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Are GOPers achieving separation from Bush?

This week, many Dems were thrilled when Obama grabbed the presidential megaphone and used it to aggressively link the GOP to George W. Bush. "They don't have a single idea that's different from George Bush's ideas -- not one," Obama said, echoing the Dem argument that the GOP's entire agenda is to restore Bush's policies.

But here's the thing: Right now, there's some evidence that the public doesn't believe this, at least for now, and some Dems acknowledge privately that it's an open question whether Republicans have already achieved separation from Bush. Hence the concerted Dem effort to make the Bush argument right now.

It's mostly passed unnoticed, but Republicans have been quietly working to achieve this separation since Obama took office. Take, for instance, the forthcoming book by House GOPers Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Kevin McCarthy, which is called "Young Guns."

The release for "Young Guns" just landed in my inbox, and it's inescapably part of a larger effort to rebrand the GOP. The release is replete with quotes acknowledging that the previous GOP lost its way -- which at bottom is largely about shaking that Bush taint.

"Led by a new generation of young and energetic conservative leaders and candidates, Republicans are committed to restoring the public's trust in our ability to lead as responsible adults," Cantor says. The coming publicity tour for the book, which is consipcuously missing the names of older GOPers such as John Boehner, will allow Cantor and other GOPers to amplify this message heading into the midterms.

So is the public willing to accept that the "new" GOP has left Bush behind?

Dems are circulating a polling memo, by the centrist group Third Way, that finds only 25% Americans believe that returning the GOP to power represents a return to Bush economic policies. Sixty five percent think Republicans will pursue "a new economic agenda."

What's more, the polling memo also finds that if Bush is inserted into the questions comparing the Obama and GOP agendas, the numbers shift dramatically, with the public suddenly prefering the Obama agenda to the GOP/Bush one by sizable margins. In other words, linking Bush to the current GOP could prove a potent argument -- if the public buys it.

You're kidding yourself if you don't think GOP leaders like Cantor identified this strategic conundrum early on, and have been working feverishly for months to deal with it. And you can bet Cantor will use the coming book tour to keep undermining the Dem argument.

Dems do have a leg up here: The public still blames Bush for the current mess and still hates his economic policies. The question is whether Dems can get the public to believe that voting for current Republicans means a return to those policies. The jury is still very much out on that.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 4, 2010; 2:26 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers  
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Next: Feingold nixes GOP request for hearings into 14th amendment


Ugh, this isn't a failure of Dems to tie current Republicans to's a failure of Dems to tie Bush to Conservatism. Dems had an opportunity to tar the word "conservative" the same way the GOP did with "liberal" decades ago.

But instead of discrediting the idealogy that got us into this mess, they attempted to give the GOP a chance to grow up. They didn't. Shocking.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 4, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Didn't I read the other day that there is an actual, "Young Guns" program in the GOP? Is Cantor's book about that?

I seem to remember that most all the members of the "young guns" were over 40...

Posted by: nisleib | August 4, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

BBQ -- you're on to something. Some Dems privately wonder if they gave Repubs an opening to rebrand themselves.

And nisleib -- there's a "Young Guns" program for House candidates over at the NRCC...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 4, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

IDK but I find it funny that Newt who's probably running for the GOP nomination is currently profiting off of the Health Care reform by consulting companies on how to implement their operations to work in the framework put in place by the reform through his company Center for Health Transformation.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 4, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Couple of thoughts:

1. Will the GOP's new "CONTRACT WITH AMERICA 2.0" be retooled Bush policies or not? If they are then it will be FAR EASIER to push to voters that the GOP will just bring back Bush's policies that wrecked the economy.

2. Obama really has spent most of his presidency trying to COMPROMISE with the GOP as oppose to CONFRONTING them. It has only been the last few weeks where Obama has gone after the GOP and it has been INCONSISTENT meaning one day is is talking about GOP not getting the car keys then the next day he talks about Afghanistan. Obama needs to do DAILY bashing of the GOP as bringing back Bush's policies from now on for it to stick for November.

3. The Democrats themselves need to have their own "CONTRACT WITH AMERICA". I am liking the Dem House's "MAKE IT IN AMERICA" approach. That needs to be more fleshed out with perhaps 5 things the Dems plan in the next Congress on what they plan to do. It is a great approach because it brings to potent components together which is JOBS and PATRIOTISM.

If the Dems go on OFFENSE ("Make it in America" instead of just DEFENSE (touting their accomplishments while Americans are feeling 10% unemployment), they should not be blown out this midterms.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 4, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"...the Dem argument that the GOP's entire agenda is to restore Bush's policies. But here's the thing: Right now, there's some evidence that the public doesn't believe this."

More evidence that the public doesn't believe this from Carville.

39% = I am leaning toward voting for the Democrats so we don't jeopardize the chance of an economic recovery.

