President Obama and President Bush should never be compared to one another. Ever. These men couldn’t be more different when it comes to policy, personality, and decision-making.
In fact, let us count 100 different ways in which the two men governed; differences that will remind us all why we should be glad that Bush is not still in the White House.
1. Bush started the war in Iraq and Obama ended it.
2. Bush lowered taxes on the wealthy and Obama raised taxes on the wealthy.
3. Bush tried to give Social Security to Wall Street and Obama protected it.
4. Bush left office with a $1 trillion deficit and Obama has lowered it.
5. President Bush ignored the War in Afghanistan and Obama made it his focus.
6. Bush didn’t kill Osama Bin Laden; Obama did.
7. Bush sanctioned torture and Obama ended torture.
8. Bush opened the Gitmo prison and Obama is trying to close it.
9. Bush instituted the failed No Child Left Behind education program and Obama ended it.
10. Bush relied on military force while Obama has relied on diplomacy.
11. Bush nominated mostly men to the Supreme Court and Obama has focused on nominating women. (Bush nominated one woman, but she was totally unqualified for the position.)
12. Bush nominated white men to the Supreme Court while Obama has nominated a white woman and a Latina.
13. Bush was placed in office by a conservative-leaning Supreme Court in 2000 while Obama won each of his elections legitimately.
14. Bush took unilateral action in foreign policy while Obama has worked more with our allies.
15. Bush responded poorly to natural disasters like Katrina, while Obama has responded more than adequately to disasters like Irene and Sandy.
16. Bush detained terrorists without due process and Obama has had terrorists prosecuted successfully with due process.
17. Bush deregulated big banks and Obama reinstated some of those regulations.
18. Bush never signed an Equal Pay for women bill while Obama did. It was the first piece of legislation he signed.
19. Bush tarnished America’s reputation around the world and Obama is restoring it.
20. Bush invaded a country illegally while Obama has done no such thing.
21. Bush had a cooperative Congress for most of his administration, while Obama hasn’t.
22. Bush used fear to control the American public while Obama has not.
23. Obama instituted healthcare reform that covers millions of people; the topic was not on Bush’s agenda.
24. Obama ended ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’. President Bush continued it.
25. Obama supports marriage equality and Bush does not.
26. Bush supported anti-union policies while Obama supports unions.
27. Obama has expanded land and water conservation programs more than Bush.
28. Obama has provided generous subsides to alternative energy producers. Bush didn’t do this.
29. Obama instituted tough emissions standards for cars and factories. Bush did no such thing.
30. Obama believes in climate change and that mankind has played a big role in that change. Bush is a climate change denier.
31. Under Obama, the stock market has eclipsed 15,000 points. It never got that high under Bush.
32. Obama created the Consumer Financial Protection Agency to protect consumers from unfair banking practices. Bush allowed the banks to use unfair practices at will.
33. Obama is pursuing gun control laws in response to tragic mass shootings while Bush took a hands-off approach.
34. Obama has cut defense spending while Bush only increased it.
35. Obama is bringing clean energy to the armed forces. Bush did not.
36. Obama has created more private sector jobs than Bush did.
37. Obama is for reducing and eliminating all nuclear arsenals. Bush withdrew America from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty which is the opposite of Obama’s stance.
38. Obama supports Planned Parenthood while Bush did not.
39. Obama supports a woman’s right to choose while Bush does not.
40. Obama and Bush both support fighting the AIDS epidemic, but only Obama supports the use of condoms as part of the fight.
41. Obama hasn’t landed on an aircraft carrier to falsely declare mission accomplished. Bush did.
42. Obama has taken far less vacation days than Bush.
43. Obama has written personal checks to Americans in need. Bush never did that.
44. Obama isn’t being used as a puppet by his Vice-President. Bush kinda was.
45. Obama hasn’t used 9/11 as a political tool. Bush did that for nearly eight years.
46. Obama signed the American Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus, to save the economy. Bush chose to save the banks.
47. Obama is working to end the War in Afghanistan. Bush began the war and could have ended it sooner had he not focused on Iraq.
48. Obama did more to save the auto industry than Bush did.
49. Obama toppled Moammar Gaddafi without placing soldiers on the ground in harms way. Thousands of soldiers were killed in Bush’s quest to topple Saddam Hussein and he never got Bin Laden.
