Mark Caserta: Obama, not Bush, owns the policies from his first term
Four-and-one-half years into the Obama presidency, liberal supporters of Barack Hussein Obama continue to draw contrast to the administration of George Walker Bush.
Frankly, they've become a bit like whining children, "Well, Bush did it!" they complain, "And I didn't hear you say anything about it then!"
Another liberal exertion of the notorious "Bush factor" is the caveat often offered by the administration or their minion liberal media regarding Obama presidential nominations or appointees who might have been remotely connected to the previous administration.
The unveiling of the individual's name is often followed by "...originally appointed by the Bush administration..." essentially warning conservatives to forfeit any prospective disdain over an individual who obviously had George W. Bush's stamp of approval!
When will liberals ever have enough confidence in Barack Obama to allow him to own his own results? They continue to distance the president from any responsibility for our nation's woes and refuse to hold him accountable for his numerous failed policies and empty promises.
Admittedly the ambitious policy aspirations Obama expressed early in his presidency were likely driven by the fact that he didn't know what he didn't know and he was simply seeking to be the "antithesis" of President Bush.
It became a problem, however, when at some point protecting his legacy superseded his responsibility to the country and liberals began working harder to defend his failing policies than making the terribly needed adjustments.
One of the first things Obama told Americans he wanted to do as president was to ensure the constitutionality of all the laws and executive orders passed while President Bush was in office.
"I would call my attorney general in and review every single executive order issued by George Bush and overturn those laws or executive decisions that I feel violate the Constitution," Obama said during a 2008 fundraiser.
Yet despite his "review and reverse" promise of Bush's policies, Obama has, in many instances, perpetuated them -- and in some cases, "broadened" their scope.
I recall liberals lamenting over GW's so-called assault on civil liberties when the Patriot Act allowed the surveillance of calls from suspected terrorists and permitted the FBI to obtain certain phone records without warrants.
But we're now learning that as an unintended consequence of those authorizations, Obama's National Security Agency and the FBI have exploited the original intent of this act by gathering unprecedented numbers of communications of U.S. citizens via Google, Yahoo!, Facebook and other Internet means.
This data mining is exactly "opposite" of Obama's promise to Americans. And given this administration's quickly advancing assault on our constitutional rights, I'm very concerned how this information may be used in the future.
President Obama should debut true leadership by taking the learnings from his first presidential term and begin fulfilling his promises to the American people. God knows our country desperately needs leadership right now.
But before that can ever happen, liberals must stop defending Obama's failing policies using a standard upheld by the prior administration.
Barack Obama owns his first-term policies -- not George Bush.
Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.
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