Friday, September 16, 2005


For those of you readers who are conservatives, yeah, Dubya is still the president. Add that to GOP control of the House, Senate and Supreme Court, and you guys have lots to cheer about. If it is actually worth cheering about. Go ahead and cheer, but don't overreach!

Bush’s job approval rating is the lowest it has been during his five years so far, anywhere from 38% to 42% depending on which poll you look at, and it continues to fall. Does that mean that the other 58% to 62% disapprove or aren’t sure he is doing a good job? I would guess it does. And the negative trend continues.

Bush is certainly what I would consider a "lame duck" president, but we still have to deal with three more years of lies, smirks, swaggering, pandering, war, disregard for the environment, addled foreign policy, religious fundamentalism, tax breaks for rich corporations, etc. ad nauseum, not to mention his upcoming Supreme Court legacy... which will be with us for decades.

The conservatives can laugh and joke and rub our leftist noses in this sad state of affairs as much as they please, but indications are that Bush’s house of ‘tards... er, cards... is starting to fold. The media seems to be getting off its collective duff (finally), reporting a bit more often about things that aren’t necessarily going well with the Bush presidency.

As the war in Iraq drags on, voters will get tired of hearing about it, will realize the folly of it, and will want it over and done ASAP... and whether or not that’s right, it will create trouble for the GOP.

As government spending INCREASES, Americans may begin to realize the party of big spending is now the Republican party... the Bush administration's profligate spending at least indicates a huge flip-flop in GOP philosophy if nothing else. Where is the outrage from conservative voters?

As more Americans realize that the administration includes a number of Bush cronies who don’t have the experience to adequately perform their jobs in times of crisis... many Bush apologists may begin to turn away from the Dark Side and assume a more moderate stance, considering how national safety has necessarily become a major issue in recent years.

Let’s go back to “flip-flopping” for just a moment. Who said he was not going to engage in nation-building, but is now doing just that? Who said he would not spend the Social Security surplus but has done so anyway? Who said he was against a Homeland Security department, then said he was for it? Who said he was against a 9-11 Commission and then said he was for it? Who said we could win the war on terror, then said we couldn’t win it, then said we could? Who said he was against deficits, and is now apparently for them? Who said he was in favor of states’ rights in deciding on gay marriage issues, and then said he favored a Constitutional amendment banning it? Who said the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the sailors, then later admitted it was his advance team? Who said "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden”, then said "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care.” The answer to these questions is, of course, George W. Bush, and there are many more instances of this. And isn't it good strategy to take your own faults and label your opponents as ones who have those traits? I would imagine Karl Rove thinks so, because in the 2004 election the "Kerry is a flip-flopper" statements sure did a nice job of distracting voters from Bush's first-term performance and future agenda...

The conservatives who put Bush in office in 2004 will soon enough see that many of their Republican House and Senate candidates will distance themselves from Bush as much as possible in order to make themselves electable. If the conservative voters are smart, they may also distance themselves from Bush and his ilk, opting instead for candidates (Democrat, Republican, or otherwise) who more closely represent the American political mainstream.

When one is in the habit of messing lots of things up at the workplace, the urge to go on vacation may take hold. Being president must be very hard work. When I look at what has gone on during the last five years, and then the amount of time Bush is on vacation, I begin to wonder about the “why” for taking all the time off. I offer you some theories:

1) NUT CASE THEORY - He is basically goofy (as in "mental"). Sometimes his medications work and sometimes not. When he is going through a bad time, and his handlers don't want him to have a public tantrum, or for him to get caught on film flipping someone off, or to be heard on tape swearing up a blue streak (and he has been known to do all these things), they take him to Crawford to "cool off" for a bit. I hope this isn't the case... mental illness in a leader could lead to devastating consequences for a country. We should never forget who controls our nation's nuclear (not "nucular") arsenal.

2) "OFF THE WAGON" THEORY - He is drinking again, and he needs to "dry out" from time to time. His handlers determine when he needs to go on "vacation" so he can do some detox. When the going gets tough, the tough guy goes out of town and spends time at the ranch. I hope this isn't the case... alcoholism is a terrible thing I would wish on no-one, and alcoholics can be quite temperamental. Again, let's not forget who controls America's nukes.

