Today on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) tried to blame President Obama for the bank bailouts last fall. The Rev. Pat Robertson and Dick Cheney have also recently made the same claim, but by their definition of socialism, if Obama is a Socialist, so is George W. Bush, but this little fact hasn’t stopped the GOP from revising bailout history.
The Republican attempt to rewrite history began to take off after Larry Kudlow on CNBC asked Cheney, “Did the Bush-Cheney administration really launch government controlling private businesses?” Cheney answered, “No I don’t believe we did. I don’t recall any debate within the administration — there may have been some over in Treasury or some place — that focused on the extent to which government would try to control these institutions once they provided financing for them.”
On Friday, Pat Robertson said on Glenn Beck, “Franklin Roosevelt used the Great Depression to bring forth a dramatic change in the way we lived our lives. Obama and his crew are taking advantage of this to insert socialism and government control. He wind up taking over the automobile industry, the banking industry, and before long healthcare. It’s a massive power grab to satisfy the left.”
Shelby said today on Fox News Sunday, They intervene last fall in the bank crisis. No one has ever done it on that scale before. Now the automobile crisis. The difference between Shelby and the two previous examples is that he caught himself, and said a little later, “You have to go back to the Bush administration. They started it.”
Do you see a pattern here? The problem is that as Sen. Shelby pointed out the Bush administration started the bailout cycle. Here is a quote from President Bush’s September Bailout speech, “So I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by these troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending. This rescue effort is not aimed at preserving any individual company or industry. It is aimed at preserving America’s overall economy.”
Republicans must convince people that Obama is responsible for all of the bailouts, or else their charge that he is leading the nation towards socialism won’t work. By the current GOP standards, George W. Bush was the original socialist, since his administration enacted the financial bailout. Republicans are trying to rewrite history to make it fit their attacks on Obama. The only problem is that only those who have chosen to believe the lie are denying the truth. If Barack Obama is a socialist, then so was George W. Bush.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association