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Why the Left Can’t Let Go of W

Ok, now to address the point I had meant to address in my previous post.  Many on the left can’t let go of their hatred of the immediate past president of the United States because trashing him has been their ticket to electoral success in the two most recent national elections (2006 and 2008).

To be sure, there’s more to it than that, but that gets at the nub of their obsession; trashing W is fare easier than having to defend their own ideas or addressing the arguments of those opposed to them.

In commenting on a Gallup poll showing the Democratic advantage in party affiliation shrinking rapidly, Jim Geraghty finds a “Strange Resurgence of the Bush-Free GOP“:

What happened? Well, the utopia of hope and change did not take hold immediately, and hopes for a moderate course have been dashed. But also worth noting is how dramatically the political landscape has changed since George W. Bush rode off into the sunset. Perhaps while he was front and center, and the dominant voice of the GOP, many Americans tired of Iraq, tired of his Texas twang, tired of everything they had seen and heard for the past eight years; they would hear nothing else from the GOP, and could overlook a multitude of flaws in the Democratic-party option.

With W out of office, people are paying attention to the policies of the one-time opposition, that is, the current governing party.  

And there’s another reason for the Republican resurgence that Gergahty left out. In  the post I was looking for while crafting my last post, written the day after last fall’s election, I pointed out that with Bush gone, the party of small government was no longer defined by incumbent Republican presidents pushing big government:

It had been tough to be conservative during the first (and only) term of the first President Bush as it has during the second term of the second.  Each man was the titular head of the supposedly conservative party, but neither governed, at least on domestic issues, as a conservative.

Neither held the line on domestic spending.  Both increased the size and scope of the federal government.

Democrats need W in order to demonize the opposition.  Note, how often they bring up his spending record whenever we criticize Obama’s.  They don’t want the GOP to be seen as the party of small government.

For, as recent polls indicate, that Reaganite idea continues to resonate.

UPDATE:  Byron York confirms my thesis:   “But Gallup also points out that the Democratic rise of 2008-2009 had much more to do with George W. Bush than with anything the Democrats themselves were doing.



  1. I understand that the Virginia Dems are running adds tying gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell to Bush.

    How’s it working out for you, Deeds?

    Best wishes,

    Comment by MFS — September 3, 2009 @ 7:21 am - September 3, 2009

  2. Jim Geraghty suggests the absence of GWB as the face of the GOP is helping the party recover. He has a point.

    Comment by V the K — September 3, 2009 @ 9:38 am - September 3, 2009

  3. Can’t they just let go??
    Bush Derangement Syndrome and “Darth Chaney” will be features of The Left’s rhetorical arsenal for the next 50-years…just as they used Herbert Hoover as their paradigm whipping-boy since the 1930’s.

    But just ask yourself one simple question, …”What would Al Gore have done on September 12, 2001?”

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — September 3, 2009 @ 11:12 am - September 3, 2009

  4. A terrorist attack just might change the direction of the polls…

    Comment by Ignatius — September 3, 2009 @ 11:17 am - September 3, 2009

  5. The GOP is seeing a resurgence because now that Republicans are in the minority, and the Democrats in charge, everyone is being reminded of just how treasonous and disgusting the Dems are. Given the opportunity, they will always evenutally demonstrate their vile nature for us. Given that, this administration is causing people to recoil in horror with record speed.

    Comment by mcswan — September 3, 2009 @ 1:01 pm - September 3, 2009

  6. Please, let’s NOT have ‘another terrorist attack’. More importantly, just talking that way just plays into the hands of the Democrats.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — September 3, 2009 @ 1:05 pm - September 3, 2009

  7. Ignatius: That would depend upon how Obama reacted to such an attack. From what we’ve seen thus far, I think it would only accelerate his decline. Yet one never knows. Attacks can cause even the most unlikeliest of fellows to rise to the challenge, or at least do better than expected.

    Comment by John — September 3, 2009 @ 2:58 pm - September 3, 2009

  8. […] Gay Patriot: “Why the Left Can’t Let Go of W” … Frugal Cafe Blog Zone: “ZoNation: Bill Maher, the Weak Among Us… Plus Encore […]

    Pingback by Think maybe “on the question of torture, Obama is closer to Cheney than to those who elected him?” Margaret does. « Ztower — September 3, 2009 @ 3:33 pm - September 3, 2009

  9. UPDATE: Byron York confirms my thesis: “But Gallup also points out that the Democratic rise of 2008-2009 had much more to do with George W. Bush than with anything the Democrats themselves were doing.“

    Well… Duh! But I’m still not convinced that the currently projected Republican gains, if indeed they happen in the next election, are not the inverse, that Republican victories would be fueled by displeasure of Obama’s ineffectiveness and not because the public sees Republicans as all of a sudden fiscally reformed. Hate to sound like a broken record, but social issues are going to drown out fiscal policy. I present the current brou-ha-ha over McDonnell’s master thesis. Things like this will dissuade independents and moderates from voting R, and you will not be a strong Reagan-ish party until this is addressed.

    Comment by sonicfrog — September 3, 2009 @ 3:50 pm - September 3, 2009

  10. John (#7) – I completely agree. While I certainly pray there is never another terror attack on US soil, I do not think the country will be as forgiving of Obama as they were supportive of Bush after 9/11/01.

    But, you are also right to say that perhaps an attack (or other major crisis) will demonstrate Obama’s leadership skills that so far have been invisible to the naked eye.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — September 3, 2009 @ 4:24 pm - September 3, 2009

  11. ”What would Al Gore have done on September 12, 2001?”


    Comment by ThatGayConservative — September 3, 2009 @ 4:40 pm - September 3, 2009

  12. I’ve long said the Democrats didn’t win because they had come up with overwhelmingly good ideas.

    The blunt truth has always been that the Republicans spent their way out of office.

    Anyone who doesn’t understand this is a fool.

    Democrats and a lot of Republicans don’t understand this, so, yes, they’re fools.

    Comment by Blake — September 4, 2009 @ 8:06 am - September 4, 2009

  13. the Republicans spent their way out of office

    I think you’re right. And what does it bode for the Democrats, now spending several times as much (measured by pork, by deficits, by government expansion, etc.) as the Bush-led Republicans ever dared?

    As for the Bush-Cheney thing: While mostly wrong on economics and domestic issues, they were mostly right on foreign policy. I, for one, can’t wait to see the heads exploding when Cheney’s book comes out.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — September 4, 2009 @ 11:56 pm - September 4, 2009

  14. Don’t expect them to let go of “W” any time soon. They’ve been running against Hoover for almost 80 years.

    Comment by Paul — September 5, 2009 @ 5:32 pm - September 5, 2009

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