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October 29, 2005

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from the WaPo:

Bush also must consider the degree to which Cheney has now become a liability in his efforts to recover politically. Two Republicans yesterday privately said the taciturn Cheney has become a major burden to the president, and that his association with an unpopular war and proximity to the Libby embarrassment will eat at the administration's credibility. "This 'I'm a sphinx' gig just doesn't get it any more," one of the GOP strategists said.

Democratic pollster Geoffrey Garin said Bush faces bad choices as he attempts to regain momentum. The Miers episode raised questions about his judgment and decisiveness, while the leak investigation has raised questions about the administration's ethics.

"He can try to retreat to his base and make them happy, but that will come at great expense," Garin said. "Or his other option is to try to be what he hasn't been up to now, which is a president of consensus who tries to govern from the center. But we saw the toll that he pays from the right for that. So at the moment, he seems to be much more a captive of events."

demtom's been saying this for months. Then again, so have I.

Oh,and note to KB Hutchinson: you not only failed, according to brooks, you look like an idiot.

The [WaPo] survey also found that nearly seven in 10 Americans consider the charges against Libby to be serious. A majority -- 55 percent -- said the decision of Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald to bring charges against Libby was based on the facts of the case, while 30 percent said he was motivated by partisan politics.

"One thing you can't ever, ever do even if you're a regular person is lie to a grand jury," said Brad Morris, 48, a registered independent and a field representative for a lumber company who lives in Nashua, N.H. "But multiply that by a thousand times if you have power like [Libby had]. And if anybody wants to know why, ask Scooter. He's financially ruined; he'll be paying lawyers for the rest of his life."

BTW, the Rasmussen poll also hit an all time low of 40% yesterday. Today, it's 42. it also had an all time low of only 71% of republicans support him (bonced back to 76%).

We have all the Bush friendly polls (Gallup, Fox, WaPo and Rasmussen) hitting new lows recently . I don't see him going much below 35%; only Nixon did that. But any more indictments (and I would guess any more bad news) will hurt badly. The political capital is spent, and there's no reserve.

You know Bush may be too late getting rid of the Cheney dead weight. Perhaps he has two or three days. But after that, Bush will lose the chance to try to prove his moral purity by throwing Cheney over the side.

The only way Bush will bend is if we send him a Democratic Congress to bend to.

Bush can't possibly fire Cheney just like that. You're right that he should, EW, but I can't imagine it. Bush reminds me of someone I know personally very well, and it's a type of personality, to varying degrees, we've all met. The only hope of this person doing the obviously right thing in a given critical situation is if no one suggests it. No matter how obvious and right and smart it is to do, he won't do it if certain people (or any people) suggest or urge him to. 'Don't tell ME!'. He won't do it because he knows he has to - very infantile, and pretty scary. And it dovetails, in an ill way, with his 'fuck you boys' hardcore supporters' mindsets. Why are they so loyal? '04 was a no brainer for them! They voted for Bush not in spite of but because the rest of the world and half the country hates the guy, because he's inarticulate, because he might be a fuck up. It's a stunningly inarticulate, surly backlash. Lizardish. Top o' the world, ma!

I bet Bush holds onto Cheney just a little too long, THEN dumps him. He'd take a lot of shit from the only friends he has left if he dumped Dick in the next couple days. The circle is closing in on Bush, and while it's a relief to see the comeuppance happen, I'm not gleeful. So much for presenting a strong, united face to the world! These fucking modern insurgent republicans have been endangering national security for years with their yen for constitutional crisis and turmoil, all in service of a non-agenda (ie power): impeachment, gov shutdowns, rigged 2k election, unconstitutional option...it never ends. It makes us weaker in the world. It makes us look rickety and weak and confused and foolish. It may not be a quantifiable effect, but it's got to be there. Outing a CIA agent is par for the course, in that context.

Fitzgerald did very well the other day to ensure that HE'S not the issue - absolutely essential. If he hadn't done that, it might not matter so much what charges he brought. He was able to bring them and put the focus onto the WH, not himself. Deft.

These fucking modern insurgent republicans have been endangering national security for years with their yen for constitutional crisis and turmoil,

Shades of Franco's Spain.

