Bush: Can He Be Trounced?
I think if the Democratic candidate simply acts like he wants it enough--and Dean so far does, while, say, Lieberman looks weary he hasn't been anointed already--he can beat Bush. This emperor is not only nude, he's painted purple and dancing atop a harpsichord, jiggling. * It just takes someone who points this out and will not stop.
I know and work with and communicate with people of all kinds of political persuasions and degrees of intensity thereof, except maybe paranoid Nazis. And I don't know anyone--ANYONE--who expresses more than a grudging support for Bush if any. And mostly what I see wash over the faces of conservatives when he's mentioned is the same look on Democrats' faces in Carter's final year. A depressed, it-wasn't-supposed-to-be-like this, how-could-this-have-happened kind of look. Mostly at best people think he's stupid and a bad, but strangely compulsive, liar. The reaction I keep seeing to what he says or does is invariably, "How stupid does he think we are?"
Even conservatives aren't too keen on him. That should tell you something. The only ones who really want him in office are business and religious interests who will not get what they want with anyone else there. It's not him as a president they're interested in. It's him as a door. That's where your consistent 45-50% default support comes from, and it's only representative of those polled, not the actual populace.
This story I found kind of interesting
. In it a Fox News poll is cited in his favor. This of course is the equivalent of saying, "But my Mom thinks I'm cool."
In a Fox News poll released on Jan. 9, Bush led each of the four leading Democratic presidential hopefuls by 20 percentage points or more and enjoyed a 58 percent job approval rating, up six points over early December. "Yes, Bush has some vulnerabilities, but they are far outweighed by his many advantages -- his approval rating, his vast campaign chest, his formidable political machine and all the advantages of incumbency," said Georgetown University government professor Steven Wayne.
I would agree that these are characteristics of his campaign. They are not necessarily advantages. His approval rating can give him a false sense of security, and even if it's accurate it ain't much of a margin. His vast campaign chest? What does that really buy? Ads. Are their ads effective so far or do they smack of desperation? I have doubts that they really have much of an effect on the race anymore--the blatant lies of those California-style attack/advocacy ads we were treated to across the country in the midterms kind of pissed in the well. His incumbency? Um, that actually means he gets the blame in this case, like his dad. Unless Iraq is a shining peaceful beacon of democracy and we're down to 2% unemployment or less by summer, that will only act against him. We'll be saying, "Now WHO was it that fucked us so badly?"
His formidable political machine is only really an advantage if they employ dirty tricks. There I'll give them their due. There indeed is no party that will stoop lower to assure a win.
But he's eminently beatable.
*apologies to Ben Elton & Richard Curtis