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.”