Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Bush Still Thinks the Right Spin Will Restore His Credibility

Persistence in spite of repeated blunders is not exactly a virtue. Recent moves by Bush suggest that he hasn't abandoned his 'stay the course' paralysis in the face of failure and deepening chaos. Unless the pressure on the president and vice president continues to build, we are likely to be subjected to another series of speeches in a few weeks where Bush once again tries to convince the American people of things we know are not so. Such speeches will be a waste of everyone's time.

In the polls, Bush's numbers continue sag after the election; here's the latest from the Wall Street Journal:
President Bush's approval ratings, as tracked by Harris Interactive, fell to the second-lowest of his presidency, according to a new poll.

According to the telephone poll, conducted between Nov. 17 and Nov. 21, 31% of U.S. adults called Mr. Bush's job performance "excellent" or "good" -- down from 34% who gave a positive assessment in a late-October poll; 67% said his performance is only "fair" or "poor," up from 63% in the previous survey. The president's lowest approval rating in a Harris poll was 29% in May 2006.

I suspect 31% is a message the president should heed. Before the numbers start drifting down into the middle and low 20s: in other words, before the numbers drift into guaranteed impeachment territory. Make no mistake: Bush deserves to be impeached. But he ought to do us all a favor, save us the wrenching experience, and get his act together in his final two years. The American people are not demanding greatness—Bush isn't capable of that—but they are demanding some level of minimal competence and some effort to relieve us of perpetual war and a greater effort to adhere to the US Constitution. Licking a domestic problem or two would be a bonus.

Bush ought to also notice that Americans have caught on to Karl Rove for some time now. Karl Rove's numbers are even lower than Bush's as Greg Sergeant of TPM Cafe reports:
In the aftermath of the midterm election, the approval rating of Karl Rove, the "architect" of the drubbing suffered by the GOP, has dipped below 20 percent. A new Gallup poll out today finds that Rove's approval rating has slipped to 19 percent, down three points from 22 percent in July... ...

Karl Rove specializes in wedge issues and divisiveness as a way of distracting attention from the inadequacies of President Bush and the Republican Party. Americans have had enough of it.

I don't have the latest poll numbers for Dick Cheney but he too shows signs of not having learned a thing. He still has the same self-important hubris; here's the story in The Huffington Post:
Vice President Dick Cheney flew into Tallahassee Monday afternoon. Though there are no details of his destination, Cheney is on a hunting trip.

Exchanges on Interstate 10 were blocked earlier this afternoon and a spokesperson for the Tallahassee Police Department said it was done as security for the vice president passing through.

I suppose the highway might have been closed as a safety precaution given the vice president's inabililty to shoot straight, but the hubris is still unmistakable.

One way of putting pressure on the president and vice president is for the media to stop pretending the two have any credibility. Iraq is in a civil war and the president has no solution—story on the six o'clock news.

4 Comments:

Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Well said. I'm almost at a loss to continue elaborating at Oh!pinion how thoroughly, ceaselessly, oppressively wrong Bush, Cheney, Rice and this whole rotten crowd are.

It's becoming a mind-numbing chore to keep pointing out how absurd each new utterance — obfuscation, exercise in blather revealing ignorance or denial of reality — they make really is.

It's become like beating on a corpse. The intellect cries out at times that the point is made, in spades. Only the willfully blind fail to see it. That would be the 20 percent who still rate Bush as doing a good or excellent job, going by the Harris poll.

It must be easier in a way, living in a hot Latin American country where passions run strong and catharsis is available via a rowdy revolution, or at least a palace coup, with plenty of precedent established for both.

We've got two costly, agonizingly long years to go with these political pygmies in charge.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Craig said...

S.W., good honest comments about a bad situation. I meant to comment on your site the other day when you talked about an amendment to make it possible to vote out a president who has clearly demonstrated his incompetence or whatever. The country needs a discussion about this stuff and more ideas to think about. I don't know the answer but we clearly can't afford more George W. Bushes and with the exception of Hagel, the Republicans aren't offering anything better in 2008, McCain included.

My feeling is that the next four months are critical and you've been hitting the right notes over at Oh!pinion. It isn't just about people being blind. It's also about courage in some cases when people know perfectly well how bad things are. The blogs provide a chorus that sometimes provide that extra 5% that's needed to simply stand up and tell the truth to Congress or the TV viewer.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

P.S. Or the extra 5% of motivation needed to go to the polls. Progressive blogs can definitely make a difference.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Thanks for the good words. I take encouragement from what you say.

11:21 PM  

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