Bush at 26% approval. He has now broken through the Crazification Barrier and polled lower than the number of absolutely crazy people that will always be present in any population.
Now here’s the question: if you or I or anyone else were to start acting like Bush, siding with Bush, agreeing with Bush on the vital issues of the day, what would happen to their popularity? Would it go up, do you think? Or would it plummet?
Well, Congress has given in to Bush on lots of issues lately, including war funding for Iraq and abstinence-only sex education (to name two off the top of my head). Let’s see what happens.
The percentage of Americans with a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress is at 14%, the lowest in Gallup’s history of this measure — and the lowest of any of the 16 institutions tested in this year’s Confidence in Institutions survey. It is also one of the lowest confidence ratings for any institution tested over the last three decades.
I know America’s a nation of Congress-haters, but this is something else. Americans sent Democrats to Congress to
a) be Democrats, and
b) counteract this insane president.
Instead, they’re refusing to stand up for Democratic values, and fulfilling every stereotype about ‘finger-in-the-wind’ wimpy politicians. It is intensely frustrating, even from where I’m sitting. And the polls are showing this frustration.
In one of his special comments, Keith Olbermann said
Our politics… is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.
Mr. Bush has failed.
Mr. Warner has failed.
Mr. Reid has failed.
Who among us will stop this war—this War of Lies?
To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.
To all the others—presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal.
He was right.
Now what would it take to make it even lower and send Bush’s popularity to, say, four? Surprisingly, the answer is not ‘for Bush to screw up even more’. As if that were possible. No, for year after year we watched Monkey-Boy’s hijinks while his popularity remained improbably high.
But Bush’s popularity among the faithful was never about Bush himself, or his actions. It was more how they ‘felt’ about Bush the Symbol. As long as he remained the rallying point, as long as he represented their feelings of self-worth, as long as they invested themselves in him and his ideology, those numbers were always going to stay high. And since an authoritarian cult of personality abhors a vacuum, stay high the numbers would until a new Saviour could appear — a Republican the public could like. Yeah. Good luck. Who would that be? Cheney? Giuliani? Ha.
But just as soon as someone comes along in which the faithful can invest their sense of self, the Bush cult will utterly collapse, and we’ll see approval ratings in the low teens. The groundwork is already being laid; you’ll be hearing the ‘Bush is not a True Scotsman’ from now until November 2008. Well done, keyboard konservatives. Keep it up. He will come.