Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A Dispirited Base

Daily News columnist Michael Goodwin says Bush is starting to sound like Jimmy Carter:

Speaking of skyrocketing gas prices Sunday, Bush told a California audience to expect "a tough summer," then threw cold water on any hopes he had a solution: "The American people have got to understand what happens elsewhere in the world affects the price of gasoline you pay here."

Message: You're on your own.

Monday he preached defeat on the immigration crisis, saying, "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic. It's just not going to work."

Message: There's nothing we can do about it.

As Bush might soon learn, there is something worse than being unpopular - it's being irrelevant. Even when problems are enormously complex, the American people don't hire Presidents to tell them there is nothing he can do about them. Jimmy Carter discovered as much after his infamous "malaise" speech. He told Americans to stop feeling sorry for themselves and they responded by getting a new President.

Bush has his second term, but with midterm elections approaching, he'd better come up with some answers or he'll reap a Democratic Congress. Two years of that would make him long for Carter's early retirement.

Goodwin was a Bush apologist for a good long while, but he turned against Bush right around Katrina and hasn't looked back since. He also appears on Lou Dobbs's how every week and if anything is even more critical of Bush on Dobbs' show than he is in print.

That Bush has lost a conservative like Goodwin speaks more to the preznit's problems than anything else I can think of. The base is slowly eroding (thus the 32% approval rating in the latest CNN poll and 33% approval rating in the latest FOX poll) and if it keeps up, the GOP is really going to get hammered in the midterms, gerrymandered House districts be damned.

I say this because I have noticed just how dispirited former supporters of the preznit and/or GOP talking heads have seemed on television or in print lately. And it's not just Michael Goodwin. Tony Blankely seems pretty low-key in his support of the preznit lately. WSJ hack John Fund and former Congressman and CNN contributor J.C. Watts used to vigorously defend their preznit, now they're both critical. Republican strategist Ed Rollins is overwhelmingly critical of the preznit and the GOP leadership in Congress and even National Review editor/MSNBC contributor Kate O'Beirne doesn't seem to have her heart in her appearances on Hardball anymore.

Just a year and a half ago, all those people mentioned above were vigorous defenders of the preznit.

Now they look the way Kerry supporters did right after the election.

If part of the Democratic plan for victory in November is having a juiced Democrat base and a dispirited Republican base going into the election, then the plan seems to be working so far.

It is really a pleasure to watch. Remeber just after 911 when they seemed so together? Evil and obsessed, yes, but such a solid team. Everyone had the script down, and you almost had to admire how well everyone supported each other.

Then came the break between Rumsfeld and Powell, and it has been downhill ever since. I usually don't get much pleasure from watching people fail....

But I'm allowing myself an exception this time.
I seem to recall last year, when Bush's ratings first began to drop, rising gas prices suddenly nose dived. Could it be that the oil industry are longer willing to bet on the boy?
I wouldn’t either, given that he is slowly but surely losing the key international supporters, like Blair, he relied on the deal with Europe.
I guess if George is on his own now it’s only fair that he cut you all loose.
I agree w/ you, praguetwin. I try not to take pleasure from people's failures either, but this sure is fun to watch.

I wondered if the oil industry was turning on Bush/Cheney also, cartledge. But I don't think so. I do think some people on Wall Street and in the business community have turned on him because of his spendthrift ways. But how could the oil people turn on him after all he and Dick have done for them? No, I think it's probably as Nancy Pelosi said yesterday - two oil men are running the country and the oil companies are raking in record profits, just the way it was always meant to be.
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