Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quack, quack 

Even WaPo seems to be catching on:

Two days after winning reelection last fall, President Bush declared that he had earned plenty of "political capital, and now I intend to spend it." Six months later, according to Republicans and Democrats alike, his bank account has been significantly drained.

Ah. The famous Bush mandate [NSFW!].

"There is a growing sense of frustration with the president and the White House [no kidding], quite frankly," said an influential Republican member of Congress. "The term I hear most often is 'tin ear,'" especially when it comes to pushing Social Security so aggressively at a time when the public is worried more about jobs and gasoline prices. "We could not have a worse message at a worse time."

Well, a message like this would be better in 2006. Numbers like this too:

In the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, taken last month, 47 percent of Americans approved of Bush's performance, tying the lowest marks he ever received in that survey, back in mid-2004, when Democrats were airing tens of millions of dollars' worth of campaign attack ads.

Similarly, just 31 percent approved of his handling of Social Security, an all-time low in the Post-ABC poll, while only 40 percent gave him good marks for his stewardship of the economy and 42 percent for his management of Iraq, both ratings close to the lowest ever recorded in those areas. Other surveys have recorded similar findings, with Bush's approval rating as low as 43 percent.

It would be nice if that darn liberal media would put that "popular President" meme to rest, now.

Such weakness has unleashed the first mutterings of those dreaded second-term words, "lame duck," however premature it might be with 3 1/2 years left in his tenure.

Bush's chief strategist, Karl Rove, is said by colleagues to remain optimistic that Congress will deliver Social Security legislation that includes personal accounts. But other aides privately are beginning to talk about whether they could accept a deal that does not include the accounts.

No deals. Never, never, never, never, never. "When your enemy's drowning, throw him an anvil."

John D. Podesta, a top Clinton aide who runs the Center for American Progress, a research institute that promotes ideas that counter conservative policies, said Bush made the mistake of trying to turn a successful election strategy of catering to his base into a governing philosophy that excludes Democrats.

"What surprises me is that they seem to be unable to adjust particularly to the circumstances," Podesta said. "They promoted their Social Security case. It bombed. I would have thought they would have tried to change the subject or tried a different strategy. 'You're with us or against us' works well when you're fighting al Qaeda, but it doesn't with Social Security, and they don't seem to have another play in the book."
(via WaPo)

I don't see why Podesta's surprised. The wingers and the theocrats put liberals, democrats, and Democrats in the same category as AQ, and they're Bush's owners. So it's not surprising that Bush has the same mindset about us that he does with AQ.

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