How low can he go? A recent CBS News poll shows President Bush’s approval ratings have sunk to 34%. Some question the sampling method: were too many Democrats sampled, thus making it biased? As other polls results come in, we will soon know. However, after today’s news you have to wonder whether Bush will soon feel nostalgic about this week. Perhaps he will look back on the good old days when there were still 34% of Americans who approved of his job as president.
That Bush has 34% approval is largely due to his delusional Republican flock. However, even there, there are signs of weakness. 22% of Republicans disapprove of Bush, along with 86% of Democrats and 61% of independents. Now, with the clear video evidence that Bush was given explicit warnings about the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina before its landfall, and his subsequent proclamation four days later that no one could have predicted the magnitude of the storm, it is reasonable to ask: is this the final incident that will sink his ship of state?
What more evidence do Americans need that we have a disaster for a president? Bush has a reverse Midas touch: whatever he interferes with, he makes worse. If this were not enough, when he needs to become engaged, he cannot summon the energy. Iraq, Katrina, failing to capture bin Laden, the spiraling deficit, global warming, pissing off our allies, record gas prices, faith-based initiatives, No Child Left Behind – I could go on for pages on things he has bungled.
My brother sent me an email when this latest poll came out. He asked the question: how could the 34% of Americans still be so stupid? It is a good question. Has the rest of the country been living in a cave the last five years? Are the 34% Evangelical Christians hoping that Bush will trigger Armageddon so they can be saved? Have Republicans become so stuck in their opinions that they have simply lost any shred of objectivity? In view of his colossal mistakes, how could anyone support him unless they were delusional or had a frontal lobotomy?
Yet there are still plenty of them out them. Heck, I see them on my block, still sporting their Bush/Cheney stickers on their SUV bumpers. I cannot fathom why they did not surreptitiously peel them off. Do they want to be like Captain Edward J. Smith and go down with the Titanic? Do they want to be derided, laughed at or even worse pitied by their neighbors? Maybe their support is just another faith-based initiative. Click your heels three times Dorothy and you will end up in Kansas. Maybe they forgot that Dorothy just got a bad knock on the head.
Bush may not be the worst president of all time, but he is coming very close. As bad as the Iraq debacle is, he has not yet hit President Buchanan’s peculiar milestone. Buchanan largely stood aside and allowed our Civil War to start. Nevertheless, hold on. Bush has three years left in his term. Give him time. Who knows what it will be. Perhaps it will be another oil shock. Perhaps a thermonuclear bomb will slip through one of our ports (where only 5% of cargo are inspected) and destroy a major city. I am praying though that the gods have decided we have suffered enough. Seeing how the good people of Iraq are suffering for our foolishness though, I am not too hopeful.
After the 2004 election, I wrote that Bush’s chickens would come home to roost. Like the Iraq de facto civil war now underway, those chickens were not at all hard to spot even then. Check off the Iraq debacle. Energy prices up. Check. Deficit keeps going up. Check. International lenders getting wary of lending us money. Check. Health care costs dramatically outpacing inflation. Check. Net loss of earning power. Check. Bin Laden still at large four and a half years after 9/11. Check. If this were a chess match Bush would be down to a king and a couple pawns. We had wrapped up World War II within four and a half years of Pearl Harbor. Yet here is our foolish president in Afghanistan saying today that bin Laden “will be brought to justice”. It is unlikely to happen on your watch, fool.
As the polls clearly show, Americans are fed up with Bush and even more fed up with Congress (28% approval). Since Republicans have a lock on all three branches of government, I believe that voters will take out their wrath on them during elections this autumn. If you asked me six months ago, I would have said that Democrats had a 50% chance of retaking the House and forget about retaking the Senate. I now think the odds for retaking the house are at least 75%, and there is a 50/50 chance in the Senate. As I pointed out in this blog entry, in the elections after Watergate, Democrats increased their majority in the House by 47 seats and 4 seats in the Senate. Americans now disapprove of our Republican congress to a higher degree than they disapproved of the Democratic congress before the 1994 “Gingrich Revolution”. In 1994, Republicans picked up 55 seats in the House. Democrats need just six seats to take control of the House. With so many retirements and the current mood in the country, barring some massive election fraud, I think it is a slam-dunk. Unfortunately, I do not put massive election fraud past the current crew. They have demonstrated repeatedly they do not care about the law.
If Democrats win, is impeachment out of the question? I certainly hope not, although the idea of Cheney having his hand on the nuclear trigger is even less appealing that having Bush’s finger on it. However, perhaps they will go down in flames together. With Democrats in charge, it would not be difficult in the least to find charges that amount to probable cause for high crimes and misdemeanors. Bush’s egregious violation of the FISA statutes is the simplest and fastest way to throw the bum out. However taking us into war in Iraq based on scattershot and faulty evidence is even more egregious. Convicting him in the Senate would be tougher, but perhaps even Republicans would be glad to cut their losses. Most do not see it yet, but Bush is an albatross around their necks. Whoever replaced him and Cheney, even if it were a Democratic Speaker of the House, would be better for their party then allowing the current set of fools to stay in office.
If because of this latest revelation Bush’s poll numbers do not drop into the 20s, then perhaps Republicanism just needs to be banned. Apparently, it is more addictive than crack, and wholly messes up the heads of otherwise reasonable people. Fortunately, a few conservatives like William F. Buckley have finally seen the light. They will not be mistaken for a fool any longer. They are wisely jumping into the lifeboats while there is still room.