Oct
27
2012

TWS: “George Herbert Walker Obama.” …Says it all, really.

This Weekly Standard article is all the more brutal for its lack of overt viciousness: but then, with a title like “George Herbert Walker Obama” it doesn’t have to be.  I had the dickens of a time separating out a representational piece of Andrew Ferguson’s awesome, politely relentless comparison of the last days of the 2012 election with the last days of the 1992 one, but here goes:

The president, it was said, had no agenda.

Again our campaign leapt into action. Frantic phone calls were placed to federal agencies and cabinet departments: Who’s got an agenda? From the Department of Health and Human Services came a “health care reform”—something having to do with tax credits. The Education Department sent over scraps from an “education reform” that the president hadn’t been able to move through Congress; something with tax credits. And child care—a big issue in ’92—where the hell can we find a child-care policy? Somebody dug one up at Labor, where it had been buried a year earlier. A child-care tax credit.

The agenda was strung together and packaged in a booklet with glossy blue covers. The president could hold it up at rallies, with a look that said: No agenda, eh? What do you call this, smart guy? Chopped liver? The word renewal was testing very well with focus groups—better than reform, even—so our booklet got called Agenda for American Renewal. Millions of copies were mailed to voters. Perhaps you still have yours?

It gets better from there, but you need to read the whole thing.  There are a lot of comparisons to be made between George HW Bush and Barack H Obama, in fact; and some day I might write about them, once I think that I can successfully do so without having the combined wrath of the partisan blogosphere fall down upon my head*.  Until then… 10 days until Election Day.

Moe Lane

*It is not cowardice to refuse to put your hand in a working buzzsaw.

3 Comments

  • Brian Swisher says:

    GHWB is an honorable and reasonably competent man. BHO is neither…
    .
    That said, I remember the ’92 election pretty clearly (Full disclosure: I voted for Clinton. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and I revoked that vote in ’96.) I was most offended that the Republicans not only didn’t have a domestic agenda, but didn’t even pretend to have a domestic agenda. That and the egregious performance of “The Pats” at the Republican convention…
    .
    I also remember how awful GHWB looked during the final weeks of the campaign: haggard, weary, like a man dragging himself through the last stages of a long desert trek. His appearance when he made his concession speech on Election Night was radically improved, as if he’d been divested of a tremendous burden: relaxed, smiling and, if not rosy, then less pallid. One wonders if he was only going through the motions for re-election…

  • acat says:

    @Brian S. – I recall hearing a rumor about midway through Clinton’s first term that Bush Sr. didn’t *want* to be re-elected .. he was very torn up about Iraq 1.0, among other things, and just wanted to go home to Kennebunkport.
    .
    Didn’t put much cred to it at the time, but.. in hindsight, I can see how the weight would get to a person. Souls are heavy.
    .
    Mew

  • Dave_A says:

    Interestingly enough, you can see a good mix of 1980-1992 starting in 2000.

    W Bush -> Policy-wise, Reagan II.
    A few small differences, and Al Queda was no USSR…
    But very, very close…
    Down to the banking crisis at the end of the Administration…
    Same solution too (yes, I know, RTC actually happened under HW)… Difference is, that banking crisis was worse in 08, so the ‘Dukakis analogue’ (Obama) won in the reboot…

    The problem for the Left is that by winning 08 they killed their chances for this year… Rather than running ‘Clinton II’ (literally) against a recession-battered ‘HW Bush II’ (McCain), they get to play Dukakis (or Carter) vs HW II (Romney) with 8% unemployment.

    And we get to let Paul Ryan play backup-Q for a few years…

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