Bush's approval ratings slide to new low
President Bush's approval ratings have sunk to a personal low, with only a third of Americans saying they approve of the way he is handling his job, a national poll released Monday said.
In the telephone poll of 1,012 adult Americans carried out Friday through Sunday by Opinion Research Corporation for CNN, 32 percent of respondents said they approve of Bush's performance, 60 percent said they disapprove...
That’s pretty bad. And there is not much that Bush can do to turn things around as historian Sean Wilentz notes in his recent piece for Rolling Stone.
George W. Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace. Barring a cataclysmic event on the order of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, after which the public might rally around the White House once again, there seems to be little the administration can do to avoid being ranked on the lowest tier of U.S. presidents. And that may be the best-case scenario. Many historians are now wondering whether Bush, in fact, will be remembered as the very worst president in all of American history.
Bush’s problem is that he was elevated way above his level of competence when the Supreme Court annointed him president in 2000. He was already a miserable failure as a businessman at that point, running several companies into the ground before being saved each time by wealthy Bush-family friends. But he had done OK as governor of Texas, a state with a weak governor system that invests most of the governing power with the lt. governor. And before that he was at his best as the figure-head owner (2 percent) of the Texas Rangers baseball team.
But Washington, D.C., has proved to be his undoing. I think he went to Washington with the best of intentions, truly believing his own speechwriters who told him he was a “uniter and not a divider.” But what he found was a political environment that was already bitterly divided over the Clinton impeachment fiasco and he decided to try to get along by following his gut instincts, which were never that good to begin with.
The best that Bush can hope for now is that the electoral system is already so skewed in favor of incumbents and the wealthy that it will prevent the kind of political sea change that shoved Democrats into the minority two-years into the Clinton presidency. Only by holding on to a slim Republican majority will Bush manage to keep the lid on the numerous festering scandals that have plagued his incompetent administration.