Sunday, November 20, 2005

Return of the Repressed 

During our recent debilitating bout with Blogger's Wrist -- an extremely painful condition that is brought on by too much typing, and shame on you for imagining otherwise -- we couldn't help noticing that, despite the latest Republican "charm offensive" (Democrats are liars! Fitzgerald can't keep his facts straight! Murtha's a traitor! etc.), President Bush's poll numbers are hurtling groundward faster than the careless skydiver of cartoon fame, who pulls his ripcord to release not a parachute but a packful of dirty laundry. Take the precaution of glancing upward from time to time; if numbers like these land on your head, you're a goner:
"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"

CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll, November 11-13, 2005:
63% Disapprove 35% Approve

Newsweek Poll, November 10-11, 2005
65% Disapprove 30% Approve

AP/Ipsos Poll, November 7-9, 2005
62% Disapprove 36% Approve

NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll, November 4-7, 2005
64% Disapprove 32% Approve

ABC News/Washington Post Poll, October 30 - November 2, 2005
64% Disapprove 36% Approve

CBS News Poll, October 30 - November 1, 2005
62% Disapprove 32% Approve
You get the idea. Mr. Bush's Excellent Adventure now faces something perilously close to supermajority disapproval; moreover, 57% of respondents in an NBC/WSJ poll believe that the President "deliberately misled people to make the case for war with Iraq." And, in a startling, virtually unprecedented development, the press has begun to fact-check the various "pushback" speeches made by Messrs. Bush and Cheney and their Myrmidons, to unflattering effect. The GOP leadership is still encouraging its disposable douches to engage in smears against critics of the war, whatever humiliation may ensue -- but the President himself has apparently sensed which way the wind is blowing. Since last week's rhetoric about Democratic "irresponsibility" and "opportunism" did fuck-all to arrest his skidding numbers, diplomacy and bipartisanship are suddenly back in fashion:
After more than a week of increasingly harsh rhetoric, President Bush sought Sunday to tone down the raging debate on Iraq and offered an olive branch to the pro-military Democratic lawmaker condemned by the White House for turning against the war last week.

Summoning reporters between meetings with Chinese leaders in Beijing, Bush said he welcomed the political battle over the war as a "worthy debate" and rejected attempts to question the patriotism of those who oppose the war [i.e., two-thirds of the population -- S.]. He also said he did not want the bitter conflict to degenerate into a partisan showdown.
The other welcome development: forgotten scandals are making a comeback! In the past few days we have seen a major L.A. Times piece on the serial fabricator known as "Curveball," who obliged the Bushites by telling them all the pretty lies they wanted to hear in the runup to war; we have also been deeply gratified to see executives of the top five oil companies caught in the act of lying to Congress about their participation in the vice president's energy task force back in 2001.

The latter story harkens back to one of the first (fizzled) scandals of the Bush era, prompting us to wonder: since the electorate has finally turned on the sack-of-turds-in-chief, isn't it time for an in-depth reexamination of his many, many trespasses against us? The shocking exposes have come and gone; we can think of at least half a dozen that, in a just world, would have brought the whole administration crashing down. They didn't.

But that was then and this is now. Since the public is finally ready to pay attention, which Bush scandal would you most like to revisit?

(Thanks to Zemblan patriots J.D. and J.M. for various links.)

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