The economic blame game

The latest national CNN poll included a tidbit that’s worth keeping in mind.

“Do you think the policies of Barack Obama and the Democrats or George W. Bush and the Republicans are more responsible for the country’s current economic problems?”

Obama and Democrats: 32%

Bush and Republicans: 52%

Looking through the internals, blame for Republicans was surprisingly widespread. Both genders, every age group, every income level, and every region held the GOP more responsible for the current economic conditions. Self-identified moderates and independents also blamed Republicans.

It’s obviously just one poll, but it’s largely in line with other recent surveys that have shown similar results.

This is not to say that Democrats can count on these attitudes carrying the day, electorally, next year. Americans were inclined to blame Republicans for the economy last year, too, and if memory serves, GOP candidates did pretty well anyway.

For that matter, even if the American mainstream believes Republicans are responsible for our weak economy, it doesn’t mean they won’t take their frustrations out on the president in 2012 — voters may very well conclude Obama wasn’t responsible for the problem, but they’re not satisfied with the way in which he tried to clean up the GOP’s mess.

But I note these polls in part because some media establishment figures seem to get quite annoyed whenever the discussion turns to the economic problems Democrats “inherited,” as if the “i” word is a cop-out to be avoided at all costs.

It’s not. The fact remains that most Americans still believe Bush and his party got us in this mess — and the majority happens to be right.