Let’s get this straight: Mitt Romney is not George Bush.

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One of the Obama campaign’s main methods of vilifyingGov. Romney has been to conflate the two. Furthermore, Bush has become Obama’s go-to excuse for all problems the United States faces today.

The country is embroiled in the quagmire that is the Middle East. Of course that is Bush’s fault; he did begin two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never mind the fact that Bush was the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to have to contend with the momentous crisis of an attack within American borders. Bush led this country through a time of extraordinary uncertainty and fear.

 

Hindsight is 20/20. We might not like the state of U.S. relations with the Middle East today, but let’s not forget that when Bush sent troops to Iraq in 2003, his approval ratings were at a record high. An argument that he went against the will of the American people is far fetched.

 

The Obama campaign compares Romney with Bush not only to inject doubt into the voter’s mind about the Republican candidate’s foreign relations ability but also to distract Americans from the fact that Obama himself has not been very successful in the Middle East.

 

Yes, Obama ended the Iraq War and has been drawing down troops in Afghanistan. But there is considerable doubt as to whether stability will remain — or if it’s even been there to begin with. Rushing to exit from an indisputably undesired situation may cost the United States more in the long run. We should have finished what we started rather than leaving loose ends untied. Furthermore, Obama has proven that his diplomatic abilities are limited by not interfacing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who would be a crucial ally against a nuclear-armed Iran.

 

Ask Obama about why the economy is in the toilet, and you’ll hear that that is Bush’s fault, too. He put two costly wars on a credit card. On top of that, he cut taxes on the wealthy.

 

Both of those claims are true, even if Republicans describe them differently. However, by keeping this memory fresh in the electorate’s mind, Obama is once again trying to downplay his only failures and poor decisions regarding the economy.

 

One would be remiss to ignore the fact that the Obama administration advocated and rammed through Congress a multi-billion-dollar stimulus package that did not bring a fraction of the change that was promised. The economy is still sluggish, with unemployment remaining just below 8 percent.

According to Obama-logic, there aren’t shortcomings or failures of the current administration — it’s just Bush’s fault. And if you elect Romney in November, you are just electing another Bush.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, Republicans and Democrats: Do not be deceived by this.

 

I am no Bush apologist, but there is a point at which blaming the previous president and his administration for all of the country’s woes becomes absurd.

 

The Obama administration is not without its own shortcomings and failures. These faults would be much more forgivable if the president was to take responsibility for them. But he does not.

Voters should hold their candidates accountable to their successes and failures alike. Assess them on both their shortcomings and their merits. Obama dispossesses the former to compensate for the latter. That is not a candidate who deserves a second term.

 

Hannah Miller is a junior in the College.

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