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By Tom Toles

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Don't look now

Yes, I succumbed to temptation and mentioned George W. Bush in a post yesterday. Some commenters seem to think it bad form for a liberal to 'look backwards', apparently considering looking backwards to be their special zone of operations. They blissfully inhabit a butterfly-filled historic meadow of founding fathers, Ronald Reagan, who any day now will BE a founding father in their minds, and an imagined version of the Constitution (I'm not absolutely certain that Christine O'Donnell has actually read it) of crystalline simplicity.

If you close your eyes, like they do, you can picture them bounding (backwards) through that meadow, which exists without memory of Native Americans, slavery, the Great Depression, legally mandated segregation, the working conditions that gave rise to unions, or any of the other factors that actually shaped the America they think is the one they used to live in before liberals made everything so complicated.

So George W. Bush's visage of belligerent perplexity is currently airbrushed out of the special collector's edition commemorative display plate version of the past, because... well, because not only was he a blistering embarrassment to the conservative movement, but because his policies are the exact ones they want to vote back into office two weeks from now. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | October 21, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Democrats, GOP, Obama White House  
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Comments

HumanistPatriot... interesting link. Thank you.

Posted by: bertzel | October 21, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

They bought influence from President Obama since he keeps nominating them to high level positions in his administration. He just nominated another Wall Street multi-millionaire bonus baby executive to a position at the State Department.

Posted by: jornolibist | October 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Iraq, we musn't forget the WMDs. Dubya captured every single one of Iraq's WMDs, and, after all, wasn't that what the whole thing was about? "Pre-emptive self-defense" is the phrase I remember hearing. Because Iraq's weapons capability posed such a dire threat to the United States and other Western nations. Much like present-day Iran.

Oh, and the connection between Saddam and the 9/11 terrorists. Can't forget about that.

Yup, got those WMDs and got Saddam, so the whole world is once again safe for democracy and we Americans are all, every one of us, heroes.

Which is a good thing, because we are about to make a huge arms deal with the Saudis, who we know had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. And are deeply committed to human rights and the whole Western-style democracy thing, respect freedom of religion, equality of the sexes, etc.
We've got to do something to keep the military-industrial establishment afloat, after all, and the very best way to keep industry strong and ourselves safe is to reach out and support countries that share our deeply-held values.

To all the naysayers out there, I say, "Boo."
It has NEVER been about the oil or other resources. It's all about freedom. And democracy. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Posted by: jonroesler | October 21, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double entry. Wretched wireless mouse.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 6:55 AM
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Awwww, bobbo2! Isn't there some twisted way for you to pin this on Obama and the Democrats? Maybe the mouse is part of the vast liberal, socialist, fascist conspiracy that I keep hearing about from TPiers.

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 21, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@pararanger22 Here's where your logic fails. The Republicans had many years to run over the electorate with the bus, then run the economic bus into the swamp. [The TP is just the more extreme wing of the extremist Republican Party.] Let's say they took ONLY 8 years to accomplish this. In reality they had more time. You've given Obama and the Democrats less than 2 years. Why less than two yeas? Because you've been whining for over a year about how Obama has failed us, and YOU made up your minds months ago, so Obama had a year at best. Moreover, your opinions are not fact based. Most economists believe that the Democrats have largely done the right things, but that they should have had a larger stimulus package. There were many economists saying that the stimulus was not large enough. Still the stimulus did create jobs--we know this now because the economy lost jobs in Sept. 2010 that were created or continued by stimulus money that is now drying up. Governments--federal, state and local--are letting people go. YOU'RE getting your government spending cuts, and YOU don't like them because those cuts cost real jobs. As for the U.S. automakers, we could have simply let them fail. Would that have really been better for the U.S. economy? Probably not. And make no mistake about it, auto workers did make concessions. Jobs were lost, pensions and other benefits were cut. Furthermore, it's likely that the taxpayer will be paid back some of the money we spent on GM and Chrysler. Saving the automakers from themselves was probably a bargain. I'm tired of whiney TPiers making arguments in defense of their conclusions based on what Limbaugh, Beck, Palin, and O'Reilly say on Fox, only to change the argument but not their conclusion when they are faced with FACTS. It's like debating a AGW denier. And you don't understand the ridicule that you draw to yourselves?!?!?

