Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Bush Collapse? (Andrew Sullivan)

Andrew Sullivan
Monday, April 10, 2006

A Bush Collapse

These new poll numbers seem to me to reflect the unraveling of this presidency. What's stunning is not the approve/disapprove numbers, which are consistent with other polls, i.e. mid-to-upper 30s approve, mid-to-upper 50s disapprove. What's stunning is that almost half the sample - 47 percent - strongly disapproves. I came to the conclusion that Bush was an incompetent abetting something much more dangerous before the last election, hence my reluctant endorsement of the pathetic Kerry. But the broad middle of American opinion has taken longer to see what this administration is and what Republicanism has become. These are pretty stunning numbers given the relatively strong economy - strong in part because it's been propped up by an unsustainable Keynesian stimulus. [Correct ... except that for most working people, the economy has actually not been so strong, since many of the benefits of the fairly mild economic recovery since 2001-2002 have not trickled down very far. --JW]

Historians will figure this out, but my own view is that Katrina did it. Katrina was the equivalent of Toto pulling back the curtain. [I think this is probably right. For many people, it was a crucial moment of revelation. Well, better late than never. --JW] Once Bush's passivity, indolence and arrogance were put on full display, once it was apparent that the government was not working, and that Bush was the reason, people figured out why the war in Iraq was such a shambles. And so the mystique required to sustain patriarchal authority was shattered. I think this is largely irreparable because it's about a basic assessment of a single man. What worries me is that we have almost three more years. If we face a confrontation or a crisis, this president will not be able to carry Americans with him. Our enemies will take comfort from this. Which is why re-electing him was such a terrible risk.
[And some further confirmation, as more rats abandon the sinking ship. --JW]

Monday, April 10, 2006
Yglesias Award Nominee

"I voted for President Bush twice, and contributed to his campaign twice, but held my nose when I did it the second time. I don't consider myself a Republican any longer. Thanks to this Administration and the Republicans in Congress, the Republican Party today is the party of pork-barrel spending, Congressional corruption — and, I know folks on this web site don't want to hear it, but deep down they know it's true — foreign and military policy incompetence. Frankly, speaking of incompetence, I think this Administration is the most politically and substantively inept that the nation has had in over a quarter of a century. The good news about it, as far as I'm concerned, is that it's almost over," - George Conway, National Review.