Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Bush's Rising Disapproval Rating
I agree with Bryan Preston:
Bush is tanking, but not because the country has moved to his left. It’s because he and the GOP have moved to their base’s left, combined with the administration’s complete inability to articulate its own defense or makes its case on the issues. The scandals factor in there too, but I don’t think they have had enough impact yet to drive up his negatives so high. Iraq is having a souring effect among the rising chorus of “to hell with them” hawks who are ready to write off the Islamic democratization project (a position that seems more reasonable by the day, given Cartoon Jihad, Abdul Rahman, the flight of Miss Iraq under threat of death, that young Nigerian girl whose father tried to force her to marry a rapist because she’d converted from Islam to Christianity, Iran’s actions, etc etc etc. Newt Gingrich seems to have joined that club, too). But another problem is the administration just doesn’t defend its record. The economy is posting gangbusters growth, for instance, but does the administration trumpet this triumph? Um, no. It’s telling that NRO’s Rich Lowry has been coming up with issue stances to help Bush save himself, but the president seems not only uninterested but nonexistent. The only thing Woody Allen ever said that holds up is the bit about showing up being 80% of life. President Bush seems to flip that percentage fairly often. If he’d just show up once in a while he’d see a four or five percent uptick in his approval rating. Perhaps the presidency is another of those jobs Americans won’t do.
Bill C adds: If you noticed Bush's approval ratings dipped with the Harriet Miers nomination and with the Dubai ports deal. his ratings came back when the administration and congress coordinated a response to John Murtha turning woobly. All of this points to Preston's point: the administration has neglected telling its story and has allowed the MSM to create demonstrably false memes which get hammered into the collective conscious daily. Say something already!