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 21, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

One of your “fine supporters” contends that Bush’s war was a success. There oughta be a new rule for those of us who respond to your rantings. New Rule: No one in a coma gets to sign in and write stuff!! This guy apparently was left behind somehow, out cold and unaware of the hundreds (no wait: make that “thousands”) of those large, soldier-sized boxes which were arriving at Dover Air Force Base from Iraq beginning in March of oh-two. There is just no way between Heaven and Hell that those dead people (face it - they're just kids) resemble anything like success. Bush 43 invaded a nation with the largest middle class of any Arab nation – and undoubtedly the most well-educated – and left it stripped of the necessities- like utilities and schools and safe streets and just about everything one could think of, or that we have in our lives. For those in the comatose league who regard Islam as Devil worship, Iraq’s population prior to the “Bush liberation” was nearly 20% Christian – imagine, eternally- saved Iraqis; people (kind of) like us! The Christians are pretty much gone now; replaced with burkas, political bumpkins, and an unemployment rate that rivals assisted living. Imagine how nine years of rampant unemployment can shape (no wait: make that “mis-shape”) the attitudes and conduct of the young - -especially those who have witnessed friends, family, neighbors and their homes blown to smithereens since 43's "Mission Accomplished" performance. "But what about the evil dictator?” that same guy-in-the-coma might ask. “We got him good, and we got him hanged!” Thank God that a few countries still have capital punishment, and one of those thankfully is Iraq. Otherwise the evil dictator would have had to come to either the United States or North Korea for a good old-fashioned hanging - -two of the last places where state-killing remains legal. And that’s what this guy-in-the-coma is calling a success? I don't think so.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | October 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard

Without looking backwards with an analytical eye, it is impossible to understand ANYTHING. And so it is with these types....all tax cut magic and swift boat fairy dust...

Posted by: BattleOffSamar | October 21, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse


If you're starting the see through the staged distraction of the Left-Right puppet show, here's clarity: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21504

Posted by: HumanistPatriot | October 21, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

obama paid wall street well for their part in the dem crisis...
and in return they get the blame...
and obama is made a hero...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 21, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Dear JohnA5, excellent take on the issues. Very informative.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I think the problem bobbo2 has, isn't with his wireless mouse I think his brain isn't wired at all . That was a good rant today as usual thanks.

Posted by: JohnA5 | October 21, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

You know, it's possible to think "Republicans bad" without particularly thinking the Democrats are saints or geniuses or something. At least they bring ideas besides "TAX CUTS TAX CUTS TAX CUTS" to the table.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | October 21, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: GeneTouchet:

["Google "economy better under Democrats," and you get more than 51 million hits (at least that's the claim). The majority of those citations on the first page agree, the Democratic administrations have given us better economic policies."]

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That's like saying "Google MSNBC, CBC, ABC, NBC, AP, Reuters, The Guardian, CNN, and The Huffington post and you'll get a gazillion hits on how swell the Democrats are compared to the GOP."

The MSM is a puppet of the Liberals.

Posted by: pararanger22 | October 21, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Love the cartoon. The only problem is "Wall Street" gives way more money to Democrats than it gives to Republicans.

Posted by: whynot7 | October 21, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Love the cartoon. The only problem is "Wall Street" gives way more money to Democrats than it gives to Republicans.

Posted by: whynot7 | October 21, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

ptgrunner, two things...I never said blah...blah..blah.

I also don't 'stumble'.
I have been known to, saunter, glide, strut, dance, run, meander, stroll, slide, prance, skip, frolic, leap, hop, jump, roll, hike, trek, trudge, stray, deviate and drift....but never stumble...well, except for that ONE time, but we won't go there.
By the way, I did in fact notice your 'shorthand' concerning the tea party...interesting.

Posted by: bertzel | October 21, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Google "economy better under Democrats," and you get more than 51 million hits (at least that's the claim).

The majority of those citations on the first page agree, the Democratic administrations have given us better economic policies.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | October 21, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

ptgrunner wrote:

["It's just plain nutty to say that REpublicans are more responsible in handling the economy than the Democrats.

If the Tea Party trolls here had ANY facts on their side, I'd listen to them. All they have is anger. Anger won't pay the bills or run the country.

Should we have allowed our auto industries to fail???? A lot more people would be out of work.

The time to cut government spending and deficits is when the economy is doing well.

I know I've wasted my time at the keyboard, because TPiers are impervious to reason and facts."]

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It is kind of nutty to say the GOP is better than the Libs regarding running the economy given the GOP performance in the last administration. Thus, the performance of the current administration with strong majorities in both houses of Congress would have to be really poor in order for the people to make a switch, wouldn't it?

I would have been happy to bail out the auto industry as long as said bailout came with compensating reductions in union power. Didn't happen - now the prisoners are helping to run the asylum and there is union membership on the board. Democrats love this outcome because it increases their power. Foreign auto companies flock to SC, Alabama, and Tennessee to hire a skilled work force, Conservative philosophy, and NO unions (or at least severely curtailed union presence). This is the model for our industry but we (our tax dollars) have bought another generation of union slackers, bad automobiles, and future bailouts.

