A Few Words on Behalf of a Straw Man

Keith Vlasak
As I was looking over a Fox News article summarizing exit polling, I was a little stunned by something that jumped out at me:


National

Blame For Current Economic Problems

Obama 38%

Bush 53%


Isn't that exactly whom Obama was running against in 2008? Indirectly? And the electorate in 2012 resembled 2008 -- which was the polling that turned out to be correct that none of us supporting Romney-Ryan could believe could be right after 2010. 2010, it turns out, was the outlier. So, what happened in 2010?

In 2010 Republicans ran against Nancy Pelosi -- yeah, Harry Reid and ObamaCare being shoved down everyone's throats, too, but mostly Pelosi. Remember all the town meetings when the Democrat Congressmen and women went back to their districts to sell Obamacare? The reception they got? The rise of the Tea Party? It was an issue fresh on everyone's mind with villains who were posters for the reason Congressional popularity was so low. Pelosi was a gift! Republican candidates beat her all over the country.

And we got fooled.

And then November 6, 2012.

I thought it was sad but understandable that G.W. Bush wasn't welcome at the convention or welcome to campaign anywhere, or for anyone (hey, Gore didn't want Clinton around in 2000, right?). No Republican wanted to be caught out defending Bush either. Persona non grata. So, when a Democrat suggests Bush is the cause of the economic meltdown, a Republican might say that there's enough blame to go around or might say nothing, hoping not to be associated with Bush (or the "failed" Bush policies). I understood all that. I even believed it.

And then the dull, depressing election results. I personally had a hard time sleeping for asking myself how this wasn't a landslide victory for Romney, which I truly expected, and thinking of all the attacks on Obama that Romney let slip away to seem presidential or above Obama's lies and innuendo or because we all knew Romney could win on the economy and that Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or anything could only distract from the issue most important to all of America by every poll. The Economy! But, what then, and this is the punch line, if the voting public is sold on the economy and...

Blame For Current Economic Problems

Obama 38%

Bush 53%

And please note that the 38% number means that some of the people who voted for Romney blame Bush for the economy -- today! So now I wonder what might have happened if some of the gazillion TV ads would have shown Bush's treasurer trying to convince Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Pelosi and Reid to do something about the housing market... and maybe toss in a reference to "their" failed policies of the past, maybe come right out and say that Bush bailed out GM, that Obama just rewrote the bankruptcy laws to pick who got to keep all of their pensions and who got nothing, that Bush was not the reason for the 2008 collapse, but that [the villains of 2010] Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, and Frank were the reason -- and to this day were lying about it, and maybe even close those ads with the clip of Madeleine Albright saying the Democrats will never stop blaming Bush! Never.

Of course, why should they?

As I was looking over a Fox News article summarizing exit polling, I was a little stunned by something that jumped out at me:


National

Blame For Current Economic Problems

Obama 38%

Bush 53%


Isn't that exactly whom Obama was running against in 2008? Indirectly? And the electorate in 2012 resembled 2008 -- which was the polling that turned out to be correct that none of us supporting Romney-Ryan could believe could be right after 2010. 2010, it turns out, was the outlier. So, what happened in 2010?

In 2010 Republicans ran against Nancy Pelosi -- yeah, Harry Reid and ObamaCare being shoved down everyone's throats, too, but mostly Pelosi. Remember all the town meetings when the Democrat Congressmen and women went back to their districts to sell Obamacare? The reception they got? The rise of the Tea Party? It was an issue fresh on everyone's mind with villains who were posters for the reason Congressional popularity was so low. Pelosi was a gift! Republican candidates beat her all over the country.

And we got fooled.

And then November 6, 2012.

I thought it was sad but understandable that G.W. Bush wasn't welcome at the convention or welcome to campaign anywhere, or for anyone (hey, Gore didn't want Clinton around in 2000, right?). No Republican wanted to be caught out defending Bush either. Persona non grata. So, when a Democrat suggests Bush is the cause of the economic meltdown, a Republican might say that there's enough blame to go around or might say nothing, hoping not to be associated with Bush (or the "failed" Bush policies). I understood all that. I even believed it.

And then the dull, depressing election results. I personally had a hard time sleeping for asking myself how this wasn't a landslide victory for Romney, which I truly expected, and thinking of all the attacks on Obama that Romney let slip away to seem presidential or above Obama's lies and innuendo or because we all knew Romney could win on the economy and that Benghazi, Fast and Furious, or anything could only distract from the issue most important to all of America by every poll. The Economy! But, what then, and this is the punch line, if the voting public is sold on the economy and...

Blame For Current Economic Problems

Obama 38%

Bush 53%

And please note that the 38% number means that some of the people who voted for Romney blame Bush for the economy -- today! So now I wonder what might have happened if some of the gazillion TV ads would have shown Bush's treasurer trying to convince Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Pelosi and Reid to do something about the housing market... and maybe toss in a reference to "their" failed policies of the past, maybe come right out and say that Bush bailed out GM, that Obama just rewrote the bankruptcy laws to pick who got to keep all of their pensions and who got nothing, that Bush was not the reason for the 2008 collapse, but that [the villains of 2010] Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, and Frank were the reason -- and to this day were lying about it, and maybe even close those ads with the clip of Madeleine Albright saying the Democrats will never stop blaming Bush! Never.

Of course, why should they?