Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bushville

I just watched Rick Santorum's new campaign video, and I have to admit, I recognized that horror film.



"Small businesses are struggling and families are worried about their jobs and their future."

Yes, that actually happened in 2007 and 2008 when the crash hit. In fact, the economic disaster of the Bush years put thousands of companies out of business, and it has taken years of changed policies under Obama finally to see those jobs slowly return.

"The wait to see a doctor is ever increasing."

That happened during the Bush years also, as employers found that exploding health insurance premiums caused them to cut back or drop coverage altogether. And the number of uninsured increased steadily during the Bush years. Millions have to wait in emergency rooms for treatment. Thousands filed bankruptcy to escape crushing medical bills. Yes, Bushville sure was a scary place, but eventually, when Obamacare finally kicks in, practically everyone is going to have coverage.

"Gas prices, through the roof."

I sure remember that too! We had a big spike every year under Bush, with gas prices finally hitting $4 per gallon in 2008.

"The freedom of religion, under attack."

Bush did claim to be a religious guy, so most people would probably say their freedom of religion was not under attack during his presidency. On the other hand, if your religion happened to be Muslim, Bushville might have been the worst place for religious liberty ever.

"And every day, the residents of this town must come to grips with reality that a rogue nation and sworn American enemy has become a nuclear threat."

That happened too! when North Korea, a country we actually went to war against, and with which we still have not achieved peace, acquired the bomb under Bush's watch.

Yup, that Obamaville sure was a scary place. Except that we already lived through that, and it was called Bushville.

Funny how the political opposition always has to talk about all the awful things that are going to happen under Obama in a couple of years, because the reality of what is happening today isn't very scary at all. At least not nearly as scary as the reality of four years ago.

6 comments:

  1. My wife and I make less money now than we did in 2008. We pay more for gas, more for rent, more for health insurance, more for food, took out loans of over $10,000 dollars more for our daughters last year in university in 2011/2012 than in 2010/2011. The dollar is worth less and retirement doesn't look possible. Banks are making record profits and about 15% of the country is unemployed. Can you remind me why I am better off in Obamaville? I feel like a punching bag.

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  2. How can I tell you whether you are better off now than you were a couple of years ago? You have to decide that for yourself. But the more relevant question might be, are you better off than you would have been if the other side had come to power and had decided to leave health care alone, let GM go bankrupt, and perhaps institute some kind of austerity program, and who knows what foreign adventures? And that's an even harder question to answer, because nobody can tell you what would have happened in that alternative reality. I happen to think we might be living in another depression right now if we had followed those policies, but I'm sure the Republicans would say that if we had just kept following their program even after the disasters of 2008 everything would have worked out just fine.

    My point was really more about the politics of fear vs. the politics of hope. What I found disturbing about the Santorum video was that it is based on pure fear, but not in a rational way, since all the things it was describing actually came to pass in the previous administration. So I think it is ultimately a losing strategy, though one that will stir up a lot of negative feelings along the way.

    It's also interesting that a campaign's images of fear seem to come from a weird combination of Alfred Hitchcock and It's a Wonderful Life.

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  3. It sounds like what you might be saying is that it would be a better strategy for the Republicans to talk about how things have actually gotten worse in some ways over the past three years, instead of making these ridiculous predictions about the future. And if you're saying that, I would agree that that would be a lot more honest. But ultimately that would probably be a losing strategy also, because the fact is that objectively speaking, people do see signs of improvement around them, so the opposition is having a harder and harder time making the case that everything has gotten worse under Obama.

    I personally would much prefer to see the opposition making a more positive case for an alternative vision for the future. But I have seen no signs of that whatsoever. They are all so negative.

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  4. << My point was really more about the politics of fear vs. the politics of hope. What I found disturbing about the Santorum video was that it is based on pure fear, but not in a rational way, since all the things it was describing actually came to pass in the previous administration. So I think it is ultimately a losing strategy, though one that will stir up a lot of negative feelings along the way. >>

    I appreciate your thoughtful answer. Campaigns suck. It's one of the reasons we are gridlocked. As I have agrued before, gerrymandering and safe disricts make elections in primaries an etc a sketch exercise. As does some of our national election primaries. It is quite tiresome and can be overly destructive. Finally, we will see that in July when Romney and Obama face the wrath of the spuer pacs. I am not looking forward to that.

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  5. << Republicans to talk about how things have actually gotten worse in some ways over the past three years, instead of making these ridiculous predictions about the future.

    I agree. Things are far worse now for my family than they were in 2008. As well, I am not invested in the stock market so any perceived recovery is meaningless to me. The money I make is less, worth less and my expences are far higher. I see no recovery in sight. At all.

    << objectively speaking, people do see signs of improvement around them, so the opposition is having a harder and harder time making the case that everything has gotten worse under Obama >>

    We see this very differently. The majority of people doing better now than in 2008 had investments or found a job. The rest of us are getting our collective butts kicked.

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    Replies
    1. Is this really a matter of opinion? Of course some individuals are better off and some are worse off than previously, but the overall trends are measurable. The housing market has bottomed out, and may be ready to improve. Monthly job losses started to decrease in 2009, and the trend has been steadily upward since that time. Private sector employee has been increasing every month. We have turned from decline in GDP in 2008 to steady growth in GDP quarter by quarter. The value of the stock market has more than doubled since 2009. Other indicators are also up. These are all undeniable positive trends. And people do start feeling the difference eventually.

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