In December 2006, after six years of Bush and the last month before the Democrats took over both houses of the national legislature, a snapshot of our economy looked like this.
Unemployment stood at 4.4%. Real GDP growth over the previous four years (under a Republican President, House and Senate) averaged 3% per year. A gallon of regular gasoline cost $2.30. The SandP 500 stock index stood at 1418, or 84% above its post-911 low and more than 7% higher than when Bush took office. Every year of Bush's Presidency, real (inflation-adjusted) disposable income per person went up. By the end of 2006, the average person was making 9% more in real terms than before Bush became President.
If you recall, that 2006 election was considered a a referendum on Iraq. The people wanted change, so they threw out the Republicans and replaced them with Democrats. Welcome Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Here is how they handled Iraq once in office: Harry Reid told us that the Iraq war was "lost" and the surge was not "accomplishing anything." Senator Obama introduced legislation that would have prevented the surge and would have taken all US troops out of Iraq by March 2008 (that would be seven months ago, as you read this).
Were they right?
Barack Obama now admits that "the surge succeeded." So much for that change. And as the surge succeeded, Congress's approval ratings plummeted. The latest CBS/New York Times poll has it at 12%, well less than half of the already low level it stood at when the Republican Congress was being tossed out in 2006.
The Democratic Congress did a great job, if what you're looking for in a Congress is continual investigation of Republicans. Did the White House out CIA agent Valerie Plame? No, it was the anti-White House Richard Armitage at State, but Congress investigated anyway. Did Alberto Gonzalez, with White House urging, fire nine prosecutors for political reasons? Probably not, and it wouldn't be a crime anyway, but Congress investigated, and is still investigating. Did the CIA, under orders from the White House, "torture" prisoners? No evidence of that yet, but Congress is on the case.
What Congress would not investigate was anything about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In fact, they fought against such investigations and cast aspersions against anyone who would even doubt the soundness of those institutions. Here is what Barney Frank said:These two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.
You can also see on YouTube how Democrats treated the regulators trying to reign in Fannie and Freddie.
But now we know what happened....
Read it all. Both Bush and McCain tried to stop what was happening in the mortgage market. But the Democrats who controlled Congress did not listen because they were too seduced by the leftist ideology that simultaneously inflates their egos ("see how compassionate and caring we are!") and pretends to help the less fortunate (but ends up hurting them--and the rest of us--in the long run).
As Hoven says, "So on the big things, the surge in Iraq and the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to our recent financial mess, the Democrats were wrong. Dead wrong. One hundred eighty degrees out wrong."
Like the good little victimhood pimps they promote, the Democrats have managed to make it seem like Bush and McCain are the ones responsible for the current situation. The question is, have they, with the help of the silver-tongued Obama, managed to con a majority of the American population into believing the opposite of reality?
It's natural to blame the person in charge--i.e., the President, when things go wrong in the economy. I hope you have noticed the recent silence of the Democrat's aout Iraq? Reid and Pelosi's joyful bruiting that the "Iraq War is lost" has sort of disappeared into the ether as they have pounced on another way to bash Bush. The more they can capitalize on the doom and gloom of the economy, the more power they will be able to accumulate for themselves. Of course, they accept no responsibility whatsoever for the state of the economy--something far more in Congress's control than the President's.
Just yesterday I was watching Huckabee on Fox when he interviewed Joe the Plumber. After the interview, they took questions from the audience and one questioner stuck in my mind. She identified herself as a Canadian and asked a question that I think captures the essene of the issue: Why, she asked (and I paraphrase), are Americans so down on President Bush? Since 9/11 he has managed to keep your country from being attacked again and taken the battle to the enemy...he was right about the surge and now your troops are coming home victorious after freeing the Iraqi people from oppression? And, during all those years when the Iraq war was not going well, he and the Republicans persevered under difficult circumstances AND kept the economy of your country doing well.
And now, (she went on) you seem to be ignoring the fact that the Democrats have controlled Congress for the last two years and since they took over, the economy has totally tanked. Why are you blaming Bush for that?
And, an even more pertinent question is why John McCain is getting blamed for it by the Democrats? Isn't that a classic case of 'guilt by association' according to the Obamacrats own standards?
UPDATE: As far as I am concerned, Mark Steyn has the definitive and final word on the treatment of Joe the Plumber by the media and the Obama fanatics:
Wallow in the Mire
Re Joe the Plumber, if I hear another bigshot media correspondent stating that Joe's feeble earnings mean he would not pay more tax under King Barack the Wealth-Spreader and thus has nothing to complain about, I'll pull over, rip the radio out, and stomp it into the shoulder, as Frank Sinatra is said to have done the fifth time he heard "Light My Fire" on a road trip from Palm Springs to Los Angeles.
I'm sure those reporters want only the best for poor Joe, but their reassurance is fine only if you're planning on remaining in the exact same socioeconomic status for all eternity. As I said in my weekend column:The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That’s why people came here from all over the world. Back in eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: “Hey, look, man. You’re a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you’re never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don’t worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better.” And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he’d like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn’t have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or ten years’ time.
It shouldn't need an immigrant to point this out. The issue is not the Plumber but the Spreader.
I agree, it shouldn't take an immigrant to point this out, but Steyn and the Canadian woman in the Huckabee audience seem to be more in touch with fundamental American values than anyone in the Obama campaign or the media. The way the messiah's supporters have been disparaging Joe for simply asking a question of their god is pretty frightening.
And this is from Politico this morning, bemoaning the "ugly" reception Obama received in North Carolina recently:
Barack Obama's stop at Cape Fear BBQ and Chicken in Fayetteville, N.C., this afternoon underscored the continued resistance of some voters to his candidacy — and his identity. (emphasis mine)
I mean, how dare these people have [uninformed, incorrect] opinions? Don't they know resistence is futile?