Bushâ€™s approval ratings will not recover
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Iâ€™ve already seen the so-called "narrative of comeback" being bandied about in the mainstream media. They tell us that the story line is supposed to go: 1. Rise 2. Fall 3. Comeback. Now that George Bush has suffered the fall, the media now gets busy writing the comeback. There are two problems with this.
First, this isnâ€™t a movie. The media is supposed to report what happens, not write a pre-ordained script. Weâ€™re in serious times; we need our reporters to be serious people. Not a bunch of second-rate wannabe script writers. The country isnâ€™t your amusement park. Do your job â€“ report the facts!
Second, Bush isnâ€™t going to make a comeback. Heâ€™s fallen and he canâ€™t get up.
A comeback presupposes substance and ability. A worthy character who has suffered some setbacks, bad luck or simple human mistakes can make a comeback because he has it in him. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, Michael Jordan, the Boston Red Sox can mount comebacks. The Arizona Cardinals are not making a comeback this season. They donâ€™t have the team and the ability to straighten out what has gone wrong. They will continue to lose until the end of the season.
George Bush is the Arizona Cardinals. His team is terrible and he refuses to change any of his players. He doesnâ€™t have the personality suited for making necessary changes. Quickly adjusting to changing circumstances is not his forte, stubbornness is. Even if he had the inclination to make a change, he doesnâ€™t have the ability. He simply doesnâ€™t know what the hell he is doing.
Weâ€™ve been playing most of his speeches and press conferences on our radio show for the last three years. After having listened to him talk about the issues for all that time, there is no polite way to put this â€“ the man is an imbecile.
He is a simpleton who does not grasp complicated circumstances. As sectarian strife between Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds is ripping Iraq apart, he has never once mentioned the competing claims of those groups and explained how they affect our mission in Iraq. There is a good reason for that â€“ he canâ€™t.
Iâ€™m confident that if a reporter surprised him tomorrow and asked him what the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite is, he would have no idea.
Even if youâ€™re a conservative or a Republican, do you really believe that the President has any idea what the difference between those warring factions are? That he might be able to tell you a little bit about their history and why theyâ€™re fighting and what may be able to bring them together? That the President can muster up a cogent, intelligent response? I donâ€™t think you even believe that.
Look, this emperor hasnâ€™t had any clothes on for a long time. Only our collective brainwashing and purposeful avoidance of the obvious has shielded us from reality. He keeps talking about evildoers and people who hate us for our freedom. He has the mental capacity of a third grader. And no matter how much of an apologist you are for this administration or how much you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, you know it in your heart. Itâ€™s crystal clear when you listen to him. The President is a dunce.
He makes Dan Quayle look like a Rhodes Scholar. At least Quayle could put together a sentence every once in awhile and didnâ€™t make comical references to "the evil ones."
Did anyone watch that Bush teleconference with the troops a couple of weeks ago? I donâ€™t think Dan Quayle was ever that bad on his worst day. Is anyone paying attention? This guy canâ€™t even put together a sentence in a scripted appearance in front of a friendly crowd. He was absolutely pathetic in the debates against Kerry. And did anyone hear him answer the sovereignty question? If not, please listen here.
For the love of God, call a spade a spade. How much cognitive dissonance does it take for the press to carry on this charade? The man isnâ€™t bright, and youâ€™re not doing yourself any favors by ignoring the obvious.
No matter. The damage is done. The Iraq War is irreparably off course. Eventually, the average American citizen will finally realize we have tortured in the name of America. The CIA leak case will only grow messier. The deficit will only grow larger. The fixing of intelligence in a desperate attempt to drive the country to war will only become clearer from here on out.
There is no good news around the corner. Around the corner is a date the American people have with the truth. And it is a date that will not go well for this administration.
One of the principal ways the Bush administration has been able to keep their approval ratings up is by carrying out a concerted campaign of misinformation, often unwittingly aided by the mainstream media and completely organized by the right wing media. There have been no challenges to this order up to now. But finally, the mainstream press is beginning to turn. The print media is back to doing a solid to excellent job.
Television is the last stand of the conservative media machine. They held down the fort with a countless number of conservative talk shows and conservative hosts. They have shouted down and belittled the opposition. They have intimidated the rest of the press into thinking their view is the only mainstream view.
This is a house of cards. If just one good anti-administration show goes up on cable news, this house will come crumbling down. If one liberal/progressive/moderate/ reasonable show gets good ratings, then ten more will follow. And when television is balanced, the American people will finally see what this administration has worked so hard and long to hide from them. It will not be pretty.
The advantage of this prediction for my opponents is that it is in the public forum. So, if the Bush administration proves me wrong, you can come back and rub it in my face. If Bush leaves office with approval ratings above 50 percent, then I will have been clearly proven wrong. You can disregard my predictions and my analysis from there on out.
How much clearer do I have to be? Why am I going this far out on the limb? Because I know Iâ€™m right. There can be temporary blips that improve the Presidentâ€™s poll numbers for awhile, there can be some fleeting good news and some fake milestones accomplished. But none of that will change the fact that this man is not up to the job.
He is lazy, uninterested and incompetent. He views the presidency as homework. He seems to enjoy politics (at least while heâ€™s up), but he doesnâ€™t enjoy policy. He is detached from decision making and his decision makers have led him dangerously astray. Finally and most importantly, he doesnâ€™t care to get it right.
George W. Bush will never put in the long hours to make sure we have the right policy in Iraq, in the war on terror, in the budget or anything else that concerns actual governing. He finds these things to be tedious. In reality, they are essential to the job of being President. He is overmatched.
And when youâ€™re overmatched, you donâ€™t put together second half comebacks. You get crushed.
Evan Derkacz is a New York-based writer and contributor to AlterNet.