Home > Right-Wing Hypocrisy > Cavuto on the Blame Bush Horse, Again

Cavuto on the Blame Bush Horse, Again

May 16th, 2010

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.

Cavuto asks:

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.

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  1. Tim Kane
    May 16th, 2010 at 16:52 | #1

    Republicans are still blaming Clinton for everything they can’t blame Obama for.

    If Bush cut the brake lines to your car, and you didn’t use the car for another four years, when you go to drive your car and it ends up in a ditch, does that mean Bush isn’t responsible for your driving the car into a ditch?

    Bush drove the economy into a quantum ditch.

    Republicans can’t be trusted anymore with handling the economy. Period.

    We won’t be clear of the harmful effects of the Bush presidency for another 50 years at least. He set the rule of international law back 150 years.

    In fact, we’ll be lucky if the United States still exists in 50 years and is still a first world country.

    Bush did his damndest to ruin this country. And he succeeded.

    Calling a spade a spade.

  2. Troy
    May 17th, 2010 at 07:18 | #2

    Liquidity traps are funny things.

    Getting in is easy, getting out is hard.

    Just ask Japan, 1990-now.

    The powers-that-be allowed household mortgage debt to DOUBLE on their watch, 2001-2007.

    This was entirely unsustainable since after mortgage rates fell from 7% to 5-6% from 2002-2004 (enabling about half the run-up in debt due to increased ability to service the debt at lower rates) from 2005-2007 they allowed the mortgage market to run unchecked and unsupervised, increasing household debt from ~$8T in 2004 to almost $10T just two years later. $2T in added debt when salaries were flat!

    This produced an artificial economic boom, but when this mortgage fraud game ran its course in 2008, the debt party was over and the pipers began making noises about being paid.

    Attention should also be paid to the doubling of the defense budget under Bush, 2001-2008. This is rather non-productive spending that does not increase asset base of the nation, it’s largely just a jobs program in disguise.

    And WHAT a jobs program. $700B/yr / $50K per job is 14 MILLION JOBS.

    Total government spending is around $6T per year — 120 MILLION JOBS.

    These numbers really make no sense. Something weird is going on.

  3. Tim Kane
    May 17th, 2010 at 11:21 | #3


    Great Analysis. I’m copying and pasting that to my political arguments file I keep in my gmail account.

    The money doesn’t show up in jobs because the money went to the ‘supply-side’ of our society’s/economy’s ledger.

    My guess is the bulk of the ‘missing’ (effect of) trillions of dollars is sitting in bank accounts of the rich. Therefor it doesn’t create jobs.

    Bush was all about the concentration of wealth. This is the most sinister and diabolical combination of intention+acts+lies(to hide the intent and acts) in our history.

    Nobel Laureate and Economic Historian (one of only 2 or 3 EHs to win a Nobel Prize) Douglas C. North’s book “Structure and Change in Economic History” (pages 100-115) states that the Roman Empire fell because wealth and power became too concentrated (causing the commercial economy, i.e. demand, to collapse) and the wealthy and powerful used their influence to avoid paying taxes. The Empire, despite controlling all the resources of Western Civilization (when Western Civilization included all of North Africa and Egypt plus the western half of the Middle East) couldn’t marshal the resources necessary to control their borders against impoverished, landless, wandering nomads.

    Sound familiar?

    There’s evidence to suggest that this same basic pattern caused the collapse of Ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom, Pre-Islamic Mecca (Islam is, in part, a reaction to concentrated wealth), Byzantium (in the 50 year run up to the battle of Manzikurt in 1071), Medieval Japan, Hapsburg Spain, Bourbon France, Romanov Russia, Coolidge/Hoover America, and now Bush’s America. Coolidge/Hoover collapsed caused the Great Depression and paved the way for the rise of Hitler, World War II and the Holocaust.

    There’s a pattern, and we’re stuck right at the worst part of that pattern. In fact, the way things continue to drift, well, I think I’ll leave things where they are. It’s not a pretty picture for the good old U.S. of A.

  4. Troy
    May 17th, 2010 at 18:49 | #4

    What I find disconcerting is that 30%+ of the population has been successfully indoctrinated to oppose any and all tax increases on the wealthy.

    We are a very dysfunctional polity and I don’t see it getting any better. Wealth disparity is the greatest it’s ever been — yet the teabaggers aren’t railing against this particular state of affairs.

    This is largely because the teabagging movement is just a cat’s paw / collection of useful idiots in service to the age-old “small-government” forces of the conservative coalition.

    AFAICT, half of them have “got theirs” and don’t want the government taking their wealth and giving it to somebody else. The other half are brainwashed fools scared of non-existant “Marxism” or whatever the hell they’ve been told to hate by Glenn Beck etc.

    The stupid thing is that the present labor pool of the world is immensely productive. If we all worked flat-out for a year or three we’d have a lot of the first world’s material needs covered. I agree that the present economic crisis is one of artificial scarcity.

    One argument I found online that resonated with me is that the current US economy is like the endgame in Monopoly — one player owning everything and relentlessly impoverishing everybody else in the game. Monopoly was originally designed to demonstrate the flaws of parasitical capitalism as it relates to land ownership, and this can be extended to ownership of all natural resources and opportunities like the EM spectrum, plus the financial sector and its ability to create money, too.

    Finance, oil, land. Behind every fortune created from ownership of these asset classes was a great crime.

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