Skip to comments.Byron York: Democrats will help Bush get out of the cellar
Posted on 09/22/2005 1:20:00 PM PDT by Jean S
Okay, heres the EZ Three-Step Solution to George W. Bushs falling approval ratings:
1) Fix the post-Katrina mess.
2) Win a peaceful democracy in Iraq.
3) Reduce the price of gas by at least $1 a gallon.
Do those things, Mr. President, and those poll numbers will go right up.
If you cant do them, then make progress on them. That will probably work, too.
But if you cant do them, and you cant make progress on them, then wait for your Democratic critics to overreach. That will surely work.
Theres no denying that the news from the latest Gallup poll is bad for the president. His job approval rating stands at 40 percent a low point in his presidency so far.
And to show you how bad it is, in addition to the overall job approval rating, Gallup asked respondents to rate the presidents performance in several policy areas. Bushs highest rating his highest was for his handling of Hurricane Katrina: 41 percent.
A smaller number 38 percent approved of his handling of foreign affairs. A still smaller number 35 percent approved of his handling of the economy. And a still smaller number 32 percent approved of his handling of the situation in Iraq.
Thats not good.
In addition, several areas that had once been Bush strong points are now not so strong.
The number of people who say that Bush is honest and trustworthy is now 47 percent. In January, it was 56 percent. In April 2003, it was 73 percent. In April 2002, it was 77 percent.
The number of people who say he is a strong and decisive leader is now 49 percent. In January, it was 61 percent. In April 2003, it was 80 percent. In April 2002, it was 77 percent.
And in addition to all that, one other question in the Gallup poll reveals what a foul mood the public is in.
Gallup asked: Just your best guess, do you think George W. Bush has taken steps to help victims of Hurricane Katrina mostly because he sincerely cares about the victims or mostly for political reasons?
Just 42 percent said Bush was acting because he sincerely cares about the victims, while 56 percent said he was acting mostly for political reasons.
Now that is an unhappy public. So what should the president do?
Obviously, he should try to fix the problems. But he should also keep an eye on his political adversaries, who will undoubtedly give him a boost by going off the anti-Bush deep end.
For example, Cindy Sheehan is in town for the big antiwar rally this weekend. It will be populated by International ANSWER and all sorts of fringy types.
They are so far out on the edges of the political conversation that their presence will probably turn off even those Americans who have legitimate questions about the war in Iraq.
The president can also count on MoveOn.org to be involved in some tin-eared, ham-handed anti-Bush campaign in the near future.
Two weeks ago, MoveOn organized a rally in front of the White House to demand that President Bush should stop blaming the victims of Hurricane Katrina and get to work helping them.
Senate Democrats will also do their part. Just this week, Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that he will vote against Supreme Court chief-justice nominee John Roberts.
Reid and a number of other Democrats apparently believe that a big Democratic vote against Roberts will send a sharp message to the White House: Send us a more moderate nominee next time.
But the message the White House will hear is this: If they vote against Roberts, theyll vote against anybody. We might as well nominate the person we think is best a solid conservative regardless of what Democrats think.
And by the way, Gallup asked respondents about Roberts. Sixty percent said they want him to be confirmed, versus 26 percent who opposed him and 14 percent who had no opinion.
Reid and his party are also likely to overreach by fighting the president on the issue of wages and labor rules for workers cleaning up after Katrina.
The president has suspended Davis-Bacon rules for the cleanup (the law has a provision for such a suspension in the case of natural disaster). Labor unions providers of megamillions to Democratic campaigns are up in arms.
So the stage might be set for a fight similar to the one over the Department of Homeland Security, when Democrats blocked what was portrayed as an essential measure for the nations security to please their big-labor patrons.
If youre a president with a 40 percent job approval rating which might go down even farther all of that is very, very welcome news.
Bush deserves some of the blame hes gotten lately. And now hes paying the price until Democrats come to his rescue.
York is a White House correspondent for National Review. His column appears in The Hill each week. E-mail: email@example.com
He is right on all three counts. If Bush can beat back gas to under $2.00 his ratings will go back up. If Iraq can settle down that will help even more.
Gas is the issue. Gas at 2.50-3 would kill any President. If it goes down, W will be fine. If not, it's a rocky road.
Why is it that the polls I see are saying the exact opposite?
I think this is all a bunch of smoke. It's all to intimidate Bush to cave in and pick a liberal-minded judge.
I hope he's thinking, hell with these polls and do the right thing as in keeping the economy on course, fighting terror, changing the makeup of the supreme court and strengthening the republican party.
In fact, I'll go as far to say that if he nominate a conservative judge his numbers will go up because many people here at FR are getting worried and fed up. Those number poll numbers reflect erosion in his base.
I just saw one on AOL that favored Bush. Made me giggle.
HE'S NOT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION!!!!
However, those who would like to take his place - most noticably those Republican Senators and Governors who would aspire to that lofty position - really ought to get their collective and individual butts in gear.
Ah well, we can all hope, can't we...
So -- Rocky Road? So, he won't be re-elected? I think Bush doesn't care much about polls and being popular anyway. Just a hunch.
Which perfectly explains the Democrats' opposition to oil drilling, expanding refinery capacity, and building nuclear power plants.
Exactly right. Heard that Barrone who does the best tracking on candidates and elections in states say that the fact that Bush is not running won't affect any upcoming elections.
So Bush is letting the DemocRATs beat on him while other Republicans are gaining ground under the radar...except for Hagar and McCain who are shooting theirselves in the foot.
I think you are series! What with all the unconstitutional spending, failure to control the borders, submersing this country into the NWO, and inflating our money to high heaven, I can see where his real problem is the price of gasoline up 150%. (sarc/)
They keep the gas prices where they are, our economy slows down and when our economy slows down, their economy will almost stop, along with the european economy.
Perhaps one of the things that will come out of these storms is the fact that we have too few refineries. If we had more, this hit wouldn't be as nasty as it is.
Add to that the fact that we need to bring in new supplies off the coast of Florida and California and in the ANWR.
Slick Willie cut and ran from Somalia. All that did was convince AQ that we were cowards and whet the AQ's appetite for American blood.
Is George running for office in 2008? I can't see why he should care about his poll ratings? Makes him seem like Slick Willie trying to improve his legacy. I think the President has done just fine so far considering all the misfortune that has happened on his watch. I may disagree with his lack of vetos on spending and his stance on immigration along with his choices of political appointments rather than professional ones, but when I think of the alternatives in algore and John Effin' Kerry I can put my mind at ease. I hope George gives us a true Conservative like Janic Rogers Brown or Michael Luttig for our next Supreme Court Nominee and if Teddy, Schumer, Leahy or other liberals have heart attacks....so be it!
I think the WH and specifically Karl Rove are keeping a very close eye on the polls. The President gets updates all the time. The mid-term elections are right around the corner and so is Bush`s legacy building effort.
>>>>Just 42 percent said Bush was acting because he sincerely cares about the victims, while 56 percent said he was acting mostly for political reasons.
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