A progressive and I were talking. I know that sounds like a pointless exercise, and largely, it is, but still, they amuse me, so I talk to them.
My progressive friend talked about how Obama was handed a terrible economy, and is trying to make good on it, while Bush was handed a strong economy and crashed it. Obviously, I had to remind him that the year before Bush took office, NASDAQ fell by half, and the "tech bubble" was already creating losses which lead to a sharp drop in the DOW. That is to say: Bush did not inherit a strong economy, but he did make the best of what he was handed.
To which, my progressive friend asked: "why can't conservatives take responsibility for anything that goes wrong?"
But he makes a great point. And I would like to answer him with a little story:
Lets imagine a world where Science, Economics, Reason and Logic simply do not work. In this imaginary world, people still study Economics, and they develop the same theories that we have in the real world. But the theories don't work. Mathematicians say that one plus one equals two, but not always.
In this world, you can raise the price of gasoline, for instance, and demand may not drop at all. Demand might actually go up. Same thing for taxes. In this imaginary world we will call Libotania, none of the tools that conservatives use to evaluate and fix the economy work. Instead, what does work is progressive ideas. Anything a progressive can think of simply works, as though by magic. Back to the gasoline example, if a progressive thinks that raising the price of gasoline by ten cents will cut demand in half, then that is actually what happens, no matter how contrary to logic and economics it may seem at the time. If the progressive then declares that reducing the price of gasoline by one penny will cut demand in half again, that works too. Libotania is a wonderful world!
In Libotania, the world is upside-down. Progressives are always right. Conservatives may occasionally get things right, but this is only by happenstance. (much the way things occasionally work out in the real world for Democrats).
In Libotania, there are still Republicans. They still run for office, and they are occasionally elected. But when they are elected, unless they follow the rules laid down by a progressive, the economy usually tanks. Everyone with any memory at all knows that this is what happens, and yet, somehow, Republicans still occasionally get elected.
If you asked a progressive in Libotania: "why can't progressives take responsibility for anything that goes wrong?"
The progressive would probably laugh.