In winning an argument, it helps to have a position that is proven correct by any evidence.
For the Bush administration, it was the war on terror. How could you tell whether the government’s actions had kept us safe since 9/11? Well, there had been no new terrorist attack, so that was proof enough, right? What if there had been an attack. Then that would simply underscore the need for the administration’s aggressive stance.
I see the same sort of sophistry surrounding the stimulus, recovery act, or whatever the label du jour is. If the economy improves (which it inevitably will at some point), it proves the administration was correct in pushing the stimulus. If it worsens, imagine just how much worse it would have been had we not acted. Of course, the other side could turn this on its head and say the economic recovery occurred independently from, not because of, the stimulus. Or that any worsening is evidence of its failure. In fact, you’ll hear all these arguments being made right now.
I appreciate that there are different points of views on both these issues, but let’s not delude ourselves into thinking that there’s any sort of empiric way to prove or disprove their efficacy.