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In February 2010, two years after the election of President Barack Obama and two years into the
recession-inducing financial collapse, a billboard appeared in Wyoming, Minn.: a huge photo of former president George W. Bush asking, "Miss Me Yet?" At that point, most of the country, Republicans included, were not ready to admit any hint of nostalgia for the presidency that oversaw 9/11, started two deficit-busting wars in the Middle East, tanked the nation's finances with massive tax cuts for the rich, preached deregulation on Wall Street and made torture sound like a day at the beach. In 2008, as candidates scrambled to distance themselves from the toxic legacy, W. was a nonentity and "Bush" was reduced to a four-letter word.
Now that veneer of shame has begun to creep away.
On Wednesday, Mitt Romney invoked the great decider in the grand GOP game of spinning bad news as Obama-related and good news as meaningless coincidence. "I keep hearing the president say that he's responsible for keeping America from going into a Great Depression," Romney said. "No, no, no. That was President George W. Bush."
Romney here refers to the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the poorly negotiated federal bailout program that attempted to avert a more severe recession through billions in government giveaways to the financial sector. (Apparently the federal government can spend taxpayer money to restore the economy only under a Republican presidency.) Of course, Romney ignores the successful auto bailouts, which he strongly opposed, and other stimulus measures that injected money into the U.S. economy to save millions of jobs. Clearly, some memories are more easily recalled than others.
Then there's the matter of Karl Rove, whom Bush credited as "the architect" of his 2004 election, the brains behind the old "Mission Accomplished" ruse. This man, who could teach a washing machine a thing or two about spin and who is pulling the strings of American Crossroads -- the super PAC "100 percent dedicated to rescuing our economy from the Obama agenda" -- is trying to pass himself off as an objective journalist.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday, Rove set out to dispute the claims of a new Obama re-election video, questioning everything from the fact that the president actually faced a serious economic crisis to the very existence of cause-and-effect itself. Rove dedicates his space in the Murdoch-owned paper to downplaying any Obama successes and propping up the Bush regime.
But then, what else do you expect from these masters of lies? Romney and Rove want us to forget all about what came before so they can mold the future in their own distorted image. So tell us, readers:?Do we miss Bush yet? Are we ready for another dose? Are we ready to forget?
Follow Brayden Simms on Twitter @metropolitik