54% = I am leaning toward voting for the Republicans to protest the direction the economy is heading.

See also "Obama’s economic policies: more think failed to end recession" page 18 and "Obama/Dems: for Wall Street rather than ordinary people" page 19.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 4, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

maritza: Make it in America...

There is a lot that can be done with this..

If we make it in America (renewed mfg), you can make it America...(live a good life in the middle class)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 4, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse


I have an assignment for you, that would greatly illuminate the topic.

Would you check the votes cast by those Young Guns, Ryan and Cantor, on all the legislation that Bush signed into law, or on those proposals of his, that did not pass.

What was the voting record of those "Young Guns" on the things that Bush asked for?

Never mind what they are saying now. What were they doing and saying with their votes back then.

Of course they can not be attached to Bush now. He is not in office now.

How attached were to him, when he was in office and blowing up the deficit, and ushering in a massive economic collapse?

Please look up their history during the Bush terms in Office. That is all that matters; not if they are now busier, trying to cover up their past record, than a cat trying to cover up it's feces on a tin roof.

Hold them accountable for their actual records; and not for their current BS.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

With the amount of sickeningly talented progressive communicators, it is stunning but true that the GOP regularly runs circles around the Dems in marketing and branding.

National Dems just don't have that "win at all costs" mentality. They are too focused on policy and being politically correct and "bipartisan" (which is thoroughly ironic because they ARE a party, so they SHOULD BE partisan).

But I think it's obvious that the vast majority of people in America don't give a sh*t about the details of policy. They just want to know that there is a strong leader in charge and that he/she is taking care of the "bad guys".

It's literally all about marketing and having a killer instinct. Dems fail at both, and that is especially sad because it's so damn simple.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to prove it to the people highlighting their wanting to extend the tax cuts for the rich. The democrats should be making the case now that the Bush tax cuts sent our jobs overseas.

Then, here is new legislation being proposed by the republican's. Looks the same as a Bush policy to me. Nothing but tax cuts for the rich.

Posted by: soapm | August 4, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the Democrats make the case this is more George bush policies? Tax cuts for the rich!

Posted by: soapm | August 4, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse


"Some Dems privately wonder if they gave Repubs an opening to rebrand themselves."

Yup. If the Dems had (properly) blamed Bush's conservatism on the messes we see today, then it wouldn't matter if the GOP moved beyond Bush. They still proudly proclaim how conservative they are...and think about how well being a proud "liberal" was receieved in the late 80's and early 90's. That situation could have been reversed...but that ship has sailed.

The best hope Dems have now is to point out the numerous times that conservatives have said "We've changed!" to get elected, then pushed the exact same conservative policies we've seen fail time and time again. That's how Dems change the conversation. Remind the public that every election cycle we hear how previous conservatives somehow "lost their way", and the new crop of Republicans have seen the true conservative light.

BAM. Won elections for the GOP, then we see the same tax cuts for the rich, gutting of federal programs, and privatization of everything they can touch. It never works...but come election time, those that did it all "lost their way" and the new crop of Republicans have seen the true conservative light.

It's the protection of "conservatism" as an idea that allows the GOP to keep doing this.

Dems have to - over and over - draw attention to the constant broken promises of GOP candidates who claim to be different/new/better conservatives. Make people understand what "conservatism" actually means, and what the results are. Only then will the GOP be unable to simply rebrand itself as easily as it has over the past several decades.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 4, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse


Uber conservative (okay, and nutjob) Alan Keyes is whacking the GOP over the 14th amendment crap.

"Speaking at a Tea Party Express-sponsored event in Washington this morning, Keyes said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is being irresponsible by suggesting, as he did recently, that the 14th Amendment may have been a bad idea."


Keyes suggested that he shared the concern over so-called "anchor babies" with Graham and his allies, but he said that "the 14th Amendment is not the problem." Rather, he seemed to suggest, it's a mistaken interpretation of the amendment that's at fault. Changing the wording of the amendment would be a mistake, Keyes said -- and talk like Graham's is downright dangerous.

"The 14th Amendment is not something one should play with lightly," Keyes said in response to a question from ThinkProgress at the Tea Party Express press event today. "Lindsay Graham used the term -- as people have carelessly done over the years -- referring to the 14th Amendment as something that has to do with 'birthright citizenship' and we ought to get rid of 'birthright citizenship.'"

"Well, let me see," Keyes added sarcastically, "If citizenship is not a birthright then it must be a grant of the government. And if it is a grant of the government, it could curtail that grant in all the ways that facists and totalitarians always want to."

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 4, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"""The question is whether Dems can get the public to believe that voting for current Republicans means a return to those policies. The jury is still very much out on that."""

If only we had a media that demanded the GOPers state their positions on policies...

...instead of chasing Islamophobes, racists, and Tea Partiers down the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Democrats seek Distance from Failed Obama Policies and Presidency.

