The Carpetbagger Report » Blog Archive » It's the war, stupid: "Bush isn't popular anymore — we get it. "
Am I being excessively paranoid to regard these declining poll numbers with foreboding?
When there was an election in prospect, terror warnings came fast and furious on any downtick. Now, he just seems to sink.
Would the Bushies hype a terror threat? Obviously, they would. Would they allow a terror threat to continue? Osama and Zarqawi live, don't they?
Some people in Bush's Party, have opined that a major terror attack in the U. S. would be the end of the Constitution -- I can't tell if they want a major terror attack for that reason, or not. Really, I can't tell.
And, the thing I would most like to know about the poll numbers on Bush's performance is: is there a prophylaxis, here? Personally, I have always found Bush smarmy and horrible; does the movement in the polls reflect conversion to my point of view? If there were a major terror attack now, would a majority interpret that as a Bush failure? Would they blame Bush for doing a bad job? Or, would they rally behind him?
I remember Watergate quite well. I thought Nixon was a liar and a crook, but I thought Nixon was a patriot above all. As the noose tightened, Nixon did the right thing(s), and I was confident that all would turn out all right, because I wasn't really worried that Nixon would, say, stage a coup. As hateful as he was, Nixon had a loyalty to the country. He dumped Spiro Agnew, and appointed the stolid Ford, for example; he knew what was coming. He yielded to the Supreme Court; he knew what was coming. Those were acts of political courage and decency, which strengthened the country, and they were taken at great personal cost. They don't excuse castrating the war on poverty, bombing Cambodia, the imperial Presidency, or any of the rest.
The problem is, I don't know what Bush's limits, his points of honor, might be. He is a man, who clearly doesn't not have an appreciation of history. He says he doesn't care about his "legacy." And, I don't know much about the people around him; Cheney, etc. seem increasingly deranged.
When I see these declining poll numbers, and the worsening prospects in Iraq, in the economy, which drive them, I wonder how Bush will respond to the increasing humiliations, to which he will be subjected. The current regime has been remarkably ruthless in their pursuit of power, and their use of power; how ruthless will they be, in attempting to hang on to power?
If they thought a terror attack, or the prospect of one, would restore their fortunes, would they hype the possibility? would they fake aborting one? would they let one happen?
I don't trust that they wouldn't, if they thought it would work to their advantage. So, I would really like to know, if the finally disapproving American people would view a terror attack, now, as a failure of Bush policy. Would the mere fact of a terror attack trigger calls for Bush's resignation? If Republicans began to think that such a scenario was at least as probably as the country rallying to Bush's side, I would feel a good deal safer.