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It Isn’t Easy Being Bush

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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.

Scott C. Smith is a regular contributor to Counterbias, and writes about politics at his blog, What’s In Scott’s Head.

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  • http://biobit.blogspot.com Calvin

    The scariest part is the comment from Ann ‘Adam’s apple’ Coulter “unfortunately for Bush, he could nominate his Scottish terrier Barney, and some conservatives would rush to defend him”

    Since the US of A is so polarized.. does that make Ann to be on my side?

    {shudder}

  • Les Slater

    > It Isn’t Easy Being Bush

    I wouldn’t know. I do know that his metrics for success are different than yours.

    You against the war? Me too. Is he loosing this war? Nobody’s stopped him.

    This war is making progress. How many U.S. troops are killed is not his concern. Libya has caved, most western critics have caved. Syria and Iran are in his gun sights.

    The polls don’t mean diddly squat.

    And why should you be worried as to whether Harriet Miers is qualified or not?

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Scott — It might be going a bit far to say that Bush was a “drunk” until the age of 40. There’s plenty of other things to go after Bush on that don’t relate to his days before he entered public life. In any event, the American people knew about his past and voted him into office (Florida ’00 aside) twice. Was I one of them? Nope.

    I think the right and left are finding strange bedfellows with the Miers nomination. The fact that Bush managed to splinter his base at arguably the rockiest phase of his presidency says a lot about how things have gone wrong for an administration that had — until quite recently — an amazing ability to steer clear of political trouble.

  • Les Slater

    > I think the right and left are finding strange bedfellows with the Miers nomination.

    Bedfellows? It seems more like they’ve switched sides. Do the Democrats have any reason to think they know who Miers is? No. They are trying to drive a wedge into the right. Totally unprincipled politics.

    > The fact that Bush managed to splinter his base at arguably the rockiest phase of his presidency says a lot about how things have gone wrong for an administration

    Bush has never been the right-wing president that many believe. The right was getting too big for their britches. They just got told who’s boss. They have nowhere to go.

    > that had — until quite recently — an amazing ability to steer clear of political trouble.

    Political trouble? What do you think is going to happen? He will still get what he wants.

  • billy

    Hey! I dig chicks wit big adam’s apples, conservative or not… they just plain turn me on…. so do Hillary fat assed babes and all them california dems… er I mean dames. I’d do ‘em all. ever one of them babes need some of my material… if you know what I mean.

    Dig it…. come to papa!

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Scott, you seem to be laboring under some sort of bizarre delusion that Bush is a conservative. Where on earth did you get that idea?

    Dave

  • http://www.scottcsmith.net Scott C. Smith

    Dave,

    It was that darn liberal media that planted the seed in my mind of Bush being a conservative. Damn them!

    Actually, it was most Republicans from 2001-2003 or so. I guess they’re starting to come to the realization that their man is RINO.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Bush isn’t a RINO, he’s a traditional Republican who’s just a bit confused on his priorities. If you want RINOs, look at the religious extremists and Neocons. Both those groups are in the GOP solely because of a narrow agenda which the Democrats couldn’t accept, but in a lot of other ways they’d fit better with the Dems. They’re the real RINOs.

    Dave

  • phil

    “go George Bush” should be a slogan not a demand…look at what the man has had to deal with from the “left” since day one ..no matter what he did… why should he go to the left now???