Better complete control of a ruined country than small-d democratic power-sharing and give-and-take in a strong and successful one.

Here it is in print this am:

Stop the Campaigning
The Bush White House Is in Trouble Because of Its Disdain for Governing

this rather long except from an even longer WSJ Harwood piece talks about any possible Bush comeback:

"Making policy changes on either Iraq or the economy that could be interpreted as inconsistent with his past positions would be a mistake," says Republican pollster Fred Steeper, a veteran of Mr. Bush's campaigns. "Bush rides on events and outcomes. If [gasoline prices] go down, Bush goes up. If Iraq improves, Bush goes up."

The strain on Mr. Bush was evident as he pronounced himself "saddened" by Mr. Libby's predicament in a terse statement to TV cameras as he headed to Camp David. The president long has acknowledged his concern about getting results before the 2006 congressional elections; the midterm election in a second White House term traditionally marks the declining influence of presidential lame ducks.

There are a couple of factors in the president's favor. One is the continued strength of the U.S. economy despite a series of shocks, a political plus tempered by persistent public anxiety among some workers. Another is that Mr. Bush still has three years remaining in office. President Reagan had just two years remaining when the Iran-Contra scandal hit; President Clinton faced the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the second year of his second term.

Yet Mr. Bush faces his second-term trial in more perilous shape than Mr. Reagan or Mr. Clinton. "They were doing well when the scandals hit," says Leon Panetta, Mr. Clinton's former chief of staff.

Mr. Bush remains very popular among the Republican and conservative voters who comprise his political base. What has changed is that their support has slipped below peaks that once exceeded 90%, while his support among independent voters has plummeted and the hostility of Democrats has reached a crescendo.

"The intensity of opposition to him is mind-boggling," says Karlyn Bowman, a polling expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research organization in Washington. That spells particular trouble for Republicans next November as such midterm elections, even more than presidential contests, often are decided by the relative enthusiasm of partisan voters on either side.

Mind-boggling? Not to anyone paying attention.

I'm joyful at the all of the good God is doing through the U.S.A.'s military in the Middle East. Not only have tyrant governments been thrown out of control, many people are experiencing freedom for the first time in their lives. The reason for the war? God has opened up the Church to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the heart of the devil's playground.

Whether or not the USA fully understood that at the beginning is not the point. God is Sovereign and the Gospel will be spread around the world.

No wonder the "liberal anti-God" in America are so filled with hatred against Bush and the military - - the Kingdom of God has just spilled out into previously "off limits" territory. Much to their chagrin.

Furthermore, the USA is no longer going to go the direction the liberals want. Immorality has reached a point of unacceptability in the Church. The immoral will not be accepted as moral by the Believers. There will be reforms and/or split among American denominations and the Gospel will be spread once again from sea to shining sea. We can see both God's judgment and His mercy through what has happened in the USA since 9/11. Toward what end? That the Gospel message of Jesus Christ spread to everyone.

These are very perilous times. These are very exciting times. All these things must come to pass. Jesus is coming again. We must be purified and cleansed and readied for His Return.
_________________
In Christ,
Cathy

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9

Cathy Bihler
24118 105th Pl. W.
Edmonds WA 98020
Phone:206-546-6239

Speaking as a Christian theologian, I find the sentiments of the poster above to be utterly frightening.

Cathy, you should know that some of my best friends are folks like Rick Brady from Stones Cry Out. This is a great country that can encompass many different viewpoints. Many evangelicals and non-evangelicals would recoil at your sentiments.

You are wrong on so many levels, it's hard to begin. But thanks for putting the agenda clearly out there so people can see what it really is.

There's nothing wrong with devoting your life to Christ and religion. But imposing those beliefs on everyone else is totally unacceptable. Who says? The Constitution of the United States. If you have a problem with that, take it up with the Founders, not me. In the meantime, your sentiments have been rejected by the people of the United States as well as the rest of the world. Read the polls and open your eyes. And know that we won't allow you to give thoughtful evangelicals a bad name.

