Not to mention the obstructionist scumbag Republicans in the House and Senate.
Tuesday 30 August 2016
The unhinged arguments at the heart of the 2016 presidential election are not really a debate about the outgoing president. They’re about Bush’s legacy
It’s George W Bush’s world, and we’re just living in it.
Not Donald Trump’s. Not Hillary Clinton’s. Not even Barack Obama’s. No, the unhinged arguments at the heart of the 2016 presidential election are not really a debate about the legacy of the current occupant of the White House. They’re not about Obamacare, or the Recovery Act; the Paris climate agreement or even the Iran nuclear deal.
They are, at their heart, an unresolved argument about the world as the 43rd president defined it: for worse, for much worse, and then for better.
If you’re the kind of person – on the left or right – who cannot hear the name George W Bush without foaming at the mouth, you should leave your comment or post your tweet right now. Because it’s time to take a sober look at a presidency bookended by the spectacular mass murder on 11 September 2001, and the spectacular financial meltdown of 2008.
From the rise of Isis to mass surveillance; from tax cuts for the wealthy to immigration reform; from the excesses of Wall Street to the struggles of Main Street; this election is taking place in a country that is still torn apart by the Bush years.
Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s hyperkinetic first chief of staff, liked to say that President Bush had left them a ribbon-wrapped gift of a shit sandwich: two wars, the worst recession in living memory and a disastrous international reputation.
But Bush also left them a path out from his own colossal disasters: the massive government bailout of the financial sector, and a Federal Reserve prepared to take unprecedented measures to bankroll the global economy. A drone war to kill terrorist targets without boots on the ground, and a more stable Iraq that could allow for a US withdrawal.
While Obama got to work on his special sandwich, Bush’s Republican party is still stuck in the middle of it all. For the GOP can no more find its way out of the Bush debates than Britain’s Labour party can decide how to deal with the legacy of Tony Blair.