As 71% of Missouri voters yesterday soundly rebuked Obama, Democrats and their Policies Missouri Democrats joined Democrats nation wide in distancing themselves from the failed president.

Obama who has sunk to 41% approval rating in the polls was unavailable for comment. In trying to contact his wife we found she was spending millions of dollars in Spain on vacation while American vacation spots still suffer.

Posted by: robtr | August 4, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"""The question is whether Dems can get the public to believe that voting for current Republicans means a return to those policies. The jury is still very much out on that."""

Shouldn't the question, from a media stand point, be, "IS voting for current Republicans a return to Bush' policies?"

I'd think that the substance of the policies should be FAR more important than how they are sold.

If the media looks into the current GOP policies and they match up with Bush policies, shouldn't they report that? If they did I think it would be more likely that people would believe it when the D's claim there has been no policy shift from the R's since Bush left office.

Thus far I don't see any material difference between Bush policies and the GOP of today's policies. Sure, they give lip service to cutting spending, but with the possible exception of Paul Ryan they don't offer up specifics. And the GOP won't touch Rep. Ryan's proposals with a 10 foot stick.

Posted by: nisleib | August 4, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

robtr's post is evidence of my post at 2:57.

They don't care (or know) about policy. And they have a killer instinct.

National Dems have to approach POLITICS the same way or we will lose.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 4, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Now they want The First Family to go on vacation in the US. Just about a week ago, they were whining because they took a brief weekend trip to Maine.

President Obama has been in office for less than two years, so all those Right Wingers, trying to push the "failed policies" meme should be called out. They gave Bush2 eight years to destroy our economy. Now they claim that President Obama should have waved a magic wand, and fixed the Bush Catastrophe, within just his first eighteen months in office.

What a bunch of addled Maroons!

Posted by: Liam-still | August 4, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010 says, "National Dems have to approach POLITICS the same way or we will lose."

I'm not so sure about that. I'd guess most of us on the left tend to be, well, less misinformed than those on the right.

If Dems started insulting our intelligence the way Republicans insult their voters intelligence, we'd probably get POed.

You can't appeal to the stupidity of your base if your base isn't stupid.

Posted by: nisleib | August 4, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The GOP hopes voters perceive a crying need for a change to narrow-minded, mean-spirited authoritarianism. For that you cannot do better than the far right wing (only wing) Republican party. Let the rich carry on, as they will, hardly thinking about Americans who only want to make a decent living at a job they are good at. The GOP never delivered on its promise to punish flag burners, gun haters, homosexuals, heathens, infidels, and traitors. Social conservatives have shifted to the Tea (Taxed-Enough Already) Party. Ask a member of the GOP what government programs should be ended and you get a bunch of mealy-mouth nonsense. And these people say they want to run the government that they hate? Not a good hiring choice.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | August 4, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

PLENTY of time to remind Americans that the modern GOP supports every policy they did during the Bush Administration....and that we've all watched it fail for 30 years.

There may be dissatisfaction with the Democrats, largely due to the incessant whining of the Republicans, but we all know who wrecked the country and unless and until they offer a MAJOR mea culpa and say something, anything (double dog dare you to find something the Leadership differs with) different, they will not see a Majority.

Only in the South are people still that stupid...

Posted by: russcarter1 | August 4, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

All, Dems have nixed the GOP request for hearings into the 14th amendment:

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 4, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Based on his various "rebranding" projects, it appears that Cantor's life's work is to convince voters that his GOP is something new without actually doing anything new.

He's hoping for a triumph of message over substance, and ironically, even that isn't at all new.

Posted by: jimeh | August 4, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse


"With the amount of sickeningly talented progressive communicators, it is stunning but true that the GOP regularly runs circles around the Dems in marketing and branding."

I'm slowly coming more and more to the conclusion that this is more about the media culture than the messaging strategies of Democrats.

*Several amazing liberal pundits have noted that after they cleaned a handful of conservative clocks on national TV...they basically stop getting calls to go on.

*When Reps make hyperbolic attacks, the media goes to the Dem and asks for a comment - repeating it and reporting on several times. When a Dem makes a hyperbolic attack, the media nitpicks it's accuracy then runs a story about how the Dems are on the run.

*When the GOP was in the majority, news orgs said they had more conservative guests because the GOP was in the majority and deserved more air time. When the GOP is in the minority, news orgs say they have to give the opposing view.

*Media is taking heavy losses right now. Newspapers are going belly up, tv shows' ratings are lagging, online outlets are getting lost in a sea of content. The Washington Times, FOX News, etc. are backed by uber-rich folks that are willing to take that financial hit to push an agenda. The left has some...but nearly as many willing to do the same.

Sure, the blame isn't totally on the media. The Dems play too nice and are more open to debate than the GOP by principal. That's totally true. But let's be honest...the playing field when it comes to media in this country is heavily, HEAVILY tilted in favor of the GOP.

