“Bush’s approval ratings slide to new low”

I saw this headline, in connection with a CNN poll showing Bush’s approval rating at…

32 percent.

The basic problem with that headline is… it’s the headline for every goddamned report for Bush’s approval rating since, seemingly forever. The next poll might be another “record low” and it might be 33 percent — the uptick from this particular “record low”, but that means only that it will be the record low for — say — the CBS News poll.

As these things go, the last time I was shocked enough to comment strictly on Bush’s latest poll ratings, CBS had him at 34 percent. I contemplated on things that I can buy at Fred Meyer for the price of Bush’s Poll ratings. For his new poll ratings, I can now buy… Bumpkis. Just Bumpkis. Shortly after that 34 percent approval rating was released, some right wing commentators (Hannity, Limbaugh) complained that the polls were liberally biased… too many Democrats sampled. There were indeed more “Democrats” polled than in the past, but that is because the basic problem with these polls is that there is a noticable swing of people willing to identify themselves with a party when the head of the party is embarrassing. I don’t really know how they work the numbers, but I assume they have some sort of scientific formula they can crounch into the “margin of error”. At any rate, CBS released a new poll with the samplings more to Limbaugh and Hannity’s likings (or more like deference, as they’d probably just as soon figure that 75 percent of the nation are Republican). Bush’s approval ratings than shot up to that oh-so-astronomical high of 36 percent — or something like that. I’m sure Limbaugh and Hannity were pleased with that.

Bush has not been above 50 percent in the polls for over a year. I stare at the situation, just kind of trying to take various vantage points. Is there a precedent for something like this in American history? This Presidency is just becoming sort of Insane.

I note this book from some schmuck named Hugh Hewitt. Really, not worth reading (and I say that while noting that there is a deluge of anti-Bush books that are not worth reading as well.) But then again, with a comment like Warning: this is the book the Democrats don’t want you to read. attached to the book, I go with a little reverse psychology.

I bring this up because our “How we are going to achieve a Permanent Republican Majority” (with Bush as a bench-mark… yes, we’re going to establish a Permanent Republican Majority with Mr. 32%) popped up one of the chattering class cable talk blathering shows. (It popped up when I checked his book in “Electronic Library” in transcript form.) He was more sanguine and a bit “Woo – Hoop!” than befitting a man with a published book that “The Democrats don’t want you to read.” It seems that the premise of his book is in free-fall right now. The one thing he offered on Bush’s behalf was that Bush should focus on the “Trust-worthiness” issue, because that is, as polls show, his strength. When pointed out that on that issue, Bush is still pretty far below 50 percent, he shrugged and said, “It’s still his strength”, and went on with a partisan explanation on what to focus on to bring those numbers up… and I suppose I can kind of get behind someone who believes such a thing even when it’s an unpopular belief, because if you have any political allegiance and principle you will find yourself behind a politically unpopular politician at some point.

But, really. 32 percent. Each “record low” seems to be about one point less than the previous lowest poll, which means we’re three polls away from tossing Bush into the 20s.

That just doesn’t seem possible. Despite that line about 2-termers tending to end up with less-than-glamourous second terms (which I contend, largely by way of being contrarian is a bit of a myth: Clinton’s second term wasn’t bad; Reagan’s presidential legacy, in my mind, was rescued by his “Reagan and Gorbachev Show”… Granted, Clinton was impeached — with approval ratings that kept rising as the Impeachment ensured, and Reagan got away with extra-constitutional crap, but nonetheless, Reagan got away with his constitutional crap because of his inherent presidential strength having to do with his fine Acting, and there’s something to be said for that, and nobody cared one wit about Clinton’s extra-marital affair and thus his Impeachment goes down to one giant “Meh” with the American public). And yet… here we are.

Reportedly, Bush has hunched with some advisers and come up with a “Comeback Strategy”. One point in the strategy is to “Brag more”. Which is a joke, of course. Even when Bush was more popular (back when he was in the more sane-seeming mid 40 range, for example), the phrase “Arrogant” was attached to him. But I don’t think this Presidency is particularly capable of changing courses anyway, so why not more of the same?

At any rate, When You’ve lost Merle Haggard, you’ve lost America.

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