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"Before I walked in the door"

I didn't get to watch last night's SOTU speech live. After reading the transcript, I was obviously struck (along with virtually everyone else) by the sheer number of times President Obama felt compelled to note how bad things were "before I walked in the door" -- obviously implying that Bush Administration policies had either created or perpetuated all the unfortunate circumstances that the fickle finger of fate handed him.

In fact, listening to the rhetorical flourishes of the Democrats for the past six years, you'd think that George W. Bush waltzed into the White House in the midst of the greatest Camelot era since ... well, Camelot itself, with everything handed to him on a silver platter by Bill Clinton. And then the reckless, irresponsible, idiot frat boy Bush blew it all by giving money to the rich, needlessly bogging us down in two wars, and destroying the image of America around the world.

Perhaps it's time for a reality check for our liberal friends. 2001 was not a cakewalk, by any stretch of the imagination. The passage of time and the years of Bush Administration demagoguery by the Democrats have partially erased the seriousness of the problems that we faced during the first two years of President Bush's first term. We tend to forget the 1998 - 2000 tech market bubble, and the hundreds of billions of dollars lost in its subsequent collapse in 2001. This was the first serious, permanent market meltdown in decades -- the NASDAQ closed over 5000 points in March 2000; by the end of 2002 it had lost 78% of its value. Today it sits at 2200, and has never fully recovered.

After the 9/11 attack, the New York-based stock exchanges remained closed for a week, and the week after they re-opened, the Dow Jones lost 1369 points and over $1.2 trillion dollars, still the single largest one-week loss in history. And right on the heels of 9/11 came the massive corporate accounting scandals of Enron, WorldCom, Global Crossing, etc. NYT columnist (and former Enron adviser) Paul Krugman famously predicted that Enron would end up having a bigger impact on America than the 9/11 attacks.

Count 'em -- that's three major economic setbacks occurring during the first two years of the Bush Administration. Two of those setbacks (the tech bubble and Enron) could have been directly traced back to decisions by the Clinton-appointed heads of the IRS (refusal to investigate why Enron claimed to owe zero corporate income taxes while raking in record profits) and the SEC (allowing risky tech start-ups with no history of earnings to be publicly traded).

On top of that, there was the tepid US response to continually escalating acts of terror, beginning with the first World Trade Center bombing attempt and culminating with the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. During the 1990's we erected a "wall of separation" between the Justice Department, FBI, and CIA that prevented us from effectively sharing information about possible terror threats. And we bungled several attempts to either apprehend or eliminate Osama Bin Laden both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But President Bush didn't point fingers. Here is the entire text of President Bush's first SOTU speech, delivered on January 29, 2002. You'll note how much shorter President Bush's speech was than last night's speech by President Obama. And you'll also notice that there is not a single inference to "failed policies of the past," "mistakes of the last decade," or some similar attempt to blame the challenges of 2001 - 2002 on Bill Clinton.

Not that there wasn't plenty of opportunity.

Barack Obama can joke about his Messiah image, and confess that no one in his Administration really believed that they would "usher in peace and harmony" when they took control of the White House. But the truth is, it was the President who promised openness and transparency and reform, and then gave free rein to the corrupt, obstructionist Democrat leadership in Congress. It was the President who dismissed Republicans by telling them "I won." President Obama says it's time to end the "perpetual campaign." If he wants to be taken seriously as a leader (as opposed to an amateur political hack from Chicago) then accepting responsibility for the things that have occurred solely on his watch -- the mind-boggling deficit spending, the incomprehensible Democrat health care reform bill, the government take-over of banks and car companies, and the bungled bombing attempt aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 -- would be a good place for him to start.


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Comments (18)

President Obama says it's t... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

President Obama says it's time to end the "perpetual campaign."

So that explains the entry on his web site after his speech last night. Asking for contributions of $15 A MONTH.

This idiot has been in noting but 'campaign mode' since he took office!

I seem to recall President ... (Below threshold)
914:

I seem to recall President Bush not being able to fill His cabinet positions as well for like 3 months after spanking algore.

The dems had it out for Him from day one because He won despite 72 recounts. They are still stuck on BDS from 2000, Barry apparently suffers from a severe case.

I seem to recall a senator ... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

I seem to recall a senator named Obama who was part of the Dem takeover of Congress in 2007. He didn't "walk in the door" in 2009. He was there 2 years earlier, largely absent from his post while he ran for president.

What a jerk.

Well put, Michael.... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Well put, Michael.

I thought for a long time that Obama was reluctant to accept responsibility. Now I know that he's totally incapable of it. He honestly doesn't think he's responsible for anything more than overestimating the people's ability to see how terrific he is.

Your post here was terrific... (Below threshold)
Patrick:

Your post here was terrific, Michael. People can complain about Bush until the cows come home but one thing you can say about him that you cannot say about Obama is that he was PRESIDENTIAL. Obama is the worst excuse for a president I could possibly imagine. He steadfastly and abjectly refuses to take responsibility for anything and he is the most self-absorbed person I have ever had the displeasure to observe. His continued reign of error will not be good for this country because instead of getting the message that voters across the country have been sending he seems fully intent to double down and become even more combative. It is somehow out fault and not his. If he was just as committed to fighting the war on global terrorism as he is to fighting real Americans who disagree with him we would not have any real security concerns.

Yes, we had a severe financial crisis. But what Obama is doing is making it worse. He could have done NOTHING and things would likely be better off now than they currently are. We have gotten nothing from this reckless spending and the Democrats pissed away an entire year on a health care reform bill their own party cannot even agree on despite not even needing a single Republican vote in the House or Senate. I don't want to hear from him that he is suddenly serious about jobs. Where the f**k has he been for the last year? Geezus...

