Friday, October 07, 2005

Time for some facts!

Ok kiddies... it seems that you can't look at any national poll numbers without being bludgeoned over the head with the impression that the Presidents approval rating has hit rock bottom. There is a certain level at which only the real dyed in the wool Kool-aid drinkers are left in blind support and no poll will ever show them losing their blind faith in President Bush's governance. It is my opinion that this level is represented at the mid 30's and that's about where we stand now. So what is the reason for this calamity and what can the President do to turn this around? And will anyone even read this, and if so would the President be insane enough to take political advice from me? I will now endeavor to answer the first two questions, however the last two questions are rhetorical only.

How did this precipitous drop in approval happen? I contend that the governing style of this administration is finally catching up with them. 09/11 was a great unifier of America and the President enjoyed nearly unanimous (96%) approval immediately following that tragedy. The president chose to spend a good deal of this political capital by going to war in Iraq. This war, if handled in a competent manner, certainly would not have proven to be the drag on his approval that it has now turned into. In this sense, contrary to his promise in the 2000 election to be a uniter not a divider, inflammatory as this may sound, it is Osama Bin Laden who was the uniter, and George Bush the divider.

So what is it in the governing style of the President that is so demonstrated by his conduct of the Iraq war? The answer my friend is that his governance is not based upon what the facts are, but rather what the President WISHES the facts to be.

This has been evident throughout the Presidents term in office and is now coming home to roost. The President may know in his soul of souls that we will be greeted as liberators, that the proceeds of Iraqi oil will pay for our efforts to remove Sadaam, the entire Arab world will flower with democracy while the Islamo extremists amongst them see the light and vote with the ballot rather than the bomb and the Arab would lie in peaceful meadows with the Jew as a result of the Iraqi invasion. But the FACTS simply never supported this Utopian view of things. Much the same as the Presidents certain knowledge that his reason for the invasion in the first place (WMD's) would be found was in fact based on faith, when the true state of affairs became apparent, this was the cause of some embarrassment to the likes of Collin Powell.

And it is not simply the conduct of the Iraq war that brings this phenomena to the fore. The entire approach to governance by this administration is replete with examples of this non-fact based style. A glowing example of this are the recent -resignations of two FDA officials in protest of continued delay of allowing the plan B contraceptive for sale over the counter. The scientific facts support allowing this contraceptive to be sold, yet the FDA refuses to do so on political grounds alone. This administration has all but declared total war on science. I mean it really is uncomfortable when the facts as you wish them to be are contravened by established science. Take for example the administration approach to mercury emissions . In the same vein how about the Orwellian name given the Clear Skies Initiative which actually weakened laws protecting air quality when it passed, