…that I won’t miss George Bush. He did an interview with the Star Telegram the other day. He talked about a range of things (including space policy, which I’ll discuss in a separate post), but this makes me crazy:
No question that the economic — the current economic situation is very difficult and it obscures the fact that during my time in office we had 52 uninterrupted months of job creation, which was a record. The current economic crisis began before my presidency. All of us who have held office during — from the genesis of the crisis until today bear responsibility.
On the other hand, given the stark nature of the financial situation and the dangers inherent with it, I have moved and moved very aggressively. We have abandoned free market principles and did what it took to prevent the financial system from melting down.
The implication of that last was that we were in the midst of some sort of riot of laissez faire up until September, then had to suddenly “abandon free market principles.” But what happened had nothing to do with free-market principles. Unless, that is, you consider strong-arming by Congress into handing out dodgy loans to unworthy home buyers is somehow a “free market principle.” Or that putting so much paperwork requirements on the accounting of public corporations (see Oxley, Sarbanes) that it has almost shut down the IPO market, and inhibited the formation of new startups is a “free-market principle.”
This kind of foolish rhetoric plays right into the hands of the people who demagogued the Democrats into power, with their talk about all of the mythical “deregulation” under “Republicans” that somehow resulted in the current financial mess, even thought they cannot point to a single actual instance of such “deregulation” (at least not in the Bush years). If they think that repealing Glass-Steagal was a bad idea (I don’t, in and of itself), that happened under that famous free marketeer, Bill Clinton.
I expect the Democrats to rewrite history, but I’m not going to miss a supposedly Republican president who acquiesces to it. And John McCain would have been no better.
[Update a few minutes later]
OK, here’s reason 32,468:
Two more former top Bush Justice Department officials have endorsed the nomination of Eric Holder for attorney general, the latest in a growing list of GOP backers for Holder.
In letters obtained by Politico and expected to be released shortly, Paul McNulty and Larry Thompson, both of whom served as deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush, threw their support behind Holder, who was a deputy attorney general under former President Bill Clinton.
James Comey, another Bush deputy attorney general, has also backed Holder.
This says much more to me about the poor quality of Bush Justice Department picks than it does about the merits of Eric Holder. I hope that the otherwise worthless senior Senator from Pennsylvania puts up the kind of fight against Holder that he’s been hinting at (though I wish that someone would also ask him about his views on the Second Amendment and Heller).
For anyone interested, I’ve put up a post about the space portion of the president’s interview now.