Blaming Bush and Obama

For at least six of the eight years during which Obama served as President, the public was treated to a veritable symphony with multiple overtures and movements, but one consistent motif — it’s all Bush’s fault. We heard about WMD’s and the absence of exit plans and wars being paid for via credit card. (By the way, we have never budgeted for a war. We used to fight them when necessary; win them; and then find a way to pay for them. War bonds didn’t really pay for the war, since all the money ‘raised’ had to be paid back with interest.)

Now, in the face of the tragedy which has befallen Otto Warmbier, the cacaphony has reached the highest decibels. Obama is to blame for what happened to the US student in North Korea.

No! Stop it! The Dictator of North Korea is responsible for the murder of Warmbier. Arguing about the intervention strategy, or lack thereof, is disrespectful to the young man, and to the rule of law. A perpetrator is to be held culpable for a crime. The person or agent which failed to react — or even to establish prevention protocols — is never to blame for the actions of a criminal.

Those who are now pointing fingers at Obama (and I think he presided over a grand diminishment of US power and influence) are doing so to draw attention away from the problem confronted by Trump. The US needs to have a reaction to the murder of one of its citizens, and no I am not advocating for war. However, the right answer is not easy, and Trump supporters are simply setting the stage to blame Obama if President Trump’s response is not successful or satisfactory.

Make no mistake — the reason for the incessant Bush blaming was intended to mitigate the relative ineffectiveness of Obama’s directives. Yes, the economy rebounded, very slowly, and the job market improved, slowly. Talking and talking about Bush’s blunders served as cover for the pace of improvement. Obama himself repeated the phrase, “worst recession since the Great Depression,” so many times that it became a tacit way to remind everyone that President Bush, and solely President Bush, brought about the economic crash.