George W. Bush hasn’t been in office for nearly half a decade. But people are still blaming him for our current political mess. According to a recent poll conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News, 50 percent of people surveyed think Bush is more to blame for our current economic mess than Obama (only 38% think it’s Obama’s fault).
This is in spite of the fact that 79 percent of those surveyed believe the country is still in a recession. Which means people apparently believe that Bush’s economic policies were so disastrous that Obama couldn’t fix them in a whole term as president. In fact, if the economy never recovers, that will only further solidify Bush’s legacy. Then it will be obvious that even the anointed Messiah couldn’t fix the problems Bush left behind. That’s how bad Bush was!
I have no idea how people come up with an opinion on this matter. How does anyone know who is to blame for current economic problems? This same poll indicated very strong support for Bill Clinton’s presidency. I guess by their own logic, people should have credited the former Bush—or maybe even Reagan—for Clinton’s successes. None of this makes any sense. It is classically irrational attribution of effects to causes you refuse to surrender. If I wanted to believe Santa Claus was to blame for the current economic crisis, I don’t think my rationale would be any less arbitrary.
What could Obama do to cause people to finally realize he is objectively the worst president in our history? I was no fan of George W. Bush, but seriously, that guy gets an awful rap. Obama, on the other hand, has gotten and probably will get a free pass until later generations re-examine things with cooler heads. Even Vladimir Putin envies Obama’s ability to get away with things. Obamacare, NSA spying, drone mania, expanded foreign wars, stagnating economic recovery … the list could go on and on. But let’s just blame Bush. That’s easy and convenient.
But, to put this into a little more perspective, pretty much everyone in the civil government has a low approval rating right now. The people are getting more and more fed up. Another interesting part of the poll asked people whether they self-identify as Republican, Democrat, or Independent. 40 percent of surveyors self-identified as Independent. That is more than the 30 percent Democrat or the 24 percent Republican. The numbers of independents have stayed about the same since 2012, but they are now at an all-time high. Perhaps people are ready for a real change. But somehow I doubt it. The only thing this survey really shows us is that most people are stupid. Really, really stupid.