Cavuto on the Blame Bush Horse, Again
Cavuto loves this topic: how Democrats just can’t stop blaming Bush for stuff, and how it’s time for them to stop. He often goes on about it, and here’s his latest rant:
Today, Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Ed Markey saying: “For years, the Bush administration’s oil strategy placed the granting of drilling leases ahead of safety review.”
Ipso-facto — Bush to blame for the big leak-o.
Just like he’s apparently behind that big thousand-point swing-o.
Just like he’s to blame for the unemployment rate that’s higher than when he left office, and the deficits that are much higher than any year he was in office.
All problems, all Bush, all the time — probably until the end of time.
Aside from the fact that Republicans blamed Clinton for just about everything–the bad economy (for effects well beyond his immediate influence), 9/11, etc., as well as past Democratic presidents for a variety of deeds both real and imagined–they still hate Roosevelt for Social Security, and Clinton for decimating the military, for example–there is the fact that the Dems are not blaming Bush for anything he didn’t do. Bush was responsible for the problems that led to the oil leak.
When does the statute of limitations run out on blaming someone? When you start looking at good numbers, or start looking in a good mirror?
No, the statute runs out when the effects of what you did end. If you’re playing ball indoors and you break a vase, you don’t stop being to blame because you ran upstairs and your brother walked into the room. And if you burn down the house because you thought it’d be fun to see what color flame the curtains produced, you don’t stop being responsible for the effects on the family budget just because X number of months have passed by. Now, if Mom buys an ugly new vase, then you’re no longer responsible for how the living room looks. And after the house is rebuilt, if a wiring short burns it down again, you’re not to blame for that. But if you did something bad and the effects of that action bring about crisis later on, then there is no “statute of limitations” on your responsibility.
Bush relaxed regulation and oversight on the banks; so long as the banking crisis affects us, that’ll be Bush’s legacy. Bush similarly set things back in the oil industry, Cavuto’s current snipe, and so he bears much of the blame for that. Cavuto would hold Democrats to blame for the worst effects of Bush’s policies, and for the mismanagement under his agencies, simply because the Dems were present and did not act to stop Bush effectively enough. Even when something is directly due to Bush’s bad judgment, it’s still the fault of the Democrats because they didn’t stop it. Republicans love to point out how Democrats bear at least equal responsibility for stuff like the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, as if they were their ideas just as much as they were the GOP’s. Conversely, they love to take credit for stuff they opposed, like the 1990’s deficit reduction and the money coming from the 2009 stimulus. No matter how opposed the Dems were, if something bad happens, their presence in D.C. makes them culpable for the bad stuff; no matter how opposed Republicans were, their presence gives them credit for any success. They observe no statutes of limitation where these things are concerned.
Republicans didn’t stop blaming Roosevelt for Social Security just because a year and a half passed by after his term ran out. No, the basic GOP line is, blame the other guy. The Dems do that a lot too; the difference is, at least recently, they’re a lot more right than the right-wingers are.
The actual rule is, you break it, you bought it. Cavuto just doesn’t like it because now it applies to Bush. What Cavuto is in effect doing is asking, when can we start blaming Obama for everything, even stuff which is clearly Bush’s fault? Of course, on Fox News, the answer is “sometime between Obama’s nomination in 2008 and his election later that year.” Cavuto is ticked off because the rest of the media is not following that same guideline, and is instead blaming Bush for stuff that he actually did.
Now, some things do run out if enough time passes, especially under the rules of the game. The economy is an example of this. By the midterm elections, it will be harder to effectively blame Bush for the economy, though that’s a political rule, not a rational one. Realistically, Obama is responsible for what he has done or has failed to do from Day One; but Bush will still have to be held to account for the long-term effects of his policies. Bush added at least $5 trillion to the national debt, and indirectly probably much more than that; he can’t stop being responsible for that. Iraq was pure Bush; he won’t ever stop being responsible for its effects (nor would Cavuto want people to forget that he got Hussein, only that it cost so much). Certainly, Republicans have never let anyone forget the Clinton bubble burst, something Cavuto himself often brings up, nine years after the fact. Nor should we forget that Republicans, including Cavuto, started blaming Obama for the ills of the nation even before he got into office and was able to actually do anything.
And in terms of overall political claims, Obama had to start out hobbled: Bush handed him a market that was hemorrhaging jobs, 740,000 per month. Never mind that Obama was not responsible for that state, nor that he introduced a stimulus bill that immediately reversed that trend; Obama is officially “responsible” for the jobs that Bush really lost, and so after his first year in Office, Obama “lost” 3.35 million jobs, something the history books will hold him to. All things being fair, Obama should be allowed to start at zero and measure his performance based on where he started, not where the last guy dumped his failures on him. By that measure, Obama created 4.8 million jobs in the same 1-year period, and 7.4 million from Day One to the end of April. Instead, he’s still 2.8 million jobs in the red, and will have to struggle to climb out of the hole that Bush dug for him.
I don’t see Cavuto giving Obama a break on that. Which means that Cavuto has no problem assigning blame to Democrats where no blame is due. He just has a problem with assigning blame to Republicans where it is due. True Fox News principles.
So, Cavuto, if you want to be anything else aside from a transparent partisan gasbag, start getting upset only when someone blames Bush for something he didn’t do. Political rules will let people forget Bush long before the actual responsibility even partly fades. But when you do something and the effects last beyond the moment, then you do what most adults do: take responsibility.