Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I didn't think I would find time to add anything to Various Miseries until the weekend, but I couldn't resist this.

The following NBC-Wall St. Journal poll results are in an article by NBC policial reporter Mark Murray at . I have condensed it a bit. Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

For the first time in the poll, Bush’s approval rating has sunk below 40 percent, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30 percent. In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29 percent think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court.
"Any way you slice this data, I think these are just terrible sets of numbers," said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

The poll shows that Bush’s approval rating stands at 39 percent, a new low for the president. Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. In the last NBC/Wall Street Journal survey, which was released in mid-September, 40 percent approved of Bush’s job performance while 55 percent disapproved. In addition, just 28 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, another all-time low in Bush’s presidency.

29 percent say Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, while 24 percent think she’s unqualified. Forty-six percent say they don’t know enough about her.

"Strong majorities don’t believe that the recent charges against GOP leaders Tom DeLay of Texas and Bill Frist of Tennessee are politically motivated. Sixty-five percent say that DeLay’s indictment on charges of illegally using corporate contributions for political campaigns suggests potential illegal activity, while 24 percent say the indictment is politics as usual and has little merit."

"57 percent say Frist’s sale of stock in a company his family runs — just before the value of the stock declined — indicates potential illegal activity, compared with 28 percent who say the charge has little merit."

"With 13 months until the 2006 congressional elections, 48 percent say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 39 percent who want the Republicans to control Capitol Hill. In fact, that nine-point difference is the largest margin between the parties in the 11 years the NBC/Journal poll has been tracking this question."

But Hart argues that Democrats aren’t necessarily responsible for this margin. "It is not that Democrats have done so well," he said. "It is that people are disgusted." McInturff puts it this way: "People are very turned off and unhappy with the state of play in American politics."

Because of this generally sour attitude, the NBC/Journal pollsters doubt that Bush will be able to climb out of his standing anytime soon. "His trampoline [is] made of cement," Hart said.

And while McInturff thinks that Bush’s approval rating actually may actually hover between 40 and 45 percent, he says that’s still problematic terrain from which to govern. "It is a very difficult place to be."

Snave's note: "While the Democrats aren't necessarily responsible for this margin", here's to Democrats helping that margin increase. We Democrats need to offer solutions toi the messes BushCo. has created, and we need to relate to the American people in ways that allow us to connect with independents and moderates. It's easy to sit back and watch things implode, but if we do nothing... well, we are seen as doing nothing.

I usually don't like the concept of "kick 'em while they're down", but in this case I don't have a problem with it. We need to get "happy feet", people!


Blogger J. Marquis said...

I say kick 'em, kick 'em and kick 'em some more.

Did you also see Bush got a 2% approval rating from blacks?

5:48 PM  
Blogger Christopher I said...

The Democrats are doubtless happy with the latest polls, but they may well remain the minority party in both houses of Congress after the 2006 mid-term elections, given the gerrymandering of seats in so many Congressional districts, and that they would have to pick up five seats in the Senate from the GOP - an unlikely scenario in any circumstance.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

You know, I've been considering changing the name of my blog to "I'm Not Cynical Enough," but then I decided that wasn't all that great, not dynamic enough. I mention that because first, even though I have yet to see 30, I'm a cynic on a nearly Christopher Hitchensian scale, and more importantly, though Bush's poll numbers are abysmal, he's still not anywhere near a conviction for an impeachable offense. For that, I blame time itself. What was once groundbreaking by Woodward and Bernstein is now dated. That which was shocking in our leaders is now all-but expected. And spin, either real or perceived, by the news media has caused the people to lose their faith in them, which is detrimental to the nation as a whole.

