Saturday, May 5, 2007

On the Bush - '08 Correlation

Below, DC states that Bush is dragging the '08 Republicans down with him, echoing sentiments expressed in the article to which he so kindly linked us. I would like to elaborate on this, and perhaps relieve Bush of some of the blame that DC (perhaps unintentionally) throws his way.

Bush's approval rating is going down as the poll numbers for the '08 Republicans are going down. I do not object to an assumption that there is a correlation. However, I think that Congressional Republicans and the '08 candidates themselves are as much to blame as President Bush. It is not as if these candidates are saying "Ah jeez! Why does Bush keep doing these terrible things?" They are saying "Bush! What a great guy!" It is as if they were aboard the sinking Titanic and were going on about how it is unsinkable. Yes, as the leader of the Republican party, Bush has blown it tremendously and has caused his party undeniable harm. To keep with the metaphor, he is effectively sinking what Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove had hoped would be an unsinkable Republican Party.

But, there is an escape, or at least an attempt at one. The Republican candidates could strive to make clear meaningful differences between themselves and Mr. Bush, rather than simply heaping loads of praise upon him. Of course, I do not deny that there is some "guilt by association." Bush and the '08 Republicans are in the same party, and I think that is meaningful to poll respondents. And to a large extent, attempts at distinguishing themselves would not do much good. However, given these overwhelming numbers, it would be nice to see the Republican candidates fighting to distinguish themselves from Bush rather than trying to make us believe that he is the greatest President in American history (perhaps second to Reagan, if that debate the other night was worth anything).

Because we're sure as Hell not buying it.

If the Republicans want a fighting chance in '08, they're going to have to engage in that thing they hate the most: Bush bashing. And if they don't, if they go on thinking that their Republican Party is unsinkable, I blame them, not Bush.

Who would've thought? Me saying that Bush isn't blameworthy...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you saying Bush isn't blameworthy might be one of the signs of the apocalyspe.

In other news, I was wondering what either of you have to say about this article:

What do you think - is this ammo for Republicans to use against Democrats? Or vice-versa? And did he actually just call for a Marx-esque uprising of the lower classes?