It’s rare that I find a a single article that sums up most of what I’m thinking on a subject. Recently I’ve been watching President Bush’s panicked flailing as his approval ratings plummet and even his staunchest supporters in the Republican party are beginning to distance themselves from him in preparation for upcoming elections. I stumbled across an article that discusses a growing chorus calling for Bush’s impeachment. I have recently told anyone who will listen that if it were not for the protection of his own political party, President Bush has already done quite enough to be impeached. This article proves that I’m probably not alone in believing this.
The Iraq War, more than anything, is what’s hurting Bush. The Administration has been largely successful in glossing over its encyclopedia of other mistakes and failures, but the Iraq War simply cannot be spun. As the bodies of killed American soldiers continue to return home (2,317 killed and 17,004 wounded as of this writing, according to official numbers) and Iraq teeters ever closer to outright Civil War (Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said today that Iraq is already in a civil war), it’s hard to put a positive spin on this.
According to this article, by 50% to 28% voters said that they believed that the Iraq War had weakened America’s standing in the world, and by 44% to 18% they believed that it had increased the threat from Iran. By 50% to 35% they said they would vote for a congressional candidate who favoured withdrawing troops from Iraq in a year. Doesn’t look good for Baby Bush.
A compilation of state-wide polls has even more bad news for Bush. In mid-America’s Republican heartlands the president is almost as unpopular as he is nationally. In Texas, his own back yard, only 41% approve of his performance.
Wayne Slater, chief political correspondent of the Dallas Morning News, said; “People in Texas like George Bush and he was a popular governor. But even his biggest supporters are losing confidence in him. They say they don’t understand what Bush is doing.”
The only person more unpopular than Bush right now is Vice-President Dick Cheney, whose approval rating was at 18% in a recent poll. Bush joked at a Washington dinner last week: “When Dick first heard that my approval rating was 38% he said, ‘What’s your secret?’” Bush and Cheney are the only ones laughing.
President Bush’s problems have emboldended some Democrats to step up and talk openly about things that have hither-to been mentioned only in whispered musings. Last week Senator Russ Feingold proposed a motion of censure against Bush for authorising the National Security Agency to wiretap Americans suspected of links to terrorism without a court warrant.
Feingold said that the party should stop “cowering” before Bush on national security issues. “If there’s any Democrat out there who can’t say the president has no right to make up his own laws, I don’t know if that Democrat really is the right (presidential) candidate,” he said.
This has led Conservatives to their typical knee-jerk reactions; damage control and redirection. And fear, of course. Nothing works better on Conservatives than their fear of losing power.
“Impeachment … coming your way if there are changes in who controls the House right now,” Paul Weyrich, who is often referred to as the father of the Religious Right and heads the Free Congress Foundation, warned in an e-mail newsletter to supporters. “With impeachment on the horizon maybe, just maybe, conservatives would not stay at home after all.”
Others Republicans, such as blowhard Rush Limbaugh, are practically begging Democrats to “bring it on” in the hope that the conflict will make their opponents look like loony leftists who care nothing for national security. “This is such a gift,” said Limbaugh on his radio show. Well, the Conservatives hope that they can spin it as such, anyway.
A lot of people are thinking about this, though, and nothing could better illustrate how dangerous things have gotten for Bush and his cabal of Neo-Conservatives. At the moment no one dares seriously considers attempting to impeach President Bush. There are just too many risks. But it say a lot that John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, was overheard in an Irish bar on Capitol Hill talking about how satisfying it would be to impeach Bush if Congress went Democrat. He was just having a laugh, a spokeswoman rushed to explain: “Impeachment jokes in Washington are as old as Donald Rumsfeld.”
But then she said: “How are the same Republicans, who tried to impeach a president over whether he misled a nation about an affair, going to pretend it does not matter if the administration intentionally misled the country into war?”