Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bush's Bubble Troubles Continue

For a growing majority of Americans, the painful disconnect between what Bush says and what the reality is continues. A growing number of his supporters and allies are joining the ranks of Bush's critics. Even the Republican rank and file no longer support him with their usual enthusiasm.

The conservative magazine US News has a column by John W. Mashek:
All two-term presidents seem to suffer from a fatigue factor, but none like what George W. Bush is going through.

The Bush second term has been battered by the never-ending war in Iraq, a failing policy on the environment, a mess on the firings of eight U.S. attorneys, and the self-destruction of Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank. There are other flaps as well but you get the picture.

Poll after poll show Bush's popularity and performance in office is in the mid-30s or so. Vice President Cheney has embittered friends as well as enemies with his rhetoric and behavior.

With the help of many Republicans, including rubber stamp Republicans in Congress, Bush is failing Americans on issue after issue. Back in December, Bush had the chance to regroup after the November elections and the timely recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group that provided him the chance of political cover. But Bush chose to ignore the Iraq Study Group and the many experienced and successful foreign policy hands who said it was time to change course. Bush's arrogance and rigidity got the better of the president and his failed presidency continues with no relief in sight.

Here's just one issue, this one felt particularly hard in California, that's irritating everyone, including many Republicans; here's the story from the San Francisco Chronicle:
About 44 percent of Californians said they've had to cut back on such expenses as food and clothing to afford rising fuel prices, according to a Field Poll to be released today. But responses were sharply divided between higher- and lower-income groups.

The poll found lower-income workers -- those earning less than $40,000 a year -- were twice as likely as those earning more than $80,000 to feel the pinch, with 62 percent reporting reduced spending and 54 percent describing the price rise as "very serious."

(snip)

Californians pay an average of $3.33 per gallon at the pump compared with $2.86 per gallon for regular nationwide, the AAA auto club reported Monday. San Francisco and Oakland both set records, reaching per-gallon rates of $3.45 and $3.35, respectively.

According to the Field Poll, voters cited the oil companies and the Bush administration as those most responsible for the price increases.

The oil companies have donated far more money to Republicans in recent years than Democrats. Obviously the oil companies found their men in Cheney and Bush, both former oil executives. Neither have come to grip with America's growing energy problems and oil companies are only too happy to make record profits. It's hard to find a single issue where Bush has done something useful for the majority of Americans. Even Bush's tax cuts are meaningless for most Americans if most people end up paying more for credit, gasoline and health care while wages continue to stagnate.

Here are Bush's latest poll numbers from All Headline News:
President George Bush's quarterly approval rating, for his 25th quarter in office, has reached a new low. According to a USA Today / Gallop Poll, only 35 percent of Americans approve of the job President Bush is doing in the Oval Office.

Bush continues to live in his bubble surrounded by staffers who tell him exactly what he wants to hear. It's an unhealthy situation and most Americans now understand that we have a problem. The only suprising thing about Bush's poll numbers are the number of Republicans still supporting his failed presidency. But even that is beginning to change.

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