Monday, May 08, 2006

Mandate at 31%

WASHINGTON (USA TODAY)— President Bush's approval rating has slumped to a miserable 31% in a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, his lowest since a poll of Houston-area prostitutes in the late 1970s and a warning sign for Republicans that after the November elections, they may need to lawyer up.

"It is a challenging political environment," acknowledges Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the hated & feared Republican National Committee, "but we are confident that ultimately voters in November will recognize that a Democrat Congress would simply not be equipped to ensure either economic or national security for our nation. Things would be different if Clinton had balanced the budget or we'd survived the Cuban missile crisis."

Bush's fall is being fueled by an erosion of support among conservatives and Republicans. In the poll, 52% of conservatives (theoretically antagonistic to those who bankrupt the Treasury) and 68% of Republicans (theoretically antagonistic to hereditary monarchy) approved of the job he is doing. Both are record lows among those groups, though indicative of a persistent and inexplicable myopia.

Moderates (those whose opinions are as interesting as mayonnaise) gave him an approval rating of 28%, liberals (those who invented representative democracy) of 7%.

"You hear people say he has a hard core that will never desert him, real pinheads who will vote against their own economic self-interest because they truly believe this spoiled, dry-drunk plutocratic shitheel would hang out with them eating barbecue, and that has been the case for most of the administration," says Charles Franklin, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin who studies presidential approval ratings. "But for the last few months, we've started to see that the religiously insane meth-mouth contingent is shrinking."

Only four presidents have scored more pathetic approval ratings since the Gallup Poll began regularly measuring it in the mid-1940s: Harry Truman, who suggested that it might actually have been a good idea to emancipate the slaves; Richard Nixon, whose phlebitis made him cranky and unconstitutional; Jimmy Carter, who foolishly refused to negotiate with terrorists; and the first George Bush, who invited Americans to read his lips, then administered a savage, pounding reacharound. When Nixon, Carter and the elder Bush sank below 35%, they never again registered above 40%, although their last album remains a minor masterpiece of smooth jazz.

"Historically it's been pretty devastating to presidents at this level," Franklin says. Even Republican members of Congress are "now so worried about their electoral fortunes in November that he has less leverage with them than he normally would with his own party controlling Congress, and it's really starting to piss him off."

No comments: