I’ll bet George W. Bush looks back to the days and months following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when his job approval rating was as high as 90%, and wonders what went so horribly wrong to see his approval plop down to a historic low of 37%, according to a recent CBS News poll.
Bush isn’t a man used to dealing with bad news. His handlers are pretty good at deflecting criticism, while Bush lives in an alternate-reality bubble where the war in Iraq was a success and the American economy is in recovery. Reality, it seems, is finally catching up to the man who, until the age of 40, had been a drunk. I like to bring up that fact a lot. It’s a good statistic about Bush. And it explains quite a bit about the man who was determined to change the political climate in Washington, D.C., with his brand of “compassionate” conservatism.
Certainly Bush did not expect the backlash against his nominee for the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers, a current White House counsel. Bush’s conservative base though for sure Bush would be nominating a good, hard-line conservative, and instead he nominates a woman who spent most of her career in corporate law. Ann Coulter, of all people, had this to say about Bush in her most recent column:
“I eagerly await the announcement of President Bush’s real nominee to the Supreme Court. If the president meant Harriet Miers seriously, I have to assume Bush wants to go back to Crawford and let Dick Cheney run the country…unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him, claiming to be in possession of secret information convincing them that the pooch is a true conservative and listing Barney’s many virtues — loyalty, courage, never jumps on the furniture…”
When you’re a conservative and Ann Coulter attacks you, things cannot possibly be good.
Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott told reporters, of the nomination, “I need to know a lot more about her, her experience and her level of competence and what is her philosophy,” adding that he was “not comfortable with the nomination…is she the most-qualified person? Clearly the answer to that is no,” he said.
Conservative columnists and writers, such as Charles Krauthammer, recently wrote a column that Bush should withdraw the nomination. Most are skeptical over Bush’s claim that Miers was the most qualified person for the nomination.
Another blow to the Bush administration came when the Senate voted 90-9 on Oct. 5 on an amendment that would require strict guidelines on the handling of prisoners held by the United States military. The measure, spearheaded by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, passed with 46 Republicans voting in favor of the measure. According to the Oct. 6 edition of the New York Times, McCain said, “Many of my comrades were subjected to very cruel, very inhumane and degrading treatment, a few of them even unto death. But every one of us – every single one of us – knew and took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies.”
President Bush has vowed to veto the bill. Which, I guess, means Bush is in favor of keeping torture on the table in prisoner interrogations.
Just around the corner are potential indictments of Bush’s chief political advisor, Karl Rove, and Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff, Scooter Libby, for their roles in the Valerie Plame leak case. Can things get better for Bush? Probably not, what with his reckless spending that has fiscal conservatives reeling, his administration’s failure to capture Osama Bin Laden, and the now-forgotten push to change the Social Security system.
Maybe what Bush really needs is the friendship of a young intern.