02 May 2008

We All Hate Bush

President Bush's disapproval rating fell to a new low--71%. It's not really surprising. People think there's a recession (there's not, barely), and the war that nearly everyone thinks he lied to get us into still isn't going spectacularly well. Plus, we're 7 1/2 years into his presidency, and we never like our president much at this point.

Personally, I'm still bitter about his steel tariffs. One of the few things I'd hope a Republican would get right, and he bungled that, too.


James K said...

About a year ago I wondered why the Republican didn't try to impeach Bush, the effect on their popularity would have been remarkable, the Republicans would be the anti-Bush party. In parliamentary systems a party leader would get a knife in the ribs long before they became this embattled.

James Hanley said...

I agree that Republicans would have benefited from impeaching Bush, but it's a very risky move in American politics because we have such a weak party system.

In a parliamentary system, the party could just force the prime minister into resigning and replace him with someone else. And if this results in popular support, they can call an election to benefit from it.

In the U.S., impeachment is an extraordinary measure, and that makes people more tentative to engage in it. Plus, given the recent overtly political impeachment of Clinton, Democrats would jump on a Bush impeachment bandwagon with glee if Republicans led it, and the Republicans would reasonably worry that their opponents would get even more of a bump from it.

Of course the big bump would be for government overall--a bipartisan impeachment would help restore citizens' belief that government isn't wholly corrupt.

You also have to take into account that conservatives--at least the U.S. version--favor loyalty above almost every other virtue, and shooting one of their own is anathema to that basic principle

James K said...

That's interesting, because our conservatives don't have this problem. Merely losing too much popularity will get you the shove down here. In the late '90s Jim Bolger (Prime Minister and head of the centre-right National party) went to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. When he got back he discovered that Jenny Shipley had taken his job. Of course, our conservatives are less conservative than your conservatives.

Impeachment would be risky, but so's their current strategy. If the Dem's hadn't turned their nomination into a knock-down, drag-out catfight, the Republicans would be in a very weak position.

James Hanley said...

In contrast, the Democrats in Ohio, from the governor on down, are threatning to impeach the state attorney general (also a Democrat) if he doesn't resign.

He didn't do anything illegal, just had an affair with a subordinate, but there were other, unrelated, sexual harrasment complaints in his department that were not dealt with properly.

But the Democrats won the governorship and attorney general position in the last election because of widespread Republican corruption, and I think the Ohio Democrats--at least at this particular moment--see the necessity of continuing to differentiate themselves from the former other-party administration by ruthlessly weeding out these potential problems.

James K said...

If only political parties were always so diligent.