A Newsweek poll last week showed that Bush has fallen to a 30 percent job approval rating. I know there are a lot of polls out there so that number is far from definitive, but still I was shocked to hear this. Honestly, I hadn't been paying attention and had just assumed Bush was still floating around 35 percent. My friends and I for years now have referred to the faithful 35 percent that support Bush as the "untouchable 35 percent" -- or more specifically for Star Trek fans as "The Bush Borg." That's like five percent of the zombies in Night of the Living Dead suddenly breaking off from attacking the farmhouse and deciding to open a bed and breakfast. I didn't think Bush supporters had any "I'm going to change my mind" brain cells left. Especially after using them all up on the different reasons Bush has given for going to war in Iraq.
So how did this happen? Did a group of 500,000 of them catch another group of 500,000 of them flipping through a copy of The Nation at Border's while the other 30 percent weren't looking? "You know, there's some interesting stuff in here," the embarrassed 500,000 say. "What do you mean?", the other 500,000 respond. And so the conversation began.
This also begs another question: what is the plural for Bush/Cheney supporters? These people deserve their own plural term like a "school" of fish or a "murder" of crows. How about a "wallet" of Bush/Cheney supporters? Or a "clot" of Bush/Cheney supporters? A "mug"? A "rash"? Wait, I've got it: A "smirk" of Bush/Cheney supporters. Well, you can choose whichever you like.
But back to the central question: what led to this change of heart after all this time and all this craziness and ineptitude. Why now? What was the tipping point? For 51 percent of us it was Bush's record as Governor of Texas and his "career" as a businessman. It perfectly predicted what he's done since he took office. While Governor of Texas, he executed people with little or no review and appointed industry heads to regulate their own industry. He privatized the endowment for the University of Texas and it cost the school millions. He also bankrupted the oil company he ran and sold his stock before any of the shareholders even knew there wasn't going to be a company softball game.
So to see this guy screw up our country in the same way was no surprise at all. But for those with the FOX News logo permanently burned into the lower right hand side of their TV screen -- aka the immovable 35 percent -- none of this information meant a thing. Facts and reality bounced off these chosen few like bullets off of Superman's eye. They weren't pretty sure, they weren't even confident... they were certain. And because they were certain, Rove was certain. And because Rove was certain, Bush was... well, all right, Bush doesn't really have the emotional dexterity to vacillate between confidence and questioning. That's like saying a squirrel is in a reflective mood. Squirrels don't reflect. They squirrel. Well, Bush Bushes. He's a prick frat boy to the bone. If Bush was being sentenced to life, you get the feeling he'd make fun of the judge for wearing a shirt from the Men's Wearhouse.
Maybe the five percent just got tired of Bush. Or maybe they accidentally fell asleep with the TV on Glenn Beck and woke up and it was regular CNN reporting and suddenly it hit them: "You mean we're not winning that thing!?"
But in the end I'll give the five percent the credit they deserve and just assume that they realized very late in the game that they had made a mistake. And that still puts them way, way ahead of the remaining 30 percent.