Ever since Reagan, Republicans seem to have felt free to simply make things up. The Gipper lived in his own world of movie sets and fantasy, and he has bequeathed this trait to his ideological heirs. Witness one Mary Matalan, on CNN yesterday:
"I was there [in the Bush White House]. We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation's history. And President Bush dealt with it. And within a year of his presidency at this comparable time, unemployment was at 5 percent. And we were creating jobs."
Bush did not inherit a recession from Clinton. Bush inherited a prosperous country, with full employment, and a budgetary surplus. We were on track to have the entire national debt, created mostly by big-spending Reagan Republicans, paid off within ten years. Matalan apparently took the Onion seriously when it said, on January 21, 2001: "Our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is over."
When Clinton left office, the country was in the best shape it has ever been, and Bush threw it all away on tax cuts for fat cats. From start to finish, the one consistent Bush policy--held with unswerving near-religious devotion--was to make the world safer and more prosperous for the rich. They thought the rich created prosperity, where, in the real world, it is prosperity that creates rich people.
Did she really mean to say that Bush "inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil"? Bush "inherited" 9.11? How can you inherit something that hasn't happened yet? In what kind of bizarro world does Matalan live?
If one were interested in fact instead of fantasy, Matalan would know that the Clinton administration told the incoming Bush administration--repeatedly, and at high levels--that al-Qaeda was our foremost national security problem. What did the Bush administration do? They ignored it, and focused instead on shooting laser beams at incoming Soviet missiles.
Matalan is simply making things up, inventing history out of whole cloth, telling us that the sky is not blue but green. Worse, she may even believe it herself.