While I was watching the GOP Convention this week – and I watched all of it – I kept thinking that they are living in a bubble universe. Listening to the rhetoric, totally divorced from all reality, one would think that we had been living under almost 8 years of President Dennis Kucinich, with Senate Majority Leader Ted Kennedy and Speaker of the House Michael Moore.
Facts, though, are tricky things and you can’t run against a straw administration that doesn’t exist. And the truth is that for the past eight years (longer in Congress) we have had the most conservative administration since Ronald Reagan’s and unlike Reagan, the Bush administration has been able to practice supply side economics, pursue tax cuts for the rich, and roll back regulation on everything from banking to the FDA. And Bush has been able to pursue a reckless foreign policy that embroiled us in an endless occupation in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack no matter how much Republicans want that to be true.
Most economists, including those in the Bush administration, admit that lack of proper oversight of the banking industry led to the mortgage meltdown and housing crisis. Likewise, lack of proper regulation has flooded our markets with tainted lettuce and peppers, unsafe toys, lead in toothpaste, and a host of products that have sickened and killed us, our children and even our pets. Also an administration that thinks government is of no use was not there to perform the duties a government should perform during Hurricane Katrina – though, at least, this time they learned their lesson, mostly out of political expediency.
The truth is the country has not been run by anything approaching liberalism in over 30 years. But in the last nearly 8 years it has been run on the pure ideology of the hard right and if you listen carefully to their speeches for the past three nights, all they promise is more of the same.
Maybe it’s time to actually see what the liberals have to offer. When Clinton was in office, he had a conservative Congress that did nothing but try to obstruct his policies and impeach him. Perhaps it’s time to actually give progressive Democrats a real chance to see what they can do. People in the tradition of Harry Truman, Franklin D Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Clinton. After all, it couldn’t be worse than it already is.