As for spending in a down economy, that theory has been explored enough, with TARP and the America Recovery Act. It isn't working. You could make the case that these two measures stopped a panic, I will grant you that. But everything else was loosely sown together by a Democratic Congress and the ARA only produced 1.5million jobs. ARA cost: 800+ Billion $$. Was this good craftsmanship on the Dem side? I mean, make your arguments about the 'party of no' and all that but the Dems got exactly what they wanted and it didn't work.

Finally, the Tea Party gets hammered by you and other in this blog and others constantly. They do earn some of it but not all. Despite all the intrigue about the genesis of the Tea Party, there is a lot of grass roots frustration too, looking to punish the GOP for poor stewardship during the Bush years and the Democrats for overreaching and mishandling their mandate. No one on the Conservative side was going to sit still when Newsweek proclaimed: "We're All Socialists Now."

Good luck on election day. I think Tom Toles and his rants absolutely feed the fire of the Conservatives; the Libs are going to pay a huge price.

Bath, UK

Posted by: pararanger22 | October 21, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse


OH, to look back to the good ole days when files materialized on coffee tables in the White House; when suicide notes materialized in brief cases in the White House; and when cadevers materialized in National Parks. What was once is is no longer is or was was what is was? A debacle? Yes. The methodical taking of our freedom? No.

Posted by: quiensabe | October 21, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Look backwards?

Fine if you learn from it.

At one point people gave up on the President and the war in Iraq and said "He must be mad. He thinks he can win."

But we won. The only benefit that came from all the disinformation was to get the Democrats elected .

So now the Republicans have "learned their lesson" and are giving us more disinformation on health care, the economy and just about anything they can point a stick at.

Why not? It works.

But if you look backwards you see where they got that plan.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | October 21, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

The contradictory attitudes toward George W illustrates better than anything how irrational the current Republican narrative has become. He ran up most of the national debt they're so afraid of, he started the 'bailout' they claim to hate so much, he massively expanded government medical care (the Medicare prescription benefit). Logically, they should be railing against him, but against all logic they worship him like one of the Elder Gods. It makes no sense.
Perhaps we have finally reached the point where the American people are just too stupid for democracy. Just bring in a czar to tell them what to do and they'll be satisfied.

Posted by: DaveHarris | October 21, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Sorry about the double entry. Wretched wireless mouse.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

Dear DougMUSN, banks raised the money for student loans in private markets, they paid a fee to the government. The government guaranteed the loans against default. In 2007 Congress legislated a return rate so low that banks could not make money on them. Now Congress will control over 80% of the student loan market at a cost of over a trillion dollars. And as the default rate goes up the taxpayer will be on the hook for that money and any securities loss based on the loans. When business loses money it is put on the balance sheet, when Government loses money it hits the taxpayer for more. I am intimately familiar with military medicine. The key word is military. Those pesky insurance company middlemen are a part of the fabric of our capitalist system. The system that you appear to want revamped into a Federal business that runs everything. There are a few cherries you failed to pick, how about discussing the new Federal Chevy Edsel, I mean Volt?

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Dear DougMUSN, banks raised the money for student loans in private markets, they paid a fee to the government. The government guaranteed the loans against default. In 2007 Congress legislated a return rate so low that banks could not make money on them. Now Congress will control over 80% of the student loan market at a cost of over a trillion dollars. And as the default rate goes up the taxpayer will be on the hook for that money and any securities loss based on the loans. I am intimately familiar with military medicine. The key word is military. Those pesky insurance company middlemen are a part of the fabric of our capitalist system. The system that you appear to want revamped into a Federal business that runs everything. There are a few cherries you failed to pick, how about discussing the new Federal Chevy Edsel, I mean Volt?

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 21, 2010 6:51 AM | Report abuse

@bobbo2: You decry (among other things) "Government in the student loan business, Government in the health care business". I have some very bad news for you. Government was ALREADY in these businesses in a very big way. Student loans were GOVERNMENT GUARANTEED loans, going through banks to students. The major change was the opportunity to remove the middleman and make the loans to students directly. The old method (presumably preferred by you) was effectively a direct injection of money into the banks along with students. To my knowledge, giving a banker money does not make a student smarter.

Government is into health care in a huge way as well. Between Medicare and Medicaid, the Dept of Defense and the Veterans Administration, health care costs are taking a huge chunk of our GDP, expected to exceed 10% in the near term without action. Again, the insurance company middleman serves no function in improving health, just one of leeching out of the river of money going by. Tough choices lie ahead but we have already chosen to have government deeply involved in health care, too.

What would you have us cut out, bobbo2?

Posted by: DougMUSN | October 21, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Do you have a point here, Toles, other than Republicans bad Democrats good??
...Blah...blah...blah.
Posted by: bertzel | October 20, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse
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bertzel, you've stumbled onto to something. "Republicans bad, Democrats good" sounds about right. I don't want to relive the Bush 43, Bush 41 and Reagan years. They are the only presidents since WWII who caused the national debt relative to GDP to go up during their administrations. The only three. All Republicans. It's just plain nutty to say that REpublicans are more responsible in handling the economy than the Democrats. If the Tea Party trolls here had ANY facts on their side, I'd listen to them. All they have is anger. Anger won't pay the bills or run the country.