It's also so relentless it must be exhausting for Dems to keep fighting uphill for every. single. inch.

Palin can do a facebook post and the media does all the work for her. Like a ball down a hill - no effort at all. What Dem can push a narrative that anywhere near that easily?

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 4, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

That moron w is responsible for the mess we are in and his lunatic supporters now want to give the repugs another chance? Please. Have that moron for eight years is all you get. Wait another decade before you can screw up again.

Posted by: davidsawh | August 4, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I dunno....Compared to the current Marxist we've elected, I'm starting to miss ole GW.

Posted by: any1 | August 4, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

This entire thread simply saddens me. I am a realist and so I understand the facts behind "branding" "marketing" etc...but really. Our nation of nimrods has been reduced to one word ID's...Bush...Obama..Fascist..Socialist...the really literate can handle more than one...death panel...pulling the plug on grannie...

WTF ever happened to having a debate on the ISSUES? Bush and Obama are not the issues!

We have two wars wasting our precious lives and treasure in a time of economic catastrophe! And yet there is very little discussion of the it's more about how each leader has viewed it...Bush..Obama..we should have a GENUINE debate about our defense spending being more than THEN NEXT SEVEN COUNTRIES combined. Are we so FRIGHTENED that it takes us more than what seven of our most aggressive neighbors are spending to defend ourselves. Are we not smarter than that? Can we not address the ISSUE of immigration reform instead of all the theatrics and political grandstanding?

This is what upsets me about your thread Greg. It's not that I disagree with your observations, I AGREE 100% I'm simply saddened that the American citizenry is not well informed nor well educated enough to discuss "supply side" economics versus Keynsian economics. That is a rational debate on the issue we SHOULD BE HAVING.
But our voters need to be fed the pablum of tying Bush to the R economic proposals!!! It's not rocket science! Supply side, "trickle down", "voodoo economics" "Reaganomics", the Bush II economic program, Republican economic proposals as we head to the 2010 midterms, are ALL THE SAME FREAKING THING.

It's not what the name of it's the policy that counts..whether it's Bush/Obama/Clinton/Reagan whatever. What were the results of those policies? There is plenty of economic evidence and now even such conservative economic luminaries as Alan Greenspan and Reagan's OMB director David Stockman have basically come out and now verified BushI's claim about supply side economics. It's "Voodoo Economics"

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 4, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

They like his tax cuts. They like his wars. They like his Medicare spending. What is not to like?

Posted by: baldinho | August 4, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"there is a section of the book that said the previous republican congress lost it's way..."

I started voting in 1971, literally EVERY republican admin. or controlled congress since then has not even come close to being conservative.

They can only claim they were conservative under a Democrat president, the last half of the Clinton years.

Walking the talk every 6 administrations,
thats one out of every six, what they are saying is that if a person tells the truth 1 out of 6 times they are not habitual liars!

Posted by: victorlove1 | August 4, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Instead of continuing the tired refrain of "blame it all on Bush", why don't Obama and the Dems simply run on their stellar record of turning this economy around?

They promised if the Obama stimulus was passed unemployment would not rise above 8%.
They promised if Obamacare was passed it would create jobs because it was good for business.

If you are having successes, you claim credit. If you are failing, you blame someone else.

Obama's Hope and Change:
"I Hope you don't blame me for the failure of my policies and let's Change the focus to blame Bush".

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 4, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Every time I see this 'young guns' nonsense from the GOP I'm reminded of that frat in college that was so enamored with that hollywood fantasy by the same name that they ran around pretending to be billy the kidd and the other hotheads played by the Estevez/Sheen brothers. Do they really expect to be taken seriously? If so, by whom?

Posted by: bsimon1 | August 4, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

@spamsux1 : If you want people to read your posts, don't just spout republican talking points.

There was no promise of 8%. That was a projection, based on preliminary data that turned out to be wrong. The recession was much worse than originally projected.

Granted, because of relentless republican obstruction the stimulus was too small by half, but the "promise" meme has been thoroughly discredited, here and elsewhere.

HCR won't fully take effect until 2014, so judging it on basically some regulatory reform that has taken effect is just silly. There have been jobs created in the health care information technology industry, BTW.

I don't need to blame Bush. The current repubs haven't offered anything different from the bush agenda. Choosing between the policies that created the great recession and the policies that stopped job losses and began job gains (anemic, but still better than losses), got the dow up 40%, etc. is an effective case if the dems actually make it. Its hard to do that because so many people are still suffering in this economy, so happy talk doesn't resonate, but comparing the repub proposals (such as they are) for how to proceed to the dems is still the way to go.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

They like his tax cuts. They like his wars. They like his Medicare spending. What is not to like?

Posted by: baldinho

did not want
to raise taxes
to pay for it..!!!

WITH Interest!!


