Friday, March 10, 2006

It's not the reality (or so the Republicans would have you believe)

In a new story, Poll: Bush Approval Rating Hits New Low, we read:
Nearly four out of five Americans, including 70 percent of Republicans, believe civil war will break out in Iraq - the bloody hot spot upon which Bush has staked his presidency. Nearly 70 percent of people say the U.S. is on the wrong track, a 6-point jump since February.
Yup, that's mighty bad. And so we also read:
"While I don't dispute the fact that we have challenges in the current environment politically, I also believe 2006 as a choice election offers Republicans an opportunity if we make sure the election is framed in a way that will keep our majorities in the House and the Senate," said Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
"Framing" as opposed to telling anything near the truth. Now all politics is to some extent sales, but with the Republicans that's pretty much all it is. And so, instead of facing the issues, Mehmlan is saying that the task is to "frame" things "in such a way" (!) to keep the majorities. Perhaps that means focusing intently on at-risk congressional seats and running over-the-top campaigns like the one a couple of years ago that said if Democrats get in, people will lose there bibles. Wouldn't put it past them.

And another thing. If the economy slows, then Bush will really get close to Nixon-style approval numbers, and he will be constantly under siege. That would be fun to watch.

And yet another thing. It appears that Bush's handling of the Katrina hurricane made a deep and lasting impression on people, perhaps because it 'confirmed' the ineptitude of the management of the Iraq war (and especially the "Heck of a job, Brownie" remark which even got David Brooks mad). The question is, can Bush reverse his decline? It's hard to see much upside going forward, in part, because Bush's character is now seen as suspect. That's a hard thing to rehabilitate. Look how long it took, and how much effort, for Jimmy Carter to get respect. About the only way Bush could recover in the short run (next 12 months) would be if he could pull a rabbit out of a hat - with an improbably settling down towards peace and prosperity in Iraq. But, as some commentators have pointed out, all administrations eventually reflect the nature of the president, and Bush is simply not interested in the hard work necessary to make things a success. Short of a 'fixer' like James Baker III showing up - and it could happen - the administration looks like it will continue to drift, to Bush's detriment.


What can he do to reverse the decline? Suddenly start showing competence?

Somehow I don't think that's gonna happen.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/10/2006 8:34 AM  

Unlike Carter, Bush does not have the press hounding him. Despite all the bad news they must cover, they're still deferential, trying to appear fair. The fairness will evaporate once a Democrat gets in office. Then it will be Carter/Clinton all over again.

The rabbit out of the hat will be something 9/11 related, maybe a new attack, or just a big scare. The other day he promised to catch bin Laden after not mentioning him for years. That indicates to me that they DID catch him, or found a boddy, and will announce it at the right time.

By Blogger brainhell, at 3/10/2006 10:22 AM  

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