In just nine days, we’ll be commemorating the first anniversary of an event long awaited on the left side of the political aisle: the return of George W. Bush to Texas. This departure, however, has not prevented Democrats from bringing up their all-purpose bogeyman every time our nation faces a crisis, his successor makes an error or when they just plain need something to complain about.
Obama may say the buck stops with him, but for the better part of his first year in office, he’s been blaming Bush for the toughness of the challenges he fought so hard to face.
Well, our friend Sonicfrog, perhaps in anticipation of his fifth blogiversary, points out that Democrats are making this obsession their electoral strategy, linking John Fund’s piece on how Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen plans to “attack Republicans for wanting to restore the discredited Bush era.” Funny, our friend notes, quoting the Washington Post how similar that strategy is to the Republican strategy in 2006 :
The message that Bush and others are sending to alienated supporters is that, no matter how upset they have been about various policies or political missteps over the past couple of years, life would be far worse under the Democrats. They name liberal lawmakers who would take charge of key committees and warn conservatives that taxes would go up and protection against terrorists would go down.
In 2006 and 2008, the Democrats could run against Bush because his was the party in power. The American people hold incumbent parties responsible for the state of the nation. Today, with Americans overwhelmingly concerned about the deficits and increasingly opposed to a health care overhaul that Democrats feel they just have to pass, they’ll see an attempt to tar the current crop of Republicans as Bush clones as a means to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.
Bashing Bush may generate some heat in the fever swamps of the far left, but among Americans, once eager to see him do what he did last January (exit the White House), are more focused on what’s going on in Washington today. And polls show them becoming increasingly disenchanted with the Democrats. The average of surveys on the generic ballot currently shows Republicans ahead, something we normally don’t see, even in years where Republicans end up winning congressional majorities.