Bush's approval rating, at 34 percent a week ago, tumbled on declining support from conservatives and Republicans. The poll found 52 percent of conservatives and 68 percent of Republicans approved of Bush's performance, record lows in both categories.
Bush's approval rating has been mired in the low and mid-30s in most surveys amid public unease about the Iraq war and rising gasoline prices. His plummeting standing has caused growing worry among Republicans about November's elections, when the balance of power in Congress will be up for grabs.
Most pundits place his sliding poll numbers to the quagmire of the illegal war in Iraq.
However, his spending like a drunken soldier could be a key reason why his conservative base is slipping away.
With passage of the budget, the House will have raised the federal borrowing limit by an additional $653 billion, to $9.62 trillion. It would be the fifth debt-ceiling increase in recent years, after boosts of $450 billion in 2002, a record $984 billion in 2003, $800 billion in 2004 and $653 billion in March. When Bush took office, the statutory borrowing limit stood at $5.95 trillion.
A curious thing is happening over in the land of wingnuts. Criticisms leveled at Bu$hCo by the reality based community over expanding Federalism, nation building, secrecy, torture, warrantless wiretapping of Americans and exploding deficits were all shouted down as treasonous against our Commander-In Chief and accusations were leveled of giving aide and comfort to our enemies.
Rove last night also criticized Democrats for responding weakly to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," Rove said.
Okay, so Rove is a dick. But now that Bush's approval rating is about the same as several social diseases, in order to save face of conservatism, wingnuts now claim Bush has always been a liberal.
Yesterday, I referenced an article in National Review by Jonah Goldberg in which Goldberg argued that the two most glaring examples of failed Republican presidents -- Richard Nixon and George Bush -- weren't conservatives at all, but were actually liberals. I characterized this claim as "dishonest" because, as I pointed out, virtually no conservatives were claiming that Bush was a "liberal" when his popularity ratings were in the 60s and he was perceived as some sort of heroic, beloved political figure. It is only now that his approval ratings are reaching historically low levels, and it is becoming unavoidably apparent that his presidency is dying and failed, that conservatives are seeking to claim that Bush's failure is not a failure of conservatism because -- as it turns out -- Bush was really a liberal all along. Alas, Bush's failure is simply the latest instance of the failure of liberalism.
As a political reality, conservatives are responsible for Bush's presidency. They claimed him as one of their own and engineered both of his elections. The newfound recognition that -- hey, what do you know? -- Bush, after all, turns out to be a liberal, is prompted by the collapse of his presidency, the collective realization that he has been a grand failure, and a desire to shield conservatism from the fallout. If this labelling of Bush as a "liberal" were prompted by genuine and intellectually honest observations, then the claim from conservatives that Bush is really a liberal would have been made long before he tumbled to 32%. It wasn't, and that is what makes it so dishonest.
See, conservatism cannot fail, but people can fail conservatism. But the definition of conservatism on answers.com doesn't say anything about fiscal responsibility.
- The inclination, especially in politics, to maintain the existing or traditional order.
- A political philosophy or attitude emphasizing respect for traditional institutions, distrust of government activism, and opposition to sudden change in the established order.
- Conservatism The principles and policies of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or of the Progressive Conservative Party in Canada.
- Caution or moderation, as in behavior or outlook.
I guess it just doesn't apply anymore. The tax and spend liberal is just a cute little talking point that just holds no water. Since LBJ left a small surplus in the national treasury in 1969 it was over three decades before it happened again. In between we had Nixon and Nixon and Ford and Carter and Reagan and Reagan and GW Bush and Clinton. That's six R's and one D, Clinton doesn't count because he didn't make a happy plate. Apparently Republicans can't be trusted with security (9/11) foreign affairs (name it) or our checkbook. By looking at the definition above a truthful campaign slogan would be: Vote For Me, I'll Leave Everything Just Like It Is. Sorta like the Ruins maintenance department for the Parthenon.