Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Incredibly Shrinking Bush Poll Numbers

In case you missed it, polling numbers out last week show that the Bush presidency continues to decline in the eyes of the public. Here's a summary, courtesy of our friends at ThinkProgress:
The latest Gallup poll finds that President Bush's approval rating has fallen to 28 percent—"a record low" for his administration. Bush's approval is"lower than that of any president since World War II, with the exceptions of Jimmy Carter (who has a low point of 28 percent in 1979), and Richard Nixon and Harry Truman, who suffered ratings in the low- to mid-20 percent range in the last years of their administrations." 


Tulsan said...

Makes you look at your fellow citizens and try to guess which 1 of every 4 actually approves of Bush's performance.

Dan Paden said...

Last I heard, Congress's numbers were even lower--hovering around eleven percent or so.

You make a lot of Bush's low numbers, and I don't blame you. But doesn't it disturb you in the slightest to find that your Democratically-controlled House and Senate poll even lower than Bush?

The pitiful--and funny--part is that Bush's low numbers are often blamed on him not acting like a Republican is supposed to act, and Democrats' numbers are often blamed on them not acting like Democrats are supposed to act.

Tulsan said...

I think the general presumption was that a Democratically-controlled Congress would rein Bush in. That has not happened. The higher dissatisfaction with Congress is due to dashed expectation. We all know by now to expect nothing from Bush but more of the same, until he heads to his year 2000-vintage faux ranch for good.

Tulsan said...

Is Bush acting like a conservative? What is the essense of conservatism? Returning to the months-ago topic of whether the right would fall in line for McCain (they have,) there is this:

"But what is it that made supporting a senator who has earned an 83 lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union and votes with his party 88.3 percent of the time feel like mourning in the first place? They weren't this hard, after all, on fair-weather conservatives Bob Dole in 1996 or George H.W. Bush in 1988 and 1992, were they?

"Conservatism is, among many other things, a culture. The most important glue binding it together is a shared sense of cultural grievance -- the conviction, uniting conservatives high and low, theocratic and plutocratic, neocon and paleocon, that someone, somewhere is looking down their noses at them with a condescending sneer. And to conservatives, McCain has been too often one of the sneerers."


"The whole (right-wing) machine had always been built on a series of bluffs: that once the malign hand of the liberals was removed from the executive, legislative and judicial branches, our new conservative Jerusalem would be achieved. But something remarkable occurred in the five years between 2001 and 2006: for the first time since the rise of the modern conservative movement with the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964, then the rise of Newt Gingrich's revolutionaries in 1994, the right had a chance to control all three branches of government -- to actually run the country. Naught but obvious failures have been the result: a crashing economy, a rotting infrastructure, a failed war and a less safe world..."

Dan Paden said...

Is Bush acting like a conservative?

A fair question. My answer is "sometimes." This shouldn't be surprising. Most people, after all, are not 100 percent anything. Even you, Tulsan, depart from hard-core liberalism on some things, like when you conceded that you would want the right to own a firearm to defend yourself under certain circumstances. Bush has conservative stances on some issues, but not on others. I would characterize him as mostly of the neocon persuasion. It will come as no surprise to you that those of us who lean paleocon will scarcely concede that neocons are conservatives at all.

What is the essense of conservatism?

Another fair question. If you feel inclined to pursue the question seriously, I'd suggest reading Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France. Burke is widely held to be the single most influential conservative of the last few hundred years. If you don't want to go to the trouble of reading that, you can go to my blog and search it for "Russell Kirk" and "conservatism," which will provide you with numerous quotes, many of which I put up there to illustrate fundamentals of conservative thought.

I would differ on your assessment as to whether the right has controlled much of anything over the last eight years or so. Bush campaigned as a conservative, but on far too many issues, he is not. The same can be said of a great many in both the House and Senate. To my mind, the pitiful part is that so many who lean conservative do not themselves understand the essence of conservatism, leading them to confuse positions that benefit certain powerful groups with genuinely conservative positions.

Like I said, excellent question, though.

Dan Paden said...

Matter of fact, why not just start here?