The human mind fascinates me with the way it recalls past events in our lives. Especially when it comes to politics. People who complain now about how “terrible” President Obama has been, or that he’s the “worst president in history,” clearly have a distorted memory of the Bush presidency.
Has Obama been perfect? Not at all. Part of that is his fault, part of that is the unrealistic expectations many of us had for him when he was elected in 2008. But most of it is the fact that upon his election in 2008, the GOP essentially crafted their strategy of opposing anything he supports.
A plan that was solidified when liberals allowed conservative voters to give Republicans control over the House of Representatives in 2010. That was precisely the weapon they needed to block anything and practically everything.
But while conservatives often like to claim that President Obama is the “worst president in history,” I thought I’d remind them, and everyone else, of just how bad things were under George W. Bush.
Was his election not a foreshadowing of how terrible things would be in the next 4 years? For the first time since 1888 we “elected” a president who lost the popular vote. Could you imagine the conservative outrage if President Obama was elected president, yet lost the popular vote? That might have been the catalyst that finally triggered a second Civil War.
Then just a few months later we saw the worst terrorist attack in United States history.
We can’t forget about the Iraq War and all of the weapons of mass destruction that we didn’t find. It’s okay though, right? Only 4,487 Americans died fighting a war that was based on lies. The most since the Vietnam War.
There’s always Afghanistan. You know, the war we started to get Osama bin Ladin – only Bush never got him. President Obama did though.
Then don’t forget about the scandals like Abu Ghraib, Hurricane Katrina, the outing of a CIA official, veterans neglected at the Walter Reed hospital, Medicare Part D and a host of other scandals that plagued the Bush administration’s eight years.
But I wanted to get up to 2008, just as Bush was leaving office. That summer, just before the entire economy officially collapsed, oil had hit its all-time high of $147 per barrel (right now it fluctuates between $95-105 on average throughout the year). While gas prices aren’t cheap now, our country had never seen prices well over $4 per gallon like most of the country experienced that summer.
Then came September when the bottom officially started falling out. But it wasn’t just that month. We lost jobs every single month in 2008 (2.6 million in total). The worst annual loss of jobs since 1945.
And let’s not forget he had just bailed out Wall Street, the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse, our deficits were out of control, our national debt was almost double what it was when he took office, the stock market was plummeting, millions of Americans were losing their homes and unemployment was skyrocketing out of control.
Then let’s also not forget that we were still engulfed in two wars.
That’s the world in which we lived when George W. Bush left office in January 2009.
Where are we at today? Well:
- Unemployment is down to 6.2%.
- We’ve seen the best year of job gains since 1999.
- Stocks have hit record highs.
- 53 straight months of private sector job growth.
- We’ve created 9.9 million jobs during that span.
- We haven’t started any wars.
- The rate of uninsured Americans fell to its lowest level since Gallup starting tracking the number in 2008. Down almost 5 percent in just the last year alone.
- Deficits have been cut in half.
Among many other things.
So, when conservatives say that we’re much worse off now than when President Obama took office, they’re either blatantly altering history to suit their talking points – or they have absolutely no damn idea what it is that they’re talking about.