The previous rant actually has a point. The point is that, though crippled... Bah, too tired to continue to pontificate. I agree with Richard on the odds of a Dem takeover of at least the House, though it takes two (parties) to gerrymander successfully and I doubt that aspect of it. The problem goes back to the Democrats: Their leadership has been reactive for too long, instead of actively promoting a vision for the future, and though the GOP's bullpen is depleted, the same is true of the Dems, and in such a case, what little advantage there is lies with the incumbent party. Reactive strategies may have worked for a while when the Dems controlled Congress, but those days ended 11 years ago.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Agreed, MC! This is the time for being proactive. To all Democrats who believe this, we need to get involved. Getting involved can be anything from going to your local Democratic party meetings to writing letters to the editors of newspapers to running for office. I'm certainly not brave enough, and I tend to not be logical enough (too much of a gut-reaction type) to run for office, but I DO involve myself by going to meetings and helping out, and by letter-writing. Our band is going to play for a local Democrat fund-raiser in December, and I am excited about that!

I don't have a lot of hope that Democratic candidates can win very many elections in the part of Oregon where I live... People here used to vote for the candidate himself or herself rather than just knee-jerking for whatever party they belong to. We have gotten into such an "us vs. them" mentality that things are not like they used to be.

Just the same, I believe that whatever can be done to help eastern Oregon Democratic candidates gain more prominence or recognition will help things around here in the long run. In this geographical area, peoples' selflessness pretty much ends at the community level. Usually it's "me first" and "people like me next", then "help the community". If helping Democratic candidates means helping local voters get beyond that mindset to where they are thinking more about state-level matters and national matters, then I'll do what I can.

I know, MC, I'm being an optimist again. I just hope other Democrats remain optimistic too. Even with the Bush administration practically handing things over to the Democrats, we won't be able to grab the prize unless we are proactive in our approach. Pelosi and Reid won't get the job done... in today's media-driven ten-second-attention-span climate, we need people who have charisma to lead us out of the wilderness and eventually into the White House. If we don't take over the Senate or House in 06 because we got a late start on serious and meaningful definition of the party and its platform to the American people, we will simply find more effective leadership and we will then have two full years to make things right before the elections in 08. Lots of folks are thinking "House and Senate in 06, White House in 08". Well... there are House and Senate elections in 08 too!

All is never lost, there is still plenty of times to get things going in the right direction!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Also, MC, I forgot to add, there is a book I absolutely love which I expect you might enjoy too! It is by Jon Winokur, and it is called "The Portable Curmudgeon". It is one of my all-time favorite books, and has great cynical/curmudgeonly quotes by famous people on a whole slew of topics. I find it great because I never fail to laugh out loud when I read it for the humor value, but lots of the quotes are fairly deep and are quite thought-provoking. It reminds me that while I can be an optimistic sort, there is a cynic inside me that needs exercise from time to time! One place you can read about this book is at

When I looked it up just now, I noticed that Winokur has compiled two other collections, "Return of the Portable Curmudgeon" and "The Traveling Curmudgeon"! I guess this means it's time to get out the credit card... !

8:17 AM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I think the better thing to do would (Oh my god, I can't believe I'm actually SUGGESTING this) create a third party not unlike the late and unlamented Reform Party that has no platform other than to weigh each issue on its own merits and choose or suggest the best option available, regardless of party affiliation of the person who proposed it. My party would be called the "Unaligned Party", with a mascot of a hand showing the middle finger and a motto of "K chertu so vsemi pravovernymi v l'uboj Storone." I chose Russian just to be different, and it means "To Hell with all devout in any Party," though I'm willing to switch to Portuguese in case anyone feels any lingering Red Scare the use of Russian may engender.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

But MC, as you seem to be devoutly independent, you then might find yourself becoming a devout member of the Unaligned Party. You might have to choose a different motto, anyway. Heeheehee

6:55 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

True, Snave. Perhaps I should change it to "To Hell with all devout within any other party." A good chunk of my personal political philosophy seems to boil down to "Stop being an a**hole, Mr./Mrs./Ms. (insert name of elected office here)."

4:55 PM  

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