I had a conversation Saturday with a couple of liberal friends -- not journalists -- and came away with little more than rote recitation of false liberal talking points.
Among the arguments made was that the housing crisis that snowballed into a financial crisis which avalanched into a severe recession turning into a depression was all George W. Bush's fault. That Bush had attempted to pass legislation that might have prevented, or at least lessened, the bad loans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were buying up was false. Not even an appeal to liberal authority -- The New York Times -- was sufficient proof. I told them that Bush had been stymied by Democrats and some Republicans, but no, that wasn't possible, never happened, won't hear of it.
You see, according to them, Bush had nothing less than a total dictatorship for the past eight years.
I mentioned that the Republican Study Committee had suggested that people be allowed in 2009 only to take money out of their 401(k) without taxes or penalty might help kickstart the economy. At the very least, that money might be enough to tide some people through until the economy picks up again. No, that wasn't a good idea, because people might take that money and blow it on a Mercedes or a BMW.
But no, they insisted, this was a bad idea. Because some people might very well blow that money, no one could be allowed to get at what was, after all, their own money. This same individual refused to give me his wallet when I noted: Yes, the money inside it was his, but maybe he couldn't be trusted with it.
There are people in the middle that understand there were a lot of different bad actors who got us into this financial mess. Bush isn't blameless, but he doesn't shoulder all the responsibility either. But the left will continue to hold tight to their bogeyman. You can bet in two and four years if we're still wallowing in this depression that they'll still blame Bush. I suspect that Obama will never own any problem he doesn't want to own. He can blame Bush and his base will buy it.
I am a conservative. I do not love George W. Bush, nor do I hate Barack Obama, because, in my opinion, Bush was mediocre and Obama is an unknown at this point. But I have come to realize that I really hate people who hate Bush and/or love Obama. They have no ability to think clearly.
My wife thinks Chairman Mao was the greatest, and that Tawain and Tibet are part of China. When these conversations come up, its best just to be polite, and quickly steer the conversation else where. Sometimes, it is best just not to talk about it.
Democrats don't think, they feel. Anything, including facts, that disturbs the feeling is obviously false and can be ignored. Bush was a mediore President, good on nation defense and judicial appointments, fairly weak elsewhere. Obama has let his cult mature into an army of zombies. Neither impresses me but Obama has the potential to be a disaster.
Matt - There's a liberal newsweekly in my area (the Advocate newspapers) that prints the most nonsense agitprop you've ever read. Fortunately (foolishly for them) they leave their online material open to comments, and I see it as a sworn duty to dismantle their arguments one-by-one.
Here's one my typical threads, that ended very abruptly after certain facts were put into evidence: http://www.hartfordadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=11507
This isn't the 18th century where people get their information from broadsheets. Everybody has the internet; why can't people check basic facts?
I guess the liberal viewpoint is so much more self-satisfying.