3) DRILL AND REPETITION THEORY - He actually does have a "working vacation", but it's a time when his handlers drill him on what to say for the next few months. When they decide he is starting to "wing it" too much with the press, and he is making too many gaffes in his public speaking, they hide him for a while so they can use good old drill and repetition to teach him some new things to say. I would be curious to see if this is the case. I may just have to check his quotes from times right after his "vacations" as compared to his quotes from just beforehand, and see if there are any differences in the Imbecile Index.

4) REAGAN EMULATION THEORY - Americans loved Ronald Reagan, and many still do, almost to the point of worship. A big part of Reagan’s image was the cowboy hat and the big smile, and “going to the ranch”. Bush also has a ranch, and if he “goes to the ranch”, it may help his image in that everyday Americans will view him as a “hard working rancher” when the photo-op shots show him in ordinary clothes, working up a sweat as he cuts brush. The more he can portray himself as an equal of Reagan in anyway, the more diehard conservatives might blindly follow along.

Those first four items are all about his public image, and the first three are about his handlers trying to keep him out of the public eye during bad times.

Another possibility?

5) DOESN’T GIVE A HOOT THEORY - He loves his title of POTUS and the power that goes with it, but he detests work... so he gets away from the workplace for long periods of time. Because he can... not like most of the rest of us. I also hope this theory isn't true, as it would mean Bush basically doesn't give a hoot about anything but himself.

Are there other possibilities? And don't say Bush takes these great long vacations because he has earned them... that might wash on some rightwing weblogs, but I don't think it will here.

I tend to believe the reason for all Bush's time off is a combination of the above theories. I tend to go with 10% Reagan Emulation, 30% Drill and Repetition, and 60% Doesn’t Give a Hoot.

My prediction: If the country makes it through Dubya’s final three years and remains the United States of America as we know it... the "tell-all" books about Bush and his presidency are going to be fascinating. There will be post-Bush books that praise him as a wonderful, intelligent, compassionate and visionary leader (and these will probably be written by the rabid Coulter/Hannity/Limbaugh types, maybe 25% of the authors, whose cognitive dissonance has not yet dissipated), and there will be highly entertaining, informative books which ceaselessy tell of Bush's dark side (the other 75% of the writers, who were either against Bush to begin with or who will have had epiphanies by that time)... and all the books will be bestsellers! Highly entertaining and informative books are the kind I like to take along on vacation.

Can you guess which post-Bush tell-all books I'll be reading?

Bring on the entertainment!


Blogger J. Marquis said...

Damn,Snave. You have become a very adept political writer. I especially liked the flip-flop examples.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

You ignored one possibility: The Jimmy Carter theory, which is, in essence, that on some level, he actually gives a damn but isn't anywhere close to being bright enough to be effective in office and really do good. I go for a blend of Reagan emulation and Jimmy Carter, about 70/30.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks for the comments, guys!

I try, J. Glad you like it!

MC, I hadn't thought about the JUST NOT BRIGHT ENOUGH THEORY, but it is an obvious one!

10:54 PM  
Blogger Sheryl said...

I think you summed it up rather well, except I wouldn't call it a Reagan Emulation, so much as an attempt to look like John Q. Redneck.

Because his policies actually exploit most rednecks, so it there must be a lot of work to make an elitist snob look like he really thinks he is "just one of the guys" while he rips "the guys" off.

BTW, is there something wrong with my browser. I frequently have the word verification reject my letters, even when I double check them carefully. It's kind of annoying.

1:35 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

I personally think he is the president that never meant to be. A complete accident. He was voted in by the Supreme Court and then rode 911 to his victory in 2004. We are realizing now one of the biggest mistakes of mankind.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Great post. I sure hope you're right about Bush's house of tards, I mean cards, collapsing. It took long enough.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Jolly Roger said...

El Shrubbo is kind of like the "house of horrors."

You have to willfully deny that the "house of horrors" is a contrived place in order to allow yourself to be frightened, or thrilled, by going in.

Many of the El Shrubbo faithful are probably aware that their guy is both a lifetime failure and a bumbling buffoon, but they will themselves to believe his bullshit. He, of course, doesn't have to will himself to believe it.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

Excellent piece, Snaver.

As far as your theories go, any one of them could be the case, but I'm leaning toward 5) DOESN'T GIVE A HOOT THEORY and 3) DRILL AND REPETITION THEORY.

I just wish he would resign already, but I know that's not going to happen.

7:46 AM  

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