Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Aim Low

Now as he tumbles to 56% disapproval in Gallup (and lower in others) one ponders whether Bush can surpass the lowest ratings of some of is predecessors (including Dad).

By the way, he is WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY below the lowest depths of Clinton's Presidency.

Bruce Reed at Slate sums up why Bush has a good chance, even in these polarized times:

Can Bush break the record? The experts say it's nearly impossible in a political climate so much more polarized than the one the men he's competing against faced. To increase his disapproval ratings among Republicans, Bush would have to lose a war, explode the national debt, or preside over a period of steep moral decline. Moreover, as his friends have learned, it's a lot harder breaking records when you have to do it without steroids.

Bush v. History: But don't count Bush out—he thrives on being told a goal is beyond his reach. The president is an intense competitor and stacks up well against the historical competition:

* Reagan was old and amiable; Bush is young, vigorous, and has a smirk in reserve.

* Both Carter and Bush 41 were one-term, rookie presidents with no clear plan to gain disfavor and who had to rely entirely on external events going south. Bush 43's chances don't depend on luck: He has a proven strategy to fail at home and abroad.

* Nixon had to achieve his disapproval ratings almost entirely through scandal, with little help from the economy or world events. The Bush White House is much more versatile: They won't let scandal distract them from screwing up foreign and domestic policy. Already, 62 percent of Americans believe the country is going in the wrong direction—the highest level in a decade—even before the Bush scandals have begun to take a toll.

* Truman might seem tough to beat, because Bush has no popular generals to fire. But Truman had several historic achievements under his belt that kept his unpopularity down, such as winning World War II and presiding over the postwar boom. Bush's record is free of any such ballast. In a pinch, the Bush camp can also make a good case that polling on Truman was notoriously unreliable, and that Bush deserves a share of the modern-day record if he reaches Nixon's level.

The Worst Is Not, So Long as We Can Say, This Is the Worst: Best of all, Bush has a luxury that unpopular presidents before him did not: time.

I would note that the falling popularity of the Chimperor has led to some hilarious jujitsu at the Imbecile Junction as they cling with desperate glee Rasmussen daily polls that show ONLY as little as 50% of the country disapproves of Bush. This displays all the intellectual rigour you expect from idiots calling Cindy Sheehan the "Grand Wizard" of the modern Klan, or an Anti-Semite.

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