By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, May 19, 2008 4:20 PM PT
The Presidency: It takes little courage — or brains — to join the mob vilifying President Bush. But the Democrats (and Republicans, too) depicting him as villain will one day regret it.
Read More: Election 2008
In the eyes of members of both parties, George W. Bush seems to be the cause of everything from the recent GOP special election losses to a flagging economy to today’s bad weather.
Barack Obama plans to reach the White House by claiming the presidency of Sen. John McCain would amount to a third Bush term. McCain, meanwhile, seems to think it a wise campaign strategy to highlight his differences with the president, such as outgreening the greens on global warming.
Rep. Tom Davis, former chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, reflected the panic engulfing many Republicans in Congress last week when he called President Bush “absolutely radioactive” and warned, “They’ve got to get some separation from the president” if they want to win this November.
How about a dose of reality?
On the economy, there are indications the sun is coming out after a fairly mild economic storm. More data are showing a recession will be avoided, and it looks like a new bull market in stocks began in March after a short and shallow bear.
The report earlier this month of 20,000 jobs lost in April was far better than had been expected, and unemployment remains low at 5%.
There is undeniably a lot of gloom and doom out there, with the Reuters/University of Michigan sentiment index at a 26-year low. But the National Association for Business Economics announced Monday that it expects the current downturn to be mild and brief.
NABE “anticipates a significant pickup in the second half” with real GDP for 2009 projected to be 2.9%. It may not even classify this downturn as a recession at all.
For the resilience of this economy, we can thank the president. He pushed substantial tax cuts on income and investment through Congress, which were followed by four years of growth, generating over 8 million jobs.
The president also can be thanked for appointing Ben Bernanke, chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers, to succeed Alan Greenspan as Federal Reserve chief. Bernanke has moved on several fronts to keep the economy afloat — including creatively making more credit available to combat the subprime mortgage crisis.
As for national security, Obama keeps saying the war in Iraq and the rest of the administration’s foreign and defense policy have, as he put it last week in South Dakota, “prevented us from making this country safe.” But the country is safer than anyone expected after 9/11.
There has not been a single terrorist attack on the homeland, and we have instead foiled multiple terrorist plots to kill innocent Americans. America has succeeded in foiling these plots because Bush gave the National Security Agency the authority to monitor any and all communications of suspected terrorists, by telephone, e-mail or other means.
The president also gave authorization for the CIA to employ tough interrogation methods on terrorists in custody, to the extent of transporting those detainees to secret locations abroad.
As we have prevented the terrorists from taking their jihad to the U.S., we have taken the global war on terror to the terrorists’ home soil. We have given Muslims in the Middle East the opportunity for freedom in Iraq, proving that we are willing to spill our blood and expend our own resources to defend our interests as we promote their liberty.
When faced with the entire Washington establishment demanding an end to the war — including his own father’s secretary of state, James Baker — President Bush stuck to his guns, placed a new general in charge and employed a surge strategy that is now winning the war in Iraq in resounding fashion.
This is the supposed albatross Republicans are so intent on distancing themselves from and which Democrats believe to be the key to victory in November. The facts of the last seven years tell a different story.