So far, no court has ruled new policies in the Obama health care bill to be unconstitutional. But the courts would be a good place to take any issues of constitutionality. Should we have allowed our auto industries to fail???? A lot more people would be out of work. How did Bush and a Democrat Congress make bad decisions? The Republicans controlled Congress from 1995 to 2007. Along with Bush, why didn't they work their magic and "fix" things? Cutting government spending and jobs during a recession--we're not officially in a recession, but for TPiers say we are--is likely to send back into real recession or possibly even a depression. The time to cut government spending and deficits is when the economy is doing well. I know I've wasted my time at the keyboard, because TPiers are impervious to reason and facts.

Posted by: ptgrunner | October 21, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Republican politicians like to talk about reducing government spending, but they don't. It just makes them mad as heck that the government spends any money at all on social programs and education i.e., the people. They just drool over that money and scheme of ways to get it in their pockets instead. They'll delete worthy programs like alternative energy research and then start an unnecessary war, sell arms to Iran and Iraq, pass legislation that is detrimental to our people and the environment or do whatever else it takes to get their hands on that money.

President Obama was elected largely to stop the bleeding in the economy, and he did just that. In the first few months of his term, the stock market was still in tatters. Conservative commentator after conservative cartoonist used that as proof that he was doing a terrible job and expressly tied his performance to that of the market: until the market recovered.

We had no choice but to bail out the banks and other financial institutions. They had amassed undue control over our economy thanks to the deregulation of those industries by some combination of cunning, greedy bastards and well-meaning but simple-minded Republicans. And the money did not "trickle down" and create any jobs: it went into their greedy pockets in the form of bonuses, kickbacks and sweetheart deals. Should we leave the system as it is, or enact responsible regulations. "Socialist" screams the peanut gallery!

Big business and banks are by-and-large in support of the Republicans because they hope for lower taxes, reduced social and employee responsibility, the ability to pollute, and further deregulation so they can screw their customers. If you are one of them, then you are voting your pocketbook before your consciousness: if you are not, you are a simple fool.

Posted by: donpaluh | October 20, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Gosh that's a big ad for Siemens behind the front page.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 20, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"..but because his policies are the exact ones they want to vote back into office two weeks from now." Wrong Mr. Toles. That comment is as tired and lazy as the rest of what the Left has to say. The American people have seen in the last two years a no holds barred attempt to grow Government and it's responsibilities far beyond what is even Constitutional. Government in the auto business, Government in the student loan business, Government in the health care business. Government in the bailout failing business business. And the spending of over a trillion dollars of borrowed money with what to show for it? President Bush AND the Democrat Congress ignored dangers and made bad decisions. The fix was overreaching Government and more debt. Wrong. Time to put the brakes on the Obama/Reid/Pelosi ideas of Government intervention. Time to make Government do the job it is supposed to do and stay out of what it has no business being in. The problem with the Left is that it does not know what Government should and should not be involved in.

Posted by: bobbo2 | October 20, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

For simple minds there is no logic required for factual history. You were using liberal logic like when Democrat politicians invest their retirement money in the stock market, but tell their constituents it's not a good idea for them to be able for invest their social security money in the same stock market. Try again.

Posted by: jornolibist | October 20, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

"Democrats ran the justice system in the South in the 1950s -1960s. Powerful Democrat Senators like Al Gore Sr. and William J. Fulbright, Bill Clinton's mentor, were the staunch segregationists."

They were also white men. By your logic, white men are therefore not competent to hold federal political office today.

Posted by: simpleton1 | October 20, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Just thought progressives, by name only, would be looking ahead trying to forget the history about them that doesn't fit the template they are using to fool people today about who they really are. Democrats ran the justice system in the South in the 1950s -1960s. Powerful Democrat Senators like Al Gore Sr. and William J. Fulbright, Bill Clinton's mentor, were the staunch segregationists.

Posted by: jornolibist | October 20, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Do you have a point here, Toles, other than Republicans bad Democrats good??
If you do, I am not seeing it...you too are reading like an ad stuck in mire which I guess is almost the same as a quagmire...just sayin'. Tho I too liked the 'stroll down memory lane.'

Posted by: bertzel | October 20, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Wow!!! Have you been watching Beck on the sly? You seem to have drifted inside the delusions of your trolls. Nice imaginary tour. Thanks!

It's great to think that government could be just like it used to before cars, plane, computers, nuclear weapons, the internet, genetically engineered food...Don't need to have more government for those things, you can trust businesses to do what's right.

Posted by: EarlyBird1 | October 20, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

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