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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Own up!

When terrorists slaughtered nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, it didn’t take long for the right-wing talking heads to spin the attacks as the fault of the Clinton administration. After all, the argument went, the attacks were in the planning stages long before George W. Bush became president, so the carnage couldn’t possibly be his fault. (What the Bush backers failed to mention, of course, was that Bush was warned in the summer of 2001 that something of this magnitude was coming, and instead of doing anything about it, he went on vacation for a month.)

Then came the post-9/11 recession. That was Bill Clinton’s fault, too, the right argued, because the seeds for economic weakness were planted before the end of Clinton’s presidency.

When the stock market soared to record heights in late 2007, that, of course, was Bush’s doing. His tax cuts were just what the doctor ordered, the Republicans boasted.

Now the American banking industry is on the verge of collapse, and who’s to blame? Why President Clinton, of course! After all, the Republicans insist, it was Clinton, acting at Congress' behest, who allowed numerous banking regulations to be loosened in 1999, so the current crisis must be his fault. (Note to the blame-Clinton-first crowd: You might want to check which party controlled both houses of Congress in 1999.)

And, perhaps less importantly, when Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin came across like an idiot during questioning by ABC News’ Charles Gibson a couple of weeks ago, who did the right blame? Gibson, of course.

And today, in the wake of a New York Times report linking GOP presidential candidate John McCain with ailing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the McCain camp blamed – you guessed it – The New York Times.

What ever happened to people taking responsibility for their own mistakes?



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