments that would remove food stamps from people with a million dollars in the bank and paid for homes.

The House might as well shut down as the Senate refuses to take up any House bills.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:26 am

Finn, as usual you are entitled to your opinion, no matter how wrong it may be, but not your facts.

iggy

June 21st, 2012
10:29 am

The Finn and Mark Mantra… “But, But, But”.

DawgDad

June 21st, 2012
10:33 am

“I have always wanted to ask the question; if a president has a 40+ approval rating and congress, for the most part has a <20, why do we immediately want to replace the president and yet vote in the same folks for congress?"

This is easy. "We" (collectively) vote for the President (with a capital "P"). "We" do NOT collectively vote for members of Congress (with a capital "C"); I vote in my District, and you vote in yours. Suffice it to say Nancy Pelosi would have zero chance (or less?) of getting elected in my District, and my Representatives wouldn't stand a chance in Pelosi's District. Thus, the collective members of our two Districts might well disapprove of Congress in general, driving its ratings into the tank, yet we would not be likely to agree on the solution.

You shouldn't have waited so long to ask; most teachers would have answered your question back in Eighth Grade Civics class.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:38 am

Many of us on the Left are very disappointed in Obama so far. But we aren’t just going to jump ship because he hasn’t fulfilled all our wishes.

You need to sell us on why Romney would do a better job. What in his past shows us that he would be a capable leader – not of a private equity investment firm, but of a massive public entity made up of a full variety of people – not just the rich?

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:38 am

iggy, Finn and MaryV forgot they voted for the other half of the equation – “Change”.

Not only has Obama not changed a thing regarding what many on the left considered the cause of this recession (leading many of us to finally believe he knows it wasn’t Bush policies that caused it – even if he won’t publicly admit it), he hasn’t even tried to change them.

Their Hope is gone, and their Change never appeared. All they have left is, “But, but, but . . . “

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:40 am

amendments that would remove food stamps from people with a million dollars in the bank and paid for homes.

for real?

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:40 am

This frugal Oblamer con has been discredited by so many people, but MarkV, still likes Nuttings “creative accounting”. Here is one from the Chicago Tribune, hardly anti-Oblamer. You can find a good one in Forbes Magazine.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-14/news/ct-oped-0614-chapman-20120614_1_jay-carney-budget-surplus-barack-obama

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:42 am

If Obama wont change things then I guess we can count on Cheesy Grits to radically change things…

LOL

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:43 am

And you folks are going to have to sell Mittens pretty strongly if we are going to chance losing another seat in the Supreme Court to a backwards-thinking conservative.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:43 am

Finn, for real, look it up, voted down yesterday or Tuesday. Part of the Farm Bill, aka, free stuff for all bill.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:43 am

At least Obama hasn’t tripled the debt like Reagan.

That was really something special.

But of course since he was a Republican those dont matter.

MUSTANG100

June 21st, 2012
10:44 am

Let’s see here, uh, Hussein, or Mitt? Blue or Red? Doesn’t matter, both extend the soiled ends of twin sticks to Americans.

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:46 am

“What in his past shows us that he would be a capable leader – not of a private equity investment firm, but of a massive public entity made up of a full variety of people – not just the rich?”

Oh, so now your baseline is that Romney would have to have been a successful President in order for you to vote for him to be President, Finn? You’re a screwball, son.

What was Obama successful at for you to give him your vote? Was he a successful business man? No, but Romney was (and still is). Was he a successful Governor of a state filled with Democrats? No, but Romney was. Did Obama reach across the aisle to work with Republicans either as a Senator or a President? No, but Romney has worked successfully with Democrats in Massachusetts to provide polices and solutions that worked for them.

Why does Romney have a such a high standard for you to give him your vote, but Obama did not? Why does Romney’s history of success pale in comparison to Obama’s history of failures?

md

June 21st, 2012
10:46 am

“What in his past shows us that he would be a capable leader – not of a private equity investment firm, but of a massive public entity made up of a full variety of people – not just the rich?”

Personally, I’ll settle for the fact that Romney understands that the private sector is the engine that drives the economy……not the public sector. He understands that one generates the income for both. Obama has no clue as to how that works.

If one needs a real life example, look at China…….even the commies finally realized that they had to turn to quasi-private industry to pull them out of decades of no growth policies…..the ultimate gov’t machine could not generate the necessary capital without turning to capitalism.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:46 am

Rafe, I want to know how many examples – proven – we have of people with millions in the bank using food stamps.

Or is this like the Con voter fraud bugaboo? It’s rampant!…..but only a handful of cases across the country have been discovered.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:47 am

No, Fib, show us examples from his governor days.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:49 am

Sell us on Romney, ok. You are driving a 4 year old car, probably a Gov Motors, that breaks down every time you try to go somewhere. You rich aunt gets tired of you complaining about the unreliability of your ride. She says I will pay for a new car for you, if that will shut you up. Your response is………,

Nah, don’t think so, it would probably break down just as much, maybe more.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:49 am

Why isn’t Congress focused on jobs instead of expensive, pointless witch hunts that cost tax payers millions?

