October 28, 2007

The New History

People, and their revisionist memories, are kinda funny.

In the summer before the 2000 elections, work was slowing down for us. Orders were dropping off and temps were let go. Things were not good at the old "Big Blue Weenie."

There were plenty of mumblings about a possible recession.

One thing that didn't help matters was the inevitable exit of President Clinton. The upcoming elections had bred caution. Folks were waiting to see who was going to take the reins of the nation, and which direction we'd go. G.W. Bush turned out to be the man. After the election, things were still slowly dropping off for us. Things dropped into the shitter with 9/11 and the Enron scandal.

I was talking with a co-worker a couple of years later, and he was going off about how Dubya had dragged us into recession. I tried to point out that we were already sliding that way before he took the Presidency, but "Frank" was vehemently in denial. Clinton had left the country in tip top shape, and Bush trashed it.

My personal thoughts are that economies are cyclical. As they say, "What goes up, must come down." It's going to happen. I don't blame Clinton, and I don't blame Bush for it, though how the country is handled definitely affects the speed at which the cycle occurs.

Bah... I don't want to get political. I'm just trying to point out that "Frank" had totally forgotten how many of us were wondering how long we'd have a job by the time the elections were over, and it was one of the main reasons that he hated the current President.

Cue forward to this week.

I'm talking with a new co-worker, one who is very political and firm in his thoughts. That's cool. His ideas are his, mine are mine. I'm not going to try to dissuade him. Unless he is wrong in his facts.

He hates Bush. Bush is a stingy fuck who won't award the Medal of Honor to our brave servicemen (a discussion of Mike Murphy kicked this whole thing off). While he's glad that Murphy got the medal, he's pissed that it took so long. I'll admit, I would have thought he'd have gotten it sooner, too. But I point out, I thought that the President doesn't nominate warriors for the medal... it's either got to come up the chain of command, or Congress recommends it. The President gives the final approval, but how many recommendations have died on their way to him? And I'm pretty sure that if he were denying the award, the media would be quick to point it out. I'm "wrong". Could be. I wasn't too sure of what I told him at the time.

Dubya cut funding for parks and education in Texas, he says. He's a bastard for ruining all of the good that Ann Richards had done, he says. This may be true... I don't know how things are in Tejas. It's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. For the most part, I just sit and listen to him.

Then he gets to the recession discussion that I had with my old co-worker. I try to explain how it was in my area (Northern Illinois) at the time, and that we were already on the downward slide, at least as far as our company. Nope. I'm wrong. Could be. I'm not going to argue politics. "Bush brought the recession on." Okay.

"Clinton cut the deficit in half." Not arguing... I'm pretty damn sure he did, but I'm not going to open my mouth unless I know what I'm talking about.

"Clinton had to clean up the mess that George I made in Iraq." And he implied that it was Clinton who ended the war.

WHA??? Clinton was not President when the First Gulf War ended. Yes, troops were still being cycled over to the Middle East, but the war was long over.

"Clinton was President in '92." Okay, first, war done. Ended in February of '91. Second, Clinton was not President in 92. "Yes, he was..." and then some long explanation of all of the glorious things that he had done.

'92? You're smoking crack. I was in the Marines at the time, and I remember an officer, with whom I was going to FDC school, proclaiming that we had "stepped in it now," after reading that Clinton won the election. "No..." I'm wrong again.

I patiently listen to his explanation of why I'm wrong, slowly getting steamed, and then, when he's finished, I tell him, "Dude... let's do some simple math. The upcoming Presidential election is next year... 2008. Right? That means whoever gets elected President will take office in January of 2009, right? There's been two term Presidents, recently. Clinton, and Bush II. That's 16 years. When does that put the beginning of Clinton's reign?"

He stopped did the math, and then grinned. But it didn't shut him up for long...

Point to all of this is not too make fun of the guy, but to point out how many folk believe what they want, based on "facts" that just aren't. And from those "facts," comes a deep hatred.


Posted by That 1 Guy at October 28, 2007 12:00 PM | TrackBack

Typical. Liberals (or Bush haters) make up the "facts" to suit their warped beliefs. It doesn't really matter what the real facts are. BTW - Texas is doing just fine.

Posted by: Dash at October 28, 2007 12:30 PM

"I patiently listen to his explanation of why I'm wrong, slowly getting steamed..."

See...that is why folks will actually have conversations with you. Slow to anger and even more deliberate in your speech.

More folks need to learn that lesson. (yes, I include myself in that "more".)

But on topic - the distortion of history has ALWAYS been a hot spot with me. And both sides tend to be guilty. But ohhhh do I hate when that happens. I mean, for cryin' out loud - spin the facts however you need to to make yourself feel better - but leave the damned facts alone!

Posted by: Tammi at October 28, 2007 12:51 PM

Met a dude this weekend that gave me the scoop on you dude!

Said you were a real nice guy...I was hoping for dirt!

Posted by: Mushy at October 28, 2007 05:29 PM

Aw shit, Mushy, I was hoping for dirt too.

Now I have to meet another nice blogger...

Posted by: Mark at October 28, 2007 07:12 PM

Politics and accurate history. Wow, that is a huge discrepancy. Anyone in politics "rewrites" history to suit their needs.

And mushy, don't let people fool you. T1G is not a nice guy, he is a Ripe B@st#rd for abandoning his friends. :)

Posted by: Contagion at October 29, 2007 06:48 AM

Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:

"I'm right. Don't confuse me with facts."

Posted by: Jerry at October 29, 2007 09:10 AM

revisionists is correct!

I hear a lot fo talk similar to that down here in Little Rock...

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at October 29, 2007 10:33 AM

Hoo boy! You can sooooo sit by me. I wish you had had my back during political discussions at *my* house this weekend....

And I would have fed you well too - just sayin' ;)

Posted by: Richmond at October 29, 2007 09:16 PM

People are entitled to their opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.

Posted by: Jimbo - PRS at October 30, 2007 05:49 PM