George W. Bush has finally caught Richard Milhous Nixon. It was a historic race but Bush has finally caught him from behind. George Bush now stands at a 24% approval rating in the latest Zogby poll. That is the same approval rating that Richard Nixon had the day he walked out of the White House in shame.
This president is deeply, consistently and historically unpopular. Yet, we still can't break through to the Washington bubble. The country can't stand this president. They think he is incompetent, uncaring and dangerous. Meanwhile, Congress and the DC media elite still think the best solution is to move toward the president rather than away from him.
This boggles the imagination. How can the Senate Democrats decide today to strike a deal with the president to give the telecommunication companies retroactive immunity for the laws that they have broken? How can they possibly think that agreeing with a president at 24% approval rating is a good idea? Let alone, necessary. Necessary? Are you kidding me?
Meanwhile in the House, Democrats backed down from tougher FISA legislation because Republicans wanted to vote on an amendment saying that disagreeing with the president on this issue meant you were giving into Osama bin Laden. Literally. They wrote that into the amendment. Have you seen anything so politically craven and pathetically obvious?
And this actually worked. It stopped the Democrats in their tracks. You knuckleheads, why don't you write an amendment back that says, "Giving away American citizens' liberties and rights is exactly what Osama bin Laden wants most of all, so anyone who votes against our bill loves Osama!"
If they're going to be children about this, hit them back with what I learned in third grade, "I am rubber, you are glue. Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you."
Come on, please don't tell me that you're still scared of these guys. The Republicans in Congress are running for the hills. They can't leave Congress fast enough. Seventeen Republican Congressmen and Senators are hightailing out of town before they get their ass handed to them in the next election. Hastert indicated today that he doesn't even have the stomach to stay for the rest of his term (and that's saying a lot).
And Bush is at 24%. 24%! He is polling as the most unpopular president of all time. He's caught Nixon as Nixon was heading out the door. They should be having hearings on how to throw the bum out of office, not on how to cave in to him. Do you have any common sense at all?
Meanwhile, David Broder and David Ignatius are still writing columns about what a great idea it would be for the Democrats to compromise with the president. The deans of the decrepit, useless DC media tell us that the best answer to the country's great frustration is to go closer to the president, not farther away. Are they nuts?
The middle of this country does not lie between Dick Cheney and Hillary Clinton. The DC establishment is obsessed with civility and neutrality to the point that they are paralyzed into subservience. And they disguise that subservience as so-called moderation.
Meeting Dick Cheney and George Bush halfway is not moderation, it is madness. It is radicalism. It is deeply unpopular. It is terrible politics and terrible policy.
You can't argue that the halfway point between George H. W. Bush and the Democratic Congress of 1990 is the same place as the halfway point between George W. Bush and the Democratic Congress of 2006. The middle of the two parties is not always the right answer! It depends on context, it depends on the situation, it depends on where the parties lie at the time. But you need a brain to figure that out, not a slavish, thoughtless adherence to "neutrality" and "centrism."
I am a centrist. I lie between the George H.W. Bush administration and the 1990 Congress. At this point, that place in the political spectrum is way to the left of the current Democratic party. And it's miles away from George W. Bush. You've already gone so far right, you're about to fall off the map. The American people are trying to warn you. And the Washington bubble keeps on insisting on going further right.
When is this bubble going to burst? When are the people in charge of this country going to realize they have run this ship aground and the American people are frustrated and furious? If 24% doesn't do it, what will? Does the president have to be at 11%? 3%?
What will it take to wake up Washington? Stop following this man. Stop caving in to him. Stop listening to his silly threats. Stop moving toward him. Start moving away from him as soon as you possibly can. The American people are waiting, in the real center of the country.
UPDATE -- God bless Chris Dodd! Finally someone stands up to oppose this administration. Today Senator Dodd put a hold on the terrible Senate FISA bill discussed above. That means he has thwarted his fellow Senate Democrats attempt to cave in to the president and the bill will not go forward! Now that wasn't so hard, was it?