Friday, July 06, 2007

A-ha, So THAT'S Why Bush Poll Numbers Are So Low

by Dirk Dodd

(Editor's note: Who is the author, Dirk Dodd? He's guy I grew up with in New Jersey. At school I used to beat him up and take his milk money; now he's old like me and he lives in New York City where he observes the political scene, when people are not beating him up taking his milk money. Here are Dirk's thoughts on the current Bush public relations strategy:)

George W. Bush is deliberately trying to drive his approval polling numbers down; down to where not only GOP lawmakers and the Republican party as a whole have abandoned him, but to where the Religious Right stops taking his calls, Laura moves back in with her folks, and Barney, the dog, is routinely taking chunks out of the president’s leg.

Sound crazy? Trace the behavior, pay attention to the numbers...

March 2005 - Social Security privatization. Opinion polls taken after Bush’s hard sell of the plan reveal an eye-popping plunge in approval, from 52% down to 45% according to a USA TODAY/ CNN/Gallup poll. Okay, privatization didn’t sell. What’s a seven percent drop in approval, anyway? I see ten easy every time I leave the toilet seat up. Nobody’s asking me for a divorce.

September 2005 - ‘Heckuva job’ Hurricane Katrina fumble. Bush is looking at approvals in the mid-to-low 40s. Hmmm… ‘But he’s a Republican,’ I say to myself, ‘Republicans don’t believe in federal assistance.’ Bush’s nose-thumb to hurricane victims conforms to an ideological aversion to government meddling, denying citizens their right to self-determined drowning. Doesn’t mean he’s given up trying…does it?

February 2006 - Dubai Ports deal. Bush dips to 34% in approval. Wait a sec… Did he not see the backlash coming on that? Placing our nation’s port security in the hands of Middle Easterners? Where’s your post-9/11-world common sense, man?

December 2006 - The Iraq Study Group. Yikes! Grim findings indeed on the prospects for achieving success in Iraq. But good news: the report leaves a little face-saving drawdown-of-troops strategy for the President to sign on to. A road map out of the quagmire! Beautiful! If it doesn’t work, it’s Baker’s fault! Incredibly, though, Bush re-buffs it. What? No he di-n’t! Oh, yes he di-id. And America responds by dropping Bush three more approval ratings points down, from 38% to 35% in a week’s time. ‘A lifeline’s being tossed you, dummy…grab hold!’

January 2007 - Troop ‘surge’ into Iraq. Oh, for the love of God… Another plunge, this time to the range of 35 to 33 percent. Overwhelmingly Americans want us out of Iraq; Bush ratchets up the troop strength instead some twenty thousand plus. Jack the Ripper numbers, that’s where this thing’s headed.

Now this, the latest presidential turd dropped into the punchbowl of public opinion:

July 2007 - The ‘Scooter’ Libby sentence commutation. Game over! A resounding 70 percent of Americans polled agree: the guy’s a felon, he must serve time. Bush says, “Nope… too harsh.”

There’s no other way to interpret this—he wants lower approval ratings.

And I know why. As bad as the numbers get for this president, his vice president enjoys even more dismal job approval ratings; some polls, at times, dipping down as low as into the high teens! This drives the uber Competitor-in-Chief Bush to the brink of insanity.

“He’s made every major decision of my presidency, every one…MY presidency!” sputters Bush, ramming his fist through a wall in the Oval Office. “By God, I’ll not let him out-poll me into the crapper, as well. Let me win something, will ya!? If not the presidency, then the month-to-month Least Popular Sweepstakes!”

Bad news for W. He’ll never realize his ambition of beating Cheney in the ‘Hate Derby.’ Let’s face it, even if Bush firebombed an orphanage tomorrow there’s still a diehard 20 percent of Americans who would remain steadfast as ever in their support of him…

“Those kids had it comin’ to ‘em! With their demands for porridge, and sips of water, and 10-minute breaks from the task of asbestos removal in the main dining hall—they brought it upon themselves! Anyway, all those lucky little boys and girls just got fast-tracked to Heaven, where right now they’re sitting pretty on the lap of Jesus…”

Bush’ll never make a dent in that 20% no matter what. My advice then to the President: forget Cheney, go for the history books…Worst President Ever.

Opinions vary among presidential historians, of course, but most agree the guy to beat here is James Buchanan, our 15th president…staunchly pro-slavery; failed to deal decisively with the South’s secession, prompting our nation’s bloody and divisive Civil War (some argue he fairly encouraged it…’Bring it on!’ he was once overheard saying to his Secretary of War.)

In the absence of hard polling data, but judging from newspaper opinion pieces at the time, letters-to-the-Editor, and the number of rocks and rotten eggs hurled in the direction of Buchanan’s passing presidential carriage, Buchanan today would be polling at roughly 24%.

Twenty-four percent? This President could do that standing on his pointy little head with one hand tied behind his back, right George…?

“Buchanan? Hah! Amateur! Our nation’s civil war will look like a tea party compared to Iraq when I get through there. I’m preparing a public statement right now, in fact, denigrating the prophet Mohammed that’ll light a fire in North America you’ll be able to see from outer space. Worst President Ever? That title’s as a good as MINE…!




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