Bush is probably the most narrowly elected president in American history. In 2000, he lost the popular vote but won the Supreme Court vote. In 2004, he was reelected with the smallest majority of an incumbent president in history. In spite of that, he has done nothing to reach out to the rest of the country and has pandered constantly to his base, people like Cathy Bihler above.

He has exploited the fears of people after 9/11 to win elections and impugn the patriotism of his opponents. He misled the country about the war in Iraq. His administration has visciously attacked anyone who criticized him, from Joe Wilson to Richard Clarke to The Dixie Chicks.

His administrtion is a disgrace. He has alienated all of the U.S.'s friends. He has borrowed money and asked nothing of the country except bumpersticker patriotism in his alleged struggle to the death with Islamic fascism.

Finally, it is catching up with him and soon he will have only the Cathy Bihlers left.

Bush couldn't bring himself to fire Libby, who has to have known for months he would be indicted. He can't fire Rove, who leaked. How can he fire Cheney? He can't; Dick won't let him.

I agree it is too late for Bush. Libby has to be induced to take a plea so there will be no trial. Maybe Fitz's visit to Sharp was to tell bhim he'd subpoena Bush if Libby didn;t plead. He's facing 10 years (most probably) if tried, a few months if he pleads. But Cheney is even more stubborn than Bush.

Even the nomination of Alito to the Supremes won;t save this sorry show.

It's about time the country recognize that a bunch of crooks and thugs have taken over the Republican Party, but I still think they're going to spank the Dems in the coming elections.

Why?

Because, quite frankly, a majority of the people in the U.S. are idiots.

It was clear at the time of the 2004 elections that the Iraq war was a catastrophic mistake, that torturing prisoners (Abu Ghraib anyone?} was a boneheaded move, Bush lost all 3 debates and Cheney lost his debate against Edwards.

Cheney was handing out no-bid contracts to his cronies in Halliburton and oil companies are raking in record profits.

These guys aren't even bother trying to disguise the raping and pillaging of the federal budget, and their approvals are still at 40%.

I hate to be such a pessimist, but for the American public to finally wake up and realize they've been lied to, after all these years, does not inspire a lot of confidence in me that the American public will vote the right way in 2006 and 2008.

Cathy -- Great stab at satire, but a wee tad bit overdrawn.

Jesus is coming ... everybody look busy!

Saugatak, the POTUS (the office) carries tremendous prestige and good will among Americans. The tendency to give the POTUS (whoever it is) the benefit of the doubt is enormous, still. But once people are turned off, they're turned off. When you give folks the benefit of the doubt and they screw you, when you turn you don't turn back.

Satirists don't generally leave their address and phone numbers. If that's what it is, well done. But not well done enough, as RonK points out.

My blogmates here have treated you with kid gloves. And they are probably right to do so. However, I cannot be so generous.

Throughout the millennia, despicable human beings have pushed forward their own murderous agendas by claiming that they were the instruments of God's judgment. That's what the 9-11 hijackers did, just to offer one of a hundred thousand instances. It's what the stealers of land and culture and religion did to my ancestors as they drove from "sea to shining sea," operating, as the Spanish conquistadors did, for God, Glory and Gold.

I've got no beef with anyone who holds strong, personal religious beliefs. But when you start trying to impose them on me and mine, and calling it God's judgment, and you start talking about purification and cleansing, don't expect a courteous reply and acquiescence. In the future, please confine your notion that the horror of 9-11 and all that has occurred since is God's judgment for "our" misbehavior to whatever cesspools you normally swim around in.

yuo gots to love Farhad Manjoo in Salon today:


In other words, Bush may want to reconnect with the American people. It doesn't look like they want to reconnect with him.

DemCT, of course you're right and it's a good point. But I look at the Prez's poll numbers and my take is, after all this, 40% of the people still support him?

Nixon had support even as he bid good-bye to the WH. His lowest numbers were 24%, and the lows of the previous Presidents were still lower than bush's, assuming the source is correct.

There's still residual war attitude happening. Some people feel they have no choice but to back Bush in the middle of a war. But he's got another 5 point to fall or so... 33-4% is achievable. The rest is his loony base and can't be swayed by mere facts.

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