Monday, April 24, 2006


Trouble in Paradise (via the LA Times):

WASHINGTON — Just when it looked like the political climate couldn't get worse for President Bush and the Republican Party, more storms have gathered.

This month's abrupt rise in gas prices is fueling new worries about the party's prospects in the fall elections, which have been roiled by controversy over GOP policies on immigration, the federal budget and Iraq.

So when Congress returns today from a spring recess, Republicans face a political landscape even more challenging than when they left town two weeks ago after failing to pass legislation that would crack down on illegal immigration and curb domestic spending.

Since then, gas prices have shot up to more than $3 a gallon in some places. Demonstrations against GOP immigration proposals have continued across the country. A poll shows Bush's approval ratings at new lows — and the Republican-led Congress' even lower.

"I don't see panic setting in yet, but there's certainly increasing concern when the president is in the 30s [in approval polls] and we're in the 20s," said Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.).

So what's the solution for the GOP? Have the preznit act more like Moe Howard!!!

The situation may call for Bush to step in and demand more party unity from Republican lawmakers, who have increasingly kept their distance from the White House as the president's agenda and poll numbers have flagged.

"The president has to be like Moe Howard: At some point in every 'Three Stooges' short, Moe slaps both Curly and Larry and says, 'Get to work,' " said Bill Whalen, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. "There's a window of opportunity to get things done, but the window is getting smaller every day."

Yeah, that'll work.

The preznit can try to marshall his Rubber Stamp Congress to pass some legislation all he wants. As long as the problems in Iraq, in the economy, with gas and oil prices, and with ethics remain, the GOP poll numbers aren't going much higher.

The LA Times article says the good news for the GOP is that they seem to have bottomed out (i.e., preznit in low 30's, GOP Congress in high 20's).

Maybe that's true. But maybe not.

I still maintain that when the Abramoff indictments come down for Bob Ney, Tom Delay, et al., public approval of the GOP Rubber Stamp Congress is going to fall even further than it already has.

I also maintain that as long as gas prices remain at these highes, public approval of the GOP Rubber Stamp Congress isn't going to go any higher.

And does anyone think that with huricane season on the horizon, refineries going off line to switch to an ethanol additive, and continued political uncertainty surrounding oil-producing countries like Nigeria and Iran, that oil and gas prices re going to drop any time soon?

Or that there won't be criminal indictments of major Republican figures in the Abramoff and perhaps CIA leak cases?

As an observer i've decided to invest all my funds into a shredding machine maker.
The Republicans only need to lose majority in one house and those litle beauties are going to be the most popular machines on earth.
Just so i don't lose my shirt, about all I have to invest, let's make sure it happens.
That's a great idea, cartledge!

I actually was pricing shredders the other day so that I don't have people filling out my torn credt card applications and running up credit card charges. A decent shredder is pretty pricey and I imagine the GOPer's will want the really good models so that they can get rid of ALL the evidence!

Thanks for the comment.
Check out BJ's or Costco. I got a very good shredder for around 30 bucks.

Has the GOP bottomed out? I seem to remember many talking heads discussing how the prez was just about to bounce back, and that certainly hasn't happened.

How low can he go?
I remember last fall when Bush's polls were tanking (35%-40%). He gave a few Iraq speeches and he got a bump up to the low 40's (though an ABC/Wash Post poll had him up to 48%). Then Iraq exploded again and he started tanking again. And he hasn't stopped.

Can he rebound? Sure, I suppose. If gas prices fall, outsourcing stops, Iraq goes well enough for us to leave and the slaughter and chaos we leave isn't too apparent (or covered by the media), the Housing Bubble doesn't burst, interest rates don't keep going higher, and prominent Republicans don't get frog-marched into jail in the Abramoff or CIA leak case, then maybe he can rebound with the general public.

But his problem right now is he's losing the base. That's why he's dropped from what seemed to be his floor (35%-36%) to as low as 33% in the latest FOX poll and 32% in the latest CNN poll. Can he get his base back? I suppose. They plan on running a flag-burning, hate the homosexuals, save the zygotes Midterm election strategy, so maybe that'll help.

But I just don't see how this preznit wins back the middle. Not without some big change in policy and posture, and Bush/Cheney do not seem to be capable of that kind of change.
THere are very few instances, anywhere, wheer an opposition can honestly say it won. Parhaps it is semantics, but governments lose.
A good example was the last Canadian poll. The Liberals were in far better shape than the Republicans are now, despite the scandals dogging them. But they were weary and significantly, they knew what else was in the cupboard and being covered up.
The Liberals (leadership at least) were almost pleased to lose.
But they looked and sounded like losers, leading up to, and throughout the campaign.
The Republicans are certainly sounding like losers at the moment. That might be the best indicator of all.
Mind you, I never predict until the final count is in.
(note the new 'authorative pundit' look lol)
I love the new "authoritative pundit" look.
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