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

June 21st, 2012
10:50 am

whoo I can hear that whistlin past that Republican graveyard all the way
down here at the lighthouse.

No sale. You wish. NOBODY on planet Earth will EVAH forget
Little Nero w/a Cowboy Hat. Never. Evah.

md

June 21st, 2012
10:51 am

“At least Obama hasn’t tripled the debt like Reagan.”

Must be a youngin that didn’t understand the threat……if we were still in the cold war and Obama was spending to counter the soviets, I’d hazard a guess he wouldn’t get much flack either………..

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:52 am

Nah, don’t think so, it would probably break down just as much, maybe more.

Exactly. If you think Obama is bad imaging going back to a Republican president.

Remember what that was like ?

Skyrocketing unemployment, Wars without end, Terrorist attacks on NYC, Economy so bad Bush said ” this sucker could go down ”

No thanks. At least the car we have now works sometimes.

Active on Bookman's blog because I don't go into immature name calling rants like a child

June 21st, 2012
10:52 am

Will Romney be the RINO that served in Mass or the one who have veered to the right to gain the social conservative vote?

Ex: When did his stance on abortion change?

Hint: about the time his campaign really ramped up for his current run at the WH.

Rafe Hollister, suffering through Oblamer's ineptocracy

June 21st, 2012
10:53 am

Finn, I don’t keep records, I’m retired, but there are people abusing food stamps. I know, I have personal experience with people who say they are. States are paid a bonus for how many they sign up, not a way to be frugal with the money.

What does it hurt to have some standards on who is eligible. Income is the only requirement now, and they do not do a good job of documenting what you say your income is. If you have a million dollars invested in a family business, but choose not to receive any income from the business, your lack of income qualifies you to receive food stamps and probably an Obamaphone. So, why not put net worth as a qualifier. The amendment was already written, no more work needed, just vote YES!

md

June 21st, 2012
10:53 am

“Why isn’t Congress focused on jobs instead of expensive, pointless witch hunts that cost tax payers millions?”

Because by removing the corruption the country has a good chance of creating jobs with a more competent administration??

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:54 am

“At least Obama hasn’t tripled the debt like Reagan.”

And yet, Reagan did not. But don’t worry, while Reagan did increase the debt a bit over 2 times during his term, it was during an entire 8 years. Hopefully, Obama won’t get that chance to equal Reagan’s numbers. In addition, Reagan actually had success in turning around a bad economy and ending the threat of the Soviet Union with that debt.

Obama can make no such claim of equal or proportional success with his spending.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:54 am

Must be a youngin that didn’t understand the threat……if we were still in the cold war and Obama was spending to counter the soviets, I’d hazard a guess he wouldn’t get much flack either………..

good excuse. works for bush too just say 9/11

Of course Obama didn’t inherit two wars or an economy on the brink of a depression. In fact everything was just peaches when he took office.

ragnar danneskjold

June 21st, 2012
10:54 am

It’s called “leadership from behind.”

Who Cares?

June 21st, 2012
10:55 am

@ Finn McCool (The System isn’t Broken; It’s Fixed), June 21st, 2012, 10:38 am, not to confuse you with facts, but at least Romney has held a job before. On top of that, he has actually managed and run successful and profitable businesses in the past. And what real experience has Obama had? Obviously, with the exception of being a politician or professor? As a buddy of mine once said, “Those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach”. If you put Obama on a street corner in Chicago as a hot dog vendor, he’d be broke and out of business in 4 weeks. Want to argue that? What does his record look like after 3 1/2 years of opportunity? To quote you, “Many of us on the Left are very disappointed in Obama so far.” If ya’ll are disappointed, how do you think the right feels?

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

June 21st, 2012
10:55 am

That’s right md, government works best when it isn’t expected to be both the economic engine and the framework in which the engine is expected to run. Government makes the engine possible. Without laws, property rights, courts, security (internal and external), transportation system, telephony system, etc., the engine collapses.

As can be seen over the years, our government can continue to operate during times when the engine is doing great and times when the engine is sucking. But the engine? How would the engine do if the government collapsed? Let’s say the power grid turns of for a week???

Think of a car- you have the engine and you have the body. If the engine stops running you still have a body. But if the body disintegrates and falls apart? We’ll that engine doesn’t really have a purpose does it?

I believe Obama understands that pretty well. Conservatives? Not so much.

I demand to see Cheesy Grits Birth Certificate- Long Form Please

June 21st, 2012
10:56 am

And yet, Reagan did not

And yet… he did.

“Reagan’s tax policies contributed to an increase in both the international transactions current account deficit and federal budget deficit, as well as a significant increase in public debt. National debt more than tripled from 900 billion dollars to 2.8 trillion dollars during Reagan’s tenure.”

md

June 21st, 2012
10:57 am

“So, why not put net worth as a qualifier”

And have to sell some of MY hard earned stuff?……..Please…… :)

Tiberius - Banned from Bookman's and proud of it!

June 21st, 2012
10:57 am

“Ex: When did his stance on abortion change? ”

About the same way Obama’s stance on gay marriage changed.

It evolved as well.

Your point, little one?