The Bush Factor

I once tried to do something pretty edgy. I dated a Republican. It was a really tough thing to do and, in the end, it just didn’t progress beyond the initial going-on-a-few dates phase. The guy was kind of an asshole, but also, he was a vocal defender of The George Bush, and I really thought he might be crazy. This was toward the end of Bush’s Reign of Incompetence, when even the staunchest Republicans were running away from the very notion that he had ever been president.

This year, this electoral cycle, I am happily in a relationship with a left-leaning member of a teacher’s union who is committed to voting for the Obama-Biden ticket. We’ve been mildly paying attention to the race, largely to size up the opposition. Also because I make us pay attention: I’m far more political than my significant other is.

One of the questions that Special K has had throughout this election, that Romney has never had to answer, is: “How, exactly, are you unlike George W. Bush?” The biggest concern held by my significant other is that Mitt Romney is in fact a third Bush term. Because we both remember the kind of disaster wrought on this country and others by Bush policies, it’s a major concern. In the words of Special K: “I just think that if Mitt Romney gets elected, everything will go back to how it was under Bush and we can’t have that.”

So it was refreshing — and enlightening — when an attendee of this week’s town hall debate between the candidates asked Mittens Romney how he would differ from the policies enacted by the Bush administration. Romney’s answer was long and winding, sort of like his Mormon religion, but it boiled down to this: I am not like George Bush. I am more extreme than George Bush. And you’re going to regret asking that question.

Obama rightly pointed this out. The Republican Party has, in the past four years, been determined to shoot down Obama’s initiatives. They have developed no new ideas of their own and, as such, are dependent upon the resurrection of the Bush Doctrine. But this time, it will be more aggressive, more conservative, more severe, and far more punishing.

That’s the choice that we face this November. Do we want an even more extreme Bush presidency, or do we want to give Obama four more years to correct course, reinvigorate economic growth, and show us the real progress that results from Democratic policies?

As far as this Blue State household is concerned, we cannot afford anything other than a second Obama-Biden term. And we intend to vote early in the morning for just such an outcome, three weeks from now.