Frank Rich is always good for a "OMG, did he actually write this crap?", but this column's lede takes the cake.
To paraphrase Al Pacino in “Godfather III,” just when we thought we were out, the Bush mob keeps pulling us back in. And will keep doing so. No matter how hard President Obama tries to turn the page on the previous administration, he can’t.
At what point has Barack Obama ever shown any intention of "turning the page" on the previous administration? Since his inauguration, Obama has made blaming, bashing and smearing George W. Bush a priority higher than either the economy or the War on Terror.
Obama blames George Bush for his own deficit spending. He blames Bush for the economic slowdown. He even blames George Bush for cyberspies. If Obama could figure out a way to blame George Bush for the Dallas Mavericks losing in the playoffs, I'm sure he'd do that, too.
If Rich weren't such a hack, he would acknowledge that Obama has tried diligently not to assume responsibility for anything. As long as he can blame things on George W. Bush, his own flip-flopping, incoherent policies are hidden from view.
The debate over torture memos and photographs are just the latest round. Obama had OLC memos on enhanced interrogation techniques released when he thought the story would help him and smear Republicans. He even approved of "truth commissions" on the subject...until it was discovered that such commissions would backfire and hurt key Democrats who have been left lying and lying ineffectively to cover their own butts.
Why can't Obama "turn the page"? It isn't, as Rich argues, that there's just so much that needs to be rehashed. Rich's talking points about Donald Rumsfeld using Biblical quotes in briefings is a yawner. Who cares? Or his argument that the Defense Department sent retired military officials to defend government positions on television, radio, and newspapers. Except for the ninnies at the Huffington Post, is there a real person in America staying up nights worrying about this? I doubt it.
The fact is that Obama could "turn the page" on the Bush administration by turning the page. That means no more blaming George Bush for every incident in 2009. No more leaking info to harm Republicans, then continuing Bush era policies.
In other words, Obama needs to grow up and be a man. Take responsibility for the government he's supposed to be running. Only then will he "turn the page." But I don't expect Obama to do this any time soon. It would require something sorely missing from this administration to do so: class.
UPDATE: Here is more on Obama not "turning the page" on Bush administration policies. Why? Because they worked.