President Obama has a sneaky technique: co-opt Bush Administration accomplishments and repackaged them as Obama Administration successes. So far, the technique has worked pretty well. Obama refuses to accept any responsibility for bad news, overwhelms Americans with overlapping dramas, finger-pointing and blame-gaming all designed to divert attention from Obama Administration failures.
Americans need to ask themselves: at what point in time will they ask Obama to generate his own successes and take responsibility for his Administration’s failures?
Administrations often advance selective policies of previous administrations—that’s just good government. For example, the Clinton commitment to historic preservation, Save America’s Treasures, was continued by the Bush Administration, then expanded by First Lady Laura Bush as “Preserve America”. George Bush’s No Child Left Behind was an expansion of Lyndon Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Expanding and continuing policies is nothing new, but Obama has been “unprecedented” in the degree to which he has embraced Bush policies without giving credit where credit was due.
Internationally, on the grand scale, we have seen Obama adopt Bush Administration policies regarding terrorist detainment, military tribunals, NATO, the Surge, the “no safe haven for terrorists” policy just to name a few. But domestically, the same approach of theft and repackaging of Bush Administration initiatives is also occurring.
In the area of energy conservation, Obama has spent 17 months repackaging Bush Administration initiatives. For example, the Obama Administration, as proof of its commitment to sustainable energy and the environment often touts the solar energy park at the Denver Federal Center. Just one thing: the solar park was designed, approved and funded during the last year of the Bush Administration.
In March 2010, the White House released the Department of Energy’s Comprehensive Strategy for Energy Security, outlining the Obama Administration’s “unprecedented” advances in federal greening initiatives--only many of the initiatives cited began during the Bush Administration.
In a category called “Greening of the American Fleet”, the White House cite doubling of the number of hybrid vehicles in the federal fleet as last year’s great accomplishment--—without mentioning that the green fleet initiatives were begun under George W. Bush, the automotive purchase costs and conditions were negotiated during Bush’s term. Furthermore, the only reason why purchases of hybrid vehicles doubled in the past year was a bit of OMB-related sleight of hand, whereby the government accelerated procurements planned for the subsequent fiscal year in order to enhance the statistical results of the “Cash for Clunkers” program.
In various speeches to push the flawed cap-and-trade legislation, Obama has been touting “smart” energy meters –devices that allow individuals to monitor energy use. But, smart energy meters were utilized in federal office buildings and were installed on the desktops of many federal workers, including me, during the Bush Administration. (By the way, the meters work quite well.)
“Representing the words or ideas of another” without clearly acknowledging the source, is considered intellectual fraud. Certainly, Obama, a former professor at the University of Chicago, would know, in academia, lack of attribution for ideas or words is taken extremely seriously and often is punishable by expulsion. The blatant and unapologetic theft of Bush Administration accomplishments and the subsequent repackaging of these domestic initiatives to provide evidence of Obama Administration successes is an ongoing fraud on a massive scale that, for the most part, goes unacknowledged.
Obama is determined to cast George W. Bush in the role of Bogeyman of the Western World. Seventeen months into his presidency, Obama continues to blame Bush for all ills, from global warming to the problems Obama’s tax-dodging, political appointees are having with their senate confirmations.
We have seen Obama “lie” about the federal deficit he inherited from George W. Bush, yet page 35 of the Mid-Session Review, published by OMB Director Peter Orszag, shows the “inherited” deficit to be $459 Billion, not the $1.2 Trillion that Obama claims.
We have seen the Obama Administration “cheat”, complicit in approving deals that, in essence, bribe members of congress to get flawed, but face-saving, legislation passed through a weary, wary congress.
And, we’ve seen Obama “steal”, though the stealing has, for the most part, been the theft of the futures of our children and our grandchildren as a result of bloated deficits and Obama Administration, job-killing, small-business-crushing policies.
Fraud is usually considered a crime, so, at a minimum, Republicans should require a president who delights in his “historic”, “unprecedented” transparency to give credit where credit is due. Republicans need to get tough about attribution, hold Obama to a higher standard than we have seen over the past 17 months and reclaim the accomplishments of Bush Administration initiatives before the Obama Administration erases them completely.