Posted by: vettessman | August 4, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Going to be a very tough sell to convince voters how bad the GOP policies and leaders are when it was Obama who refused to hold the GOP accountable for the massive economic and moral crimes and failures of the Bush years. It was Obama who said look forward, don't look back. Not one investigation from the Hill or the DOJ.

It will also be a tough sell because Obama has continued most Republican/Bush policies from civil liberties to banks to war.

""They don't have a single idea that's different from George Bush's ideas -- not one," Obama said." -- Problem is neither does Obama. If we had a a REAL Democrat with a strong backbone and ability to follow through the Republicans would have been branded poison for a generation. It is Obama's failed leadership that is putting the GOP back in the saddle.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 4, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Compared to Obama, Bush would be a welcome relief.

Bush 4.5% unemployment, DOW 14,000

Obama 10% unemployment, DOW 10,000

Obama tripled Bush's deficits.

Katrina vs. Gulf Spill...Obama did any better?

Bush kept the country safe for 8 years.

Obama has had how many lucky near misses by terrorists?

Bush was a victim of bad intelligence on Iraq - the same intelligence used by Bill Clinton, Hillary, Congress, all foreign governments who all drew the same wrong conclusion about WMD's.

The housing bubble?

Talk to the Dem Congress in office since 2006 about that, and Barney Frank overseeing Fannie / Freddie.

Say what you will, if nothing else I wish we had the Bush economy back.

Posted by: drjcarlucci | August 4, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

@drjcarlucci : Where to start?

Bush 4.5% unemployment, DOW 14,000

Nice cherrypicking of data.
"When George Bush took office, he inherited Clinton's unemployment number, 4%. When he left office, in January 2009, the unemployment rate stood at 7.2% and was skyrocketing. The economy was hemorrhaging 600,000 jobs per month...Clinton's economic policies created 23 million new jobs over his eight-year tenure. It was the greatest number of jobs ever created under one presidency. Bush's record on employment was equally legendary, but for the opposite reason. Despite inheriting an economy that was one third larger than the one Clinton inherited, Bush created a mere 5 million new jobs, one fifth the number created by Clinton. It is the lowest percentage level of job growth ever recorded for any eight year period outside of the Great Depression."--The Atlantic

"Katrina vs. Gulf Spill...Obama did any better?" Anyone paying attention knew that Katrina was going to hit the gulf coast a week in advance, but since Bush appointed a total doofus as FEMA director, supplies weren't staged, People weren't evacuated, and the response after the hurricane left was even worse. So yes Obama did much better with BP.

"Bush kept the country safe for 8 years"...except for that whole 911 thing.

Didn't 911 happen during the Bush administration? Didn't the anthrax attacks happen during the Bush administration? Didn't the beltway snipers happen during the bush administration? What about the numerous attacks on reproductive service clinics? What about the Tennessee church killings? All of these fit the definition of terrorism.

"Obama has had how many lucky near misses by terrorists?" No luckier that Richard Reid not being able to light his shoes.

"Bush was a victim of bad intelligence on Iraq - the same intelligence used by Bill Clinton, Hillary, Congress, all foreign governments who all drew the same wrong conclusion about WMD's."

Funny how nobody else thought the evidence was conclusive enough to mount an attack until Bush made the attack inevitable. Britain and the rest of the coalition of the willing are bathed in glory for their judgement. You can't get away from the fact that Bush had his eyes on Iraq soon after 911 as has been documented or that Cheney and Co pressured intelligence analysts to come up with something to use against Iraq or that reports that disagreed with the "Attack Iraq because of WMD" were supressed or discounted.

"Talk to the Dem Congress in office since 2006 about that"

Why should we do that? the bubble started pretty much when the bushies came into office. He did nothing to regulate the ninja loan and subprime loan scandals. Where was the bank oversight, oh wait regulation bad, free market good. Or the MBS CDO explosion that happened when his SEC decided that the financial industry could regulate themselves.

And lets not forget adding more to the national debt than all other presidents combined... That is some record.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@ophelia3 : That's a bit harsh. I am the first one to fault Obama for his continuation of Bush era surveillance and "national security policy", but Finreg, HCR, ledbetter, stimulus, etc. are galaxies away from what a McCain administration would propose let alone pass.

Yes he could have been much better excoriating the opposition and scoring political points, but to say he did nothing that a repub wouldn't have done is just not fair. Hindsight is 20-20 on Obama's lack of calling out the opposition. Obama made bipartisanship a goal of his administration, which the repubs spat on. Hopefully he won't make that mistake again.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

As radioactive as Bush was said to be.....

.....Obama is actually much more so...

November, 2010 will be National "Dump-the-Democrats".....

Obama has fallen further, faster than any other sitting President in history.......

