Monday, May 22, 2006

Circular Logic

As Bush's popularity ebbs to an all-time low, the dark shadow cast upon Republicans who have ceded to many of the policies that have caused his sinking numbers has occasioned more than a few GOP candidates to distance themselves from Bush. More seats than previously expected are now thought to be "in play" and vulnerable to Democratic victories this fall and this is partially, if not wholly, attributable to Bush's reckless agenda, abetted as it has been by a Republican Congress.

Given this state of affairs, I was more than curious to see this bizarre tautology in WaPo this morning:
Confronting the worst poll numbers seen in the West Wing since his father went down to defeat, President Bush and his team are focusing on the fall midterm elections as the best chance to salvage his presidency and are building a campaign strategy around tax cuts, immigration and national security.
Let's ignore for the moment that this campaign presription is exactly why Bush is so disliked right now. The truly odd notion presented here is that Bush's team views the elections as a way to boost Bush's approval, elections that are in serious doubt directly because of Bush's low approval ratings. In other words, they are going to use the elections, as threatened as they are by Bush's low approval, to boost his approval. Although, maybe this isn't so circular a strategy as it at first might appear, not when you've got Diebold and ES&S on your side.

Here is a better way to improve Bush's approval: change and improve the policies that have led the majority of Americans to think that the Bush administration is incompetent and callous. Help New Orleans. Come up with an actual plan for Iraq. Stop driving this country deeper into debt with more tax cuts. Stop monitoring and surveilling American citizens. And, for god's sakes, stop indefinite detention and prisoner abuse.

The fact that none of this will be on any Republican agenda, least of all Bush's, is surely testimony further offering evidence that neither Bush nor his "team" has any idea why the man is so disliked. Of course, Bush himself is responsible for this lack of understanding. He has spent years surrounding himself with people who can't or won't tell him what really needs to happen.


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