Gillespie Working Hard On Bush’s Legacy

Ken AshfordBush & Co.Leave a Comment

There's much to dispute with Ed Gillespie's article "Myths & Facts About The Real Bush Record", a deceptively written article which, while heavy on facts and numbers, also obfuscates many more important facts. 

For example, Gillespie points out that, under the Bush Administration, we had 52 consecutive months of job growth.  What he ignores are the statistics that, under the Bush Administration, much of that "job growth" is attributable to elimination of better jobs.  For example, if you fire someone making $20/hr with benefits and replace them with two temps earning no benefits making $8 or even $7/hr then according to the government jobs were "added".  Also, many of the jobs created are second jobs, and crappy ones at that. Someone laid off from a $30/hr manufacturing job with healthcare, who is then forced to work two burger-flipping jobs, represents "job growth."

It's also relatively easy to have economic prosperity when you triple the size of the national debt.  Listen, if my credit card had no limits, and I used it like a man with 6 months to live, I would appear to be "prosperous" too.  But it's not real wealth.  It's debt.

Gillespie also attempts to shoot down the notion that only the rich benefited from Bush's policies, pointing out that Bush policies got many people off of welfare.  That may be, but still:


The chart shows average inflation-adjusted incomes of the poorest 20%, middle 60%, and top 1% of households since the 1970s. The incomes include government transfers and subtract taxes. For the bulk of American households, incomes have increased moderately or minimally. For those at the top, by contrast, they have soared.

So there is kind of an Enron-like numbers game going on within Gillespie's article.

But Gillespie ends with the worst "fact" ever touted in favor of the Bush Administration's legacy:

And one last fact: Our homeland has not suffered another terrorist attack since September 11, 2001. That, too, is part of the real Bush record.

Wrong.  Flat out wrong.

First of all, we had an anthrax attack that killed seven people shortly after 9/11.  Here.  On the "homeland".  What — that doesn't count?

And more importantly, this whole notion that the Bush Administration began on 9/12/01 is silly.  It's kind of like saying that presiedntial security was successful during the Lincoln administration, as evidenced by the fact that Lincoln wasn't shot again by someone following the event at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

The fact is that when you take the entirety of the Bush Administration, his record on preventing domestic terrorism is the worst of all the other previous administrations combined.

Nice spin though, Ed.