I find it hard to believe anybody can take him seriously anymore. His alleged charisma did nothing for the three people he recently campaigned for over the last couple of months not to mention his two trips to Copenhagen in which he came up empty both times. This guy is radioactive and unless the Democrats figure that out and start distancing themselves from his stench of failure they will probably pay at the ballot box for at least the next couple of election cycles.

The Jug-Eared Douche will N... (Below threshold)
apb:

The Jug-Eared Douche will NEVER be presidential.

From his obsequious groveling to Sheikhs and tyrants, to gutlessly ducking while Iranian freedom-fighters were being killed, to the perpetual lies about his own (lack) of accomplishment, the Douche is nothing but a blathering boob. Still, a dangerous boob in his attempts to socialize the US.

The only minor positive is that he's allowing our troops to continue mopping up in Afghanistan and Iraq - I suspect he didn't talk about it for fear of rousing the ire of the moron-left (in addition to pissing off the centrists and right).

It's great to see mere commoners waking up to realize the level of crap we've flushed into Washington, and I sense the 'throw the bums out' mentality will rule the mid-terms.

I can' be the only one who ... (Below threshold)

I can' be the only one who appreciates the irony of the most powerful man in the free world using a State of the Union speech to complain about The Man keeping him down.

Use_Obama's_Education_Stimu... (Below threshold)
914:

Use_Obama's_Education_Stimulus-Grants! -Thursday, January 28, 2010 12:12 PMFrom: "-- -FAFSA- --" Add sender to Contacts


I recieved this interesting invitation in My e-mail box a few minutes ago.. Does Barry hope to buy My vote? Nah, never..

Michael, very well said. GW... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Michael, very well said. GW Bush got my dander up with the immigration mess and the spending escapades, but on security issues and defending me and my family, first rate. This clown only focuses on votes. GW Bush never wavered in his pledge to not let another attack happen on his watch. Two attacks in Obama's first year. Radical Muslims simply are not afraid of Obama.

History will be very kind to GW. ww

Ok, so it happened before h... (Below threshold)
Burt:

Ok, so it happened before he walked in the door. My question is: did it happen before he bounced off the window into the oval office?

November 2010 is going to b... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

November 2010 is going to be sooooooo SWEET! I can hear Barry's excuses now. "Er....ah....ummmm....er...uppp.....mmmm....er...it George Bush's fault!"*

*("It was George Bush's fault" is a registered trademark of the DNC, on temporary (2012) loan to the Obama Administration)

"Two attacks in Obama's ... (Below threshold)
914:

"Two attacks in Obama's first year. Radical Muslims simply are not afraid of Obama."

They are not but Im fearful of what this socioegomanicalpathological liar is trying to do to our country and future.

"History will be very kind to GW. ww"

Yes-

That's "socioegomaniacalpat... (Below threshold)
914:

That's "socioegomaniacalpathological" for those of you in Rio whatever..

Shoulda used spellcheck! heh

Hopefully this will force t... (Below threshold)
Vagabond:

Hopefully this will force the sheep-ople who voted for him to be more responsible with their vote. Shoot, maybe even spend more time investigating what a condidate really wants to do to or for you. Apparently it did happen in Mass and two other recent elections. National politics became local.

If someone had had the fore... (Below threshold)

If someone had had the foresight to put a vast quantity of Krazy Glue on La Pelousy's chair, the speech would only have lasted max 30 minutes! She's like some demented Jack-in-the-Box with that rictus-like grin on her face and the expressionless demeanor. Spooky as hell. Sad to say, there IS a Mr. Pelosi!

"If someone had had the ... (Below threshold)
914:

"If someone had had the foresight to put a vast quantity of Krazy Glue on La Pelousy's chair, the speech would only have lasted max 30 minutes! She's like some demented Jack-in-the-Box with that rictus-like grin on her face and the expressionless demeanor. Spooky as hell. Sad to say, there IS a Mr. Pelosi!"

Barry Inc. would have still continued on reading from the prompter and ignoring the very demental raggedy nancy trying to unstick herself behind him, until alas, the curtains fell, the sock masters attend to their puppetry and King Ceaser than would turn and slap the botox out of nancy.

At least he didn't read the... (Below threshold)
John S:

At least he didn't read the TelePrompTer with a negro dialect.

Amazing how different the t... (Below threshold)
Wanderlust:

Amazing how different the two speeches (Obama's first SOTU vs Bush's) are in tone and focus.

Bush focused on the things that he believed were affecting America and put forth solutions to Congress, using SOTU to request Congress to pass his legislation. The closest he ever got to mentioning anything related to his predecessor was to comment that his DoD budget that year was the largest buildup in two decades(alluding very indirectly to RWR's first term). Even so, he didn't complain about the state of military readiness; rather, he pushed for a solution to improve it.

By comparison, Obama's focus on "inheriting" things and whining against various "special interests" was vacuous, banal, and lacked any specific legislative initiatives from POTUS to deal with the economy.

I didn't agree with everything Bush said in his first SOTU (especially the comment about Islam's "tolerance"), but the man was a leader. As others have said, he was Presidential. Obama may whine all he wants about Bush, but one thing he will *never* do is fill Bush's shoes - much less Reagan's or Lincoln's.

I was not quite 16 years old when Ronald Wilson Reagan was first sworn in as the 40th President. I wish I had been ten years older at that time, to properly appreciate eight years of a Presidency that I believe historians will note to be the high-water mark of US prestige, influence, power, and economic prosperity.

Thanks to trillion dollar annual deficits and continued assaults on personal freedoms by Obama and the left, I fear that the accomplishments enjoyed during Reagan's presidency is an age that is now long gone, never to return.




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