January 25, 2010

Jonathan Martin reports in The Politico that the Bush-bashing policy has not worked for the Democrats so they are abandoning it.

After three consecutive losses in statewide races, some top Democrats are questioning a tactic aimed at boosting the party’s candidates in each of those contests: Bush-bashing.

Running as much against the Bush White House as he was running against Sen. John McCain, Barack Obama easily carried Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts in 2008.

Bashing Bush in local races will not help if it doesn't emanate from the White House. Axelrod never made it a priority to attack conservatism and George Bush or Ronald Reagan and the country was primed for it. They did mention that Obama inherited this mess from Bush, but they missed a monumental chance to shake conservative principles for years to come, had Barack Obama actually attacked not just Bush but conservatism and called it (rightly so) a complete failure, beginning from the day he decided to run for president.

And then he could have pilloried them the entire time, both in the campaign and even after he took office. Reagan blamed liberals and big government constantly for his early failures, and it worked for him. Bush followed suit and bashed Clinton, but for some reason they didn't find it appealing.

The country witnessed a complete meltdown under George Bush except for the very wealthy, but if you never make the case on a national level, Americans will soon forget about him and blame the person that is in charge because their lives are no better. In reality, it takes years to dig out of the kind of economic collapse we just witnessed, if at all.

Democrats said that invoking Bush’s name doesn’t have the same impact now, in part for a fairly obvious reason: He’s not in charge anymore.

And the anger toward the political establishment that helped lift Obama and so many Democratic candidates in 2008 has now been transferred to the party in power.

If President Obama and his staff had made Bush bashing -- and calling out conservatism -- a priority, it would have been a potent weapon, because they had the truth on their side. Instead, it was another lost opportunity and now it falls to bloggers to make the case that conservatism is an ideology that doesn't succeed. It's never worked, and it never will work. Conservatives like to forget that Ronald Reagan raised taxes because he had to. If he didn't he would have been a single-term president.

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