50. Obama kicked banks out of Federal Student Loans, something Bush never did.
51. Obama expanded Pell Grants for low-income students, which is another thing Bush didn’t do.
52. Obama created Race To The Top to reward states for education reform, something else Bush didn’t do.
53. Obama increased fuel efficiency standards for vehicles. Bush didn’t.
54. Obama signed a new GI bill for returning veterans. Bush didn’t.
55. Obama also expanded the budget of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs more than Bush did.
56. Obama tightened sanctions on Iran while, if Bush were still in office, America would probably be embroiled in another war in the Middle East.
57. Obama issued new EPA regulations that will cut mercury and other toxic pollution. Bush weakened the EPA.
58. Obama signed a major overhaul of the food safety system which desperately needed it after the Bush years.
59. Obama expanded national service by tripling the size of AmeriCorps, more than Bush ever did.
60. Obama has protected more wildlife areas than Bush.
61. Under Obama, the FDA now approves of making the morning after pill available over-the-counter to women as young as 15. Bush never did that.
62. Obama is pushing to make the federal government more energy-efficient. Bush didn’t.
63. Obama cut the Reagan-era missile defense budget, something Bush never did.
64. Obama is increasing programs to combat cyber warfare more than Bush did.
65. Obama is pushing for a new space shuttle and manned mission to Mars, whereas Bush wanted to go back to the moon where we have already gone before.
66. Obama is improving school nutrition despite Republican attempts to classify pizza as a veggie.
67. Obama is encouraging a national push to get fit and eat right to cut healthcare costs and prevent diseases. Bush didn’t do that.
68. Obama has expanded hate crime protections, especially for the LGBT community, something Bush largely ignored.
69. Obama has avoided scandal despite petty attempts by the GOP to make up scandals. Bush, on the other hand, was involved in scandal after scandal.
70. Obama forced BP to quickly compensate and set up a fund for victims of the Gulf oil spills, again proving he is better than Bush at responding to disaster.
71. The Obama Administration is more transparent than the Bush Administration.
72. Obama is spearheading a movement to bring broadband internet to every corner of America, also something Bush did not do.
77. Obama’s EPA declared carbon dioxide a pollutant for the first time in American history. Bush could have done this, but didn’t.
78. Obama supports funding of stem cell research and lifted the Bush ban on the research.
79. Obama aided South Sudan in declaring their independence. Bush didn’t.
80. Obama saved Americans $4 billion dollars by ending the F-22 program. Bush didn’t.
81. Obama has aided African-American and Native American farmers, something Bush didn’t do.
82. Obama dared to slash the salaries of bailed out bank executives, whereas Bush didn’t.
83. Obama hasn’t started any wars since becoming President. Bush involved America in two of the longest wars in our history.
85. Obama has lowered taxes on the middle class more than Bush.
86. Outsourcing skyrocketed under Bush; Obama is reversing this and now jobs are coming back to America.
87. Obama has been cool under pressure while Bush was more reactionary and indecisive.
88. Obama established a credit card bill of rights to better protect card holders. Bush did no such thing.
89. Obama established the White House Council on Women and Girls. There was no such council during the Bush Administration.
90. Obama ordered financial agencies to establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring. Again, Bush didn’t.
91. Obama increased minority access to capital, thus helping minorities in ways Bush never did.
92. Obama negotiated a deal with Swiss banks to permit the US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals. Meanwhile, tax evaders had a field day under Bush.
93. Obama extended benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, which Bush never did because he is anti-LGBT.
94. Obama protected gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights, which Bush also never did because he is anti-LGBT.
95. Bush was a child of privilege who had every advantage that money and social position could provide. Obama was a self-made man who crafted his success from his own efforts and abilities.
96. Obama is extremely strategic in his thinking and planning and seems able to look past the immediate moment and defer gratification to achieve a greater future good. Bush had no such skills or vision.
97. Obama understands the true personal and economic costs of warfare, unlike Bush, who involved us in two wars while deeply cutting taxes.
98. The 9/11 attacks occurred under Bush’s watch, not Obama’s.
99. Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize. Bush does not.
100. Bush is a conservative Christian and his decisions and actions were largely faith-based while Obama’s decision-making has a rational, scientific basis resulting from a consideration of facts, data, and logic.
Two men, two very different presidencies.
Due to Republican obstruction in the Senate and Republican control of the House, Obama has been unable to dismantle much of the Bush legacy that has nearly destroyed this country. If Obama had a cooperative Congress like Bush had, they would be even more different from each other.
In fact, it’s likely a more liberal agenda would have been pursued by the Obama Administration, meaning the country would be stronger, healthier, and better than the nightmare that reigned during the Bush years.
It will take many more years to clean up the mess conservatives left for Obama. And if Americans turn Congress blue in 2014, the clean up effort will go a whole lot quicker.
© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.