It’s not enough to simply defend against the nonsense that Bush policies created our current problems. The Republicans need to go on the offensive and take back control of the narrative with the truth — that the downturn occurred as a result of policies primarily promulgated by the Democrats.
The real cause of the current mess (ignoring the upcoming fiscal disaster caused by uncontrolled spending and deficits) was the housing boom and bust. The boom was caused by policies going back decades to encourage people to buy houses they couldn’t afford and to coerce and extort banks to lend them the money to do so. While this had some support from Republicans, it was a policy primarily driven by Democrats. It wasn’t just the free hand given to Fannie and Freddie, something that the Bush administration attempted to rein in, but to no avail thanks to corrupt Democrats like Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. It was also the action of “community organizers” like Barack Obama, who himself sued Citibank in the 1990s to compel them to give out loans to people who couldn’t afford them.
But suppose you don’t buy this theory. Let’s instead just look at the empirical evidence. The Democrats like to pretend that the Republicans were in charge right up until The One™ came in to save us in 2009.
For instance, on The McLaughlin Group Friday night, Michelle Bernard slipped one past, and no one called her on it:
I think most Americans sat back this week and listened, heard a lot of really smart rhetoric, and also sit back and can’t help but think to themselves the day Barack Obama got elected; we had a Republican Congress that decided that their answer to governing, with the taxpayer dollars that pay their salary, would be to say no.
Note she states that the Republicans controlled Congress the day that Obama was elected, when the reality is otherwise, but inconvenient to the narrative of the media and the Democrats.
Average and median housing prices over the past three decades are a pretty good surrogate for the rise and fall of the housing market, whose collapse caused first the recession in 2007, as construction and durable goods orders dried up, and then the fiscal crisis as all of the bad mortgage paper came to light in the summer and fall of 2008.
Here is a very simple question for those who claim that it was Bush policies that caused this.
George Bush was in office from 2001 through 2009. If his policies were the cause of this, why did it take over six years, until late 2007, for the evil Bush to bear its poison fruit? Is there something else that happened around that time that might provide a better explanation? Let’s see, 2007, 2007…
Oh, wait! Wasn’t January 2007 when (Democrats) Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took over the Congress? Why, I think it was!
And what did they do to fend off the impending fiscal crisis? Not only nothing, but they precipitated it.