The 'Just Like Bush' Meme is Surging Back

Usually political memes are very popular for very short periods of time, and then we grow tired of them or they're just written off as hyperbolic crapola. I thought the "just like Bush" meme suffered both fates until the past couple of days following the Sebelius decision prevent Plan B from being sold over the counter to underage girls.

Here in The Nation for example. And, disappointingly, here.

The Bush administration was anti-science -- full stop. Whether it was climate science or stem cell research, the Bush team was a nightmare of chicanery and slack-jawed superstitions. But the Obama team, with its considerable pro-science record -- including making contraception affordable and accessible through the healthcare reform bill -- is somehow comparable?

Yes, the Obama HHS made a bad decision here, but it's not because they're anti-science. And they won't be anti-science when, after the election, Sebelius or her successor lifts the block on over-the-counter access to Plan B for underage girls.


Under the Affordable Care Act, women’s preventive health care services – such as mammograms, screenings for cervical cancer, and other services – are already covered with no cost sharing for new health plans. The Affordable Care Act also made recommended preventive services free for people on Medicare. However, the law recognizes and HHS understands the need to take into account the unique health needs of women throughout their lifespan.

On August 1, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adopted additional Guidelines for Women’s Preventive Services – including well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception, and domestic violence screening – that will be covered without cost sharing in new health plans starting in August 2012.

Just like Bush.

  • KXA

    Bob, clearly you believe that the President’s decision was based on some kind of political calculation. Maybe that was a necessary or even a good calculation, we’ll see? So how in this case is that not “comparable” to Bush’s politicalization of science? Is it simply a matter of degrees?

    Pollitt seems to be arguing that his decision was a poor calculation and an unprecedented political reversal of an FDA position.

    She like you, sees this as a political choice and doesn’t agree he made a good one. She doesn’t claim that Obama is anti-science only that he is willing to place politics above science in this case – just like you.

    Politics and feminism is her beat, how could she not criticize this? Why again should she not criticize this?

    • nellcote

      But Sibelius said in her statement that she didn’t disagree on the science ( BTW the majority of the research was provided by the manufacturer) just that they didn’t research for younger girls enough. She’s asking for more science on the matter not ignoring it.

  • trgahan

    One could argue that the constant re-emergence of “not liberal enough” stories are evidence of wolfs in progressive clothing hoping to recreate the 2010 hissy fit that flattened Democratic turnout. Not that I am a conspiracy nut, but seems as it become clearer that the current crop of Republicans won’t be able to attract the American political middle without losing the embittered revenge minded base; the emerging strategy seems to be attack progressive motivation to turn out.
    What better way than to create some “progressives” who will say “he’s betrayed you!” on everything he does. No evidence, probably (hopefully) wrong.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I have no doubt that is part of it. I’ve run into at least one troll who constantly claimed to be a Hillary supporter, but would then attack every position the she’s held and liberals in general.

  • staci

    I am still at a lost on why so many people are up in arms about this decision. I could understand if the administration said nobody could have access to this pill. I could understand if we were talking about conventional birth control not being available ever again. The issue seems to be only that there are age limitations in place. Do you guys really think an 11-year old should be able to make this decision alone? My question is this: at what point would a girl worry about an unintended pregnancy and may need this pill? It would seem that for most young girls it would follow some traumatic experience like rape with an adult then going into prevent mode. If that’s the case, getting a prescription wouldn’t be an issue – the pharmacist could write it for the parent on the spot.

    I really don’t understand the outrage.

    • D_C_Wilson

      It’s a dicey issue. I’m not a parent, so I can’t imagine holding that kind of conversation with a daughter.

      The sad fact is, any 11 year old who might find herself needing Plan B probably doesn’t have the kind of parental figure in her life to help her with that decision. Worst case scenario, she’s even the victim of sexual abuse from the very parent(s) who should be watching out for her interests.

      • mdblanche

        I think in that worst case scenario we’re talking about a girl who’s in need of more than just Plan B.

  • JMAshby

    The Nation started tacking left and going all “just like Bush” during early 2010. And as far as I can tell, it’s mostly for vanity’s sake.

    Long running magazine known for liberal bias must compromise the truth in order to continue being “truly” liberally biased.

    If they don’t make the calculation, their reputation could be compromised.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Yeah, but they’ve been pretty forceful in that tack lately. To the point where they’re about to lose me as a subscriber.

    • nellcote

      This morning Katrina declared The Nation to be an “independent publication” not a liberal one. People should ask for their money back!

  • i_a_c

    Surprise, surprise, the usual Professional Lefties have found another “sellout.” As usual, the president gets all of the blame but none of the credit. Fact is, sometimes a politician is gonna act like a politician, and it sucks, but it ain’t making me any more likely to vote for Newt Romney or a fringe nobody.

  • Clancy

    Just unfollowed someone on Twitter for hitting the “just like Bush” sauce a little too hard the last few days. It’s terribly disappointing when otherwise intelligent progressives take such cheap (and completely silly) shots like these over mostly isolated policy differences. Perspective is a wonderful thing, folks, please have some when criticizing Obama for making crappy choices or having the audacity to disagree with whatever currently passes for (your version of) liberal dogma.

    • Bob Rutledge