.....incompetence shows

Posted by: georgedixon1 | August 4, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Dems have a problem running against Bush again, because this isn't a case of the same old Republicans leaders re-branding themselves. There is substantive change on multiple levels. None of the primary new Republican leaders played any significant role in the Bush adminstration

Palin, Whitman, Fioriana, Governor Christie, Governor Jan Brewer, Mark Rubio, Ron Paul and Rand Paul are driving the Republican attack these days and are scoring big points on both Obama Dems and Bush Republicans, often to the chagrin of the fading Bush and McCain wings of the Republican Party, who tried to squash Sarah Palin and her followers soon after the 2008 election. Instead, Sarah went Rogue and inspired millions to follow her and other activists instead of waiting for traditional Republican leaders.

There is a "changing of the guard" with respect to age and gender and style. More women and more younger leaders have stepped forward. The new style is more populist, more focused on economic issues and less focused on social issues.

The most powerful conservative political leaders are women and they aren't afraid to get in your face. They've got more "cahones" that most old guard Republican and Dem male politicians, including both Obama and Bush.

These new leaders disliked Bush's immigration and spending policies almost as much as they dislike Obama's current policies.

Some voters like the change. Other voters don't, but its clear to even opponents that the Bush people and agenda are no longer driving the bus. The old guard survivors among Republicans are racing as hard as they can to catch up to where the bus is headed.

So Dems, by all means run against Bush. It'll stir up your base some to re-sing the old fight songs, but you'll look like you don't understand what's going on in the country when you try to convince voters the new leaders are just Bush.

Posted by: jfv123 | August 4, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes Dims you won a big election two years ago ... in 2008. This is 2010. Unfortunately this time around your Dim candidates have to run on Barry the incompetent boob Obama's record. Good luck with that, Dims.

90 days until Election Day. See you at the polls, Dims.

Posted by: screwjob18 | August 4, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

The problem has been branding for the last 30 years. Republicants hang a name on their foes, and repeat it until their base echoes it in their sleep. Swift boat, Obamacare, etc., and they don't stray off message.

Democrats are like trying to heard cats, they go off in all different directions and messages.

But the fact is, in the last 30 years the way you can tell if a Republicant is lying is if his lips are moving. I'd even think of voting for a Republicant if an honest one were around.

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | August 4, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

srw3: You have a point regarding the stimulus. There were some really good policies that saved a lot of people like lowering COBRA costs, extending unemployment. The Dems should run on that. But the rest - HCR, for instance is basically a Republican bill that was written by lobbyists for lobbyists. Attempts by Congress to provide a public option alternative were thwarted and defeated by Obama. Finreg does not adress the underlying systemic problems and hold the industry accountable. No one remembers Ledbetter.

As well Obama did not pursue bipartisanship. Bipartisanship implies that some Republican policies would be added to Democratic bills. But Obama created Republican bills and deleted and ignored any Democratic policies important to the base and independents.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

"Told YOu"

I've been telling you folks this for years, "It's the Republicans/Blew it Bush/party of NO" stupid that's ruined U.S.
ruined America's economy and image around the world, been telling you/Truth" for years now I can really see I've finally gotten through, really began to wonder, but never gave up.

NOw we must help the President, and America by Voting in "RECORD/NUMBERS/DEMOCRAT/THIS/FALL."

WE must keep hammering the Republicans/Party/NO who put in this "CRIMINAL/MESS to this registered Voter/Vet USAF, and dumped a MESS in President Barack Obama's lap and yours!

We can't afford to go back to that, if America does, then your job may be one of the next 8.5 Million Republicans will lose if they gain control of any house let alone their

So my fellow American's once again we read the truth in the "Great Washingtonpost who seeks to educate you on the issues/facts to that to all of U.S. and to show you/Independents who really/party/Party/On/your/side.

We help America's Middle Class/Working/Poor
because that's what the Democrats do, I ask you help us help you come this November and remember Republicans Criminal record to this registered Voter, who left office the Pew POll reported with the "Lowest JOb Approval Rating in the History of the United States Presidency 20 Percent/fact.

Here's one more fact/America You can't afford to go back/party/NO/Republican again, Republicans are hopeing you will...

Posted by: ztcb41 | August 4, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

These "young guns" voted with Bush %100 of the time. If the American people believe that the new GOP is different from the old Bush GOP, they are incredibly stupid. And there's nothing the Democrats can do about it.

The GOP will never shake the Bush taint, and neither will America.

Posted by: kurthunt | August 4, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

It's not what the Republicans say that matters, it's what they do. And so far, they've done nothing but whine and vote "no" for the past 18 months. How's that been helping us? The GOP and corporate America are in cahoots to make Obama fail so these weasly facists can take over the country again like they were trying to do under Bush/Cheney. Their main goal is to wipe out the middle class. If you don't think so, then start thinking about their policies and who their policies really favor and take care of. It's not you middle America.

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | August 4, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@ophelia3 : Harsh...Obama is acting like a centrist because he is one. He is not a really a progressive, just slightly left of the new center, which makes him more conservative than Nixon. Given that he has stayed true to his principles, the bills look like (and in fact are) the saner parts of republicanism from the early 90's. As for HCR, we will see how it looks in 2014. The 20 billion for public health clinics alone is a great thing.

"Finreg does not adress the underlying systemic problems and hold the industry accountable. No one remembers Ledbetter."

Finreg only makes the next crash more manageable, which was its goal, not to avoid the next crash. Real financial reform wasn't even on the table. That is a loss, but finreg did do some good things for consumer protection from crappy financial product.

WE need to make people remember ledbetter.

Posted by: srw3 | August 4, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What's up with Sargent and this big three or four time plug for Eric Cantor...

often mocked and is no one's idea of an
attractive or successful campaigner (except in his special district and with AIPAC who insisted on him for his spot)...

If the GOP wants to make any tracks, surely the other two, particularly Ryan, could bet bettersellers.

And again, what's up with Sargent's full name quadruple plug?

Posted by: whistling | August 4, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

No arugment...

Orange,bumbling Boehner would pretty much stymie any new GOP plan.

But send Eric Cantor out? To gross people out? Whose idea is that? His only
gig to date has been a screaming rant about how someone tried to kill him...during the health care bill's final stages....

it was "random shots" the police said, near a building where he had a campaign office. The plot to join the "poor me I'm being discriminated against because I'm Jewish" fell very flat.

So, send him out to be the face of the new GOP?
OH DO, that'll move the electorate, en masse, sure 'nuf.

Posted by: whistling | August 4, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I've said for a while the the repubs are whitewashing bush out of their history. There are no mentions of his name or administration in aby way. Even the bush tax cuts seemed to appeared out of nowhere. The Dems should really be pushing this and the fact that it was most of these same repubs who voted for the tax cuts to expire in 2011. So why are they hot to extend them now? Oh, yeah, and they used "reconciliation" to pass those cuts.

Posted by: mikel7 | August 4, 2010 6:44 PM | Report abuse

srw3: What principles? And what is "centrist"? Centrist is just a fictious label made up by the DC punditocracy.

Posted by: ophelia3 | August 4, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

"new gop" is truly an oxymoron.

Same old stale proven-worthless bush priciples -

"NO!" "tax cuts" (4 the rich) - and "evildoers"

Posted by: daveque | August 4, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

The President was obviously right and very accurate. The obstructionist Republican Party have no viable ideas and stand for everything done by the Bush administration that meant unprecedented failure.

Cutting taxes for the rich, deregulating corporate America, overkill spending for the military and prison industrial complex, coerced pregnancy are Bush policies that are revived by the "new" Republicans and the racist psychos from the "tea parties."

Posted by: revbookburn | August 4, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

If the GOP wants to convince themselves that they are not clones of George Bush, they are going to have to avoid all rooms with mirrors.

Posted by: JimZ1 | August 4, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Its amazing how virtually all of the corner stones of conservative ideology were destroyed under Bush. Only ones who can support the military? No, by the end of the Bush Admin, more service men were killing them selves then dying in the battlefield.. and help when they came home? Nope, remember Walter Reed? The Bush policy of "Go to war with what you have, not what you need." (Rumsfeld).. Real nice...

Lower taxes will drive economic growth? Don't think so. Unfunded tax cuts ballooned the deficit, and any supposed gain from them was wiped out 10 times over by the economic collapse under Bush. Smaller government? Nope. They pushed through a huge new medicare drug bill.. Socialists!

Best to defend the country? Nope. They got EVERYTHING wrong on the intelligence front when it came to Iraq. George Tenet gets a medal (Mr "Slam Dunk") and Collin Powell gets run out of town on a rail. This is not generations ago this happened... just a few years...

Posted by: hchattaway1 | August 4, 2010 9:52 PM | Report abuse

The assumption that the American people are so damn stupid that they cannot remember the simplest facts about their own history which they actually lived through and reaped the consequences of, is ridiculous.
All those people who voted for change in 2008 understood that we were in a huge, unmangeable, mess.
Inside the beltway people, i.e., the journalists and politicians with whom they get all their "news" seem to believe that the American people are nothing more than a bunch of morons who cannot cling to any piece of information beyond television commercials.
The current meme is that the Democrats will really, really, really be making a big mistake is they remind the people why we got into this mess and further, to remind the people that this same gang is continuing to try and do the same thing they did for all the years they were in charge.
Well, as the TeaBaggers say, all the time, just wait until November. This country is NOT willing to come to complete standstill with unending investigations into Obama's citizenship, for example, and NOTHING whatsoever taking place except giving the rich more of our money.

Posted by: cms1 | August 4, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the Dems need their own cable news network since FOX is completely Repub-centric.

Posted by: Mandy_M | August 4, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Little Bo-Peep has lost her sheep,
And can't tell where to find them;
Leave them alone, And they'll come home,
Wagging their tails behind them.

The poor GOP has lost its way and is undergoing an identity crisis. Most Republicans wince when they hear the name Bush. They wince and shake their head - like the memory of a bad migrane.

The GOP may not know who they are or what they stand for, but they do know what they collectively don't like: Pelosi, Obama and Reid.

The GOP believe Pelosi is an aging sadomasochist who is trying to destroy both them and the nation and they want to drive a stake through her heart (if she has one).

They are going through a period of Self-Denigration for picking Bush and McCain. McConnell and Boehner are the worst possible leaders they could have picked to lead them out of the wilderness.

Posted by: alance | August 4, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. The Tea Partiers and the Republicans were tied together and it was meant to be something bad. Now the Republicans are being link to Bush as if that's bad also. Being link to Bush is an honor. Bush never attempted to force health care down our throats. Bush never attempted to tell us how we should live our lives, what to eat, how to think, and lie on a 24/7 basis like Obama does. The Republicans on the other hand can never be compared to the Democrats we have today. These socialist Democrats only goal is to chop away at this country and prove America is broken and must be fix with socialist tools. Bush and the Republicans never took this country in a direction where Tea Partiers had to assemble and have Town Hall meetings.Under Bush and the Republicans, our liberties and the Constitution were never under attack the way they are today. Bush is not a nasty word. America is not a nasty word. Profits is not a nasty word. The free market and capitalism are not nasty words. Wanting to keep the America we all grew up in is not the wrong thing to do. Bush represented America and that's what the Republicans and the Tea Partiers are representing also. Obama and the Democrats are representatives of socialism and socialism is not the right thing to do.

Posted by: houstonian | August 4, 2010 11:31 PM | Report abuse


I thought I had the name George W. Bush expunged from my memory and you guys keep bringing his name back up all the time.

And then you believe that once again Satan has finally extended his death grip on "Darth" Cheney, only find out we'll be forced to hear more pearls of wisdom from the warden of Abu Ghraib for a while.

George W. Bush really was a horrible dream, wasn't he? No human being could have possibly messed up the country to this extreme, could they? A majority of people couldn't have voted this guy to two terms for President of the United States, could they?

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | August 4, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

"The assumption that the American people are so damn stupid that they cannot remember the simplest facts about their own history which they actually lived through and reaped the consequences of, is ridiculous."
Look at houstonian's post-Yes, they are.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | August 4, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, as the TeaBaggers say, all the time, just wait until November. This country is NOT willing to come to complete standstill with unending investigations into Obama's citizenship, for example, and NOTHING whatsoever taking place except giving the rich more of our money.
Listen to Sharon Angle, who promises to "filibuster the Dems to death" and then remember she may be voted into office. Which, of course, drives me crazy. Since the beginning of time, politicians have campaigned on what they are going to do, can do, will do for their constituents and now we have Angle promising to do nothing but stall government because of ideology.

What's even more disgusting is the fact that she and the Republicans regularly complain about "do-nothing gov't", "fat cats in Washington that do nothing but line their own pockets, blah,blah,blah", yet here she is promising to not be helpful to "teach Washington a lesson", Amazing.

Just as amazing, as posters such BBQ have mentioned, is the tone deafness of President Obama to fight these people consistently. Somehow, he believes that he can touch and go where the Republicans and the big, noisy & relentless Republican propaganda apparatus are concerned.

I wish I was Obama'a adviser-I would lustily fight OBAMA's self-destructive willingness to do celebrity events at just the wrong time-No more going on The View, picking March Madness games or any of that crap for the rest of the year. No more vacations until the elections are past. He must cool it with the celebrity President crap. That's GOP ammo. As Maritza points out the Dems need to go on the offensive-so I would make T-shirts with a likeness of Sharon Angle saying "READ MY TWEET-I PROMISE TO NOT HELP" and hammer the GOP on their promises to be unhelpful in gov't.
In fact, all Dems running for office can use that argument "They don't want to help" in campaigns.

As Ethan2010 observes the Republicans run circles around the Dems on marketing and branding because Obama is a "Kingian".
A Kingian is a black politician that either lived through the civil rights era or subscribes to it's coping remedies and strategies for conflict. Civil rights leaders and groups of that time "fought" passively as we all know. They would let the police sic their dogs and hostile whites would physically beat them up while civil rights marchers held their heads up high secure in the fact that they were morally superior, nobler for not stooping to bloodshed. It was logical &effective for those times.
As we are all finding out, a 'Kingian' style President won't engage enemies in political scraps-Obama believes he's too big for that, too noble....and it's been devastating to the poor, the struggling and the Democrats.
Obama himself has given the GOP energy with this tact. What was noble and logical in 60s comes off as cowardly & timid in this era.

Posted by: ArmchairGM | August 5, 2010 12:28 AM | Report abuse

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