Bush economic revisionism approached satire this week, as the conservative commentariat began suggesting that voters miss the former president remembered for pursuing economic policies that drove the national economy into a historic recession and financial crisis.
Efforts to whitewash the Bush economy are nothing new on the right, but by suggesting a growing nostalgia for Bush the right tacitly advances the campaign of Mitt Romney, a campaign that even Republicans acknowledge is nothing more than an updated version of what Bush left behind. Moreover, the effort comes as the right tries to obscure the fact that during Romney's tenure as governor, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of all states in jobs creation.
The campaign to astroturf Bush nostalgia began during discussion of a White House ceremony unveiling a portrait of the former president. Rush Limbaugh proposed adding a bubble to the portrait asking, "Miss me yet?" Fox soon followed that suggestion. [See FOX Nation screenshot to the right.]
In a word, the answer to whether voters miss Bush is "no."
A May ABC News-Washington Post poll showed that Americans are far more likely to recognize that Bush is still responsible for the country's economic problems.
This is a problem for conservatives. Mitt Romney's economic team is littered with the very people who built the Bush economy. Republican officials themselves have acknowledged that Romney's economic vision is based on the model created by Bush. During an April radio interview, RNC spokeswoman Alexandra Franceschi was asked how Republican economic policies differed from the Bush economy, and she responded: "I think it's that program, just updated.
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