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Monday, March 08, 2004

The Great Chain of Presidential Failure

Lately, Bush has taken the predictable approach of blaming his adminstration's failures on Clinton. Despite the conclusions of the CBO, the Administration claims the recession started before Bush was elected. Therefore, it's premature to label Bush a failure. According to Bush logic, the seeds of success are slow to germinate. The problem with this philosophy is that it begs the question: "Who is to blame for the failures of past presidencies"? Who should be credited with success in retrospect? Let's trace the 'great chain of presidential failure, shall we?

I'm curious...How long does it take for a president to fail? Is it premature to draw conclusions based upon a three-year economic and geopolitical freefall?

When does the statuate of limitations expire on this blame-the-predecessor mentality? Do we need a two-term presidency to gauge a president accurately?

Following the administration's logic, Clinton must have inherited his success from his predecessor. His policies, according to Bush logic, only come into effect after three years or so...If that's the case, then he can only be rightfully credited with the four greatest years of U.S. economic history.

Carrying this mentality out to its logical extreme, we must conclude that the failure of his father actually planted the seeds of Clinton's successful first term. The fact that Clinton didn't follow a successful first term with an unsuccessful second term defies the "Bush Blame Paradigm", and makes his accomplishment all the more remarkable. Pushing the analogy further, we have to conclude that the failure of the George Herbert Walker Bush administration was due to the Reagan legacy, which left poor whimpy George holding the bag. Carrying the analogy further, Reagan's success can be attributed to Carter, and Carter's alleged failure is the Ford/Nixon legacy. Of course, Nixon's presidency was a failure, but not because of Johnson or Kennedy--it was a failure because he lied to the American people, an offense that transcends the great chain of presidential failure...Of course, we can trust Dubya not to do that, can't we?

Remember: Ignore the Chart...It's All Clinton's Fault...

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