July 1, 2003


Posted by Arcane Gazebo at July 1, 2003 2:46 PM I have this vision of the sidebar on this site filled up with various numbers and statistics that update periodically. Today I've added the Bush Index, an average of approval rating polls that is compiled every two weeks.

Through June this number did not change significantly, which leads me to wonder if the findings about fudged WMD intelligence are not having much of an impact. This new CNN poll shows some encouraging trends, though - more and more people are realizing the reality of the Iraq situation.

Something I've been considering lately is whether a Democratic presidential candidate who raised questions about the Iraq war can expect the Max Cleland treatment from Karl Rove after winning the nomination. It seems like TV ads that show pictures of Osama and Saddam interspersed with, say, Howard Dean, are pretty likely. If it worked against a triple-amputee Vietnam vet, after all, where wouldn't it work? It's hard to say how effective this will be if casualties in Iraq continue to mount and info about the WMD deceptions keeps coming, but I bet it would still play well in a lot of places.

Where Bush gets the image of being strong on anti-terrorism is a mystery to me. (I won't say "homeland security" - isn't one thing common to Americans is that we, or our ancestors, left our homelands?) TAPPED has the story on the administration's half-assed (or 0.2-assed, if you go by the funding numbers) approach to protecting Americans. The requested $98.4 million for essential anti-terrorism measures is quite a bit smaller than the recent tax cut. Is giving more money to the wealthy more important than American lives?

On the other hand, maybe this is just what Bush wants. It's a terrible thing to say, but there's no question that 9/11 was the best thing to happen to his political career. The best case for him now, in terms of re-election, would be to maintain the appearance of being strong on security while leaving the door open for future attacks - so that the American people could once again "rally around the president". I know I shouldn't ascribe to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity, but it's hard not to wonder when I read about just how cavalier this administration is with our safety. Tags:
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