Friday, January 07, 2005

49 percent nation

According to a recent AP poll, Bush has a 49% approval rating and 49 percent disapproval. The remaining 2%? Maybe they are the Debolt machines. By the way, other polls have Bush even lower (like 47%). That's the worst a re-elected president has ever faired since they started modern polling.

Presidents Reagan and Clinton had job approval ratings near six in 10 just before their inauguration for a second term, according to Gallup polls.

President Nixon's approval was in the 60s right after his 1972 re-election, slid to about 50 percent right before his inauguration and then moved back over 60 percent. President Eisenhower's job approval was in the low 70s just before his second inauguration in 1957.

This president makes me feel like there is another aspect of my life that I am repeating 35 years after my dad. We graduated from college 35 years apart, will graduate from law school 35 years apart, and will be married 35 years apart. Bush is 32 years apart from Nixon, but close enough. Both managed to get re-elected despite people's suspicions because the other side's candidate was so terrible. And now people are having buyer's remorse.

Personally, I doubt Bush's social security elimination gambit will succeed. Primarily because of an email leak from policy guys in the White House saying they need to cut benefits to finance the conversion, something Bush has explicitly promised not to do. Plus, the Democratic Party, if it stands for anything any more, stands for the New Deal and Social Security. This is a program they will fight to the death over because it is how they got to be as powerful as they got.

The Democrats might crumble on Alberto Gonzales, because they don't have the votes, even though he gave Bush bad advice as Governor and President. Further, Gonzales has proven unwilling to the necessary work to give Bush the right information, not just want Bush wants to hear. This is why he should not be confirmed. The whole torture thing is just another symptom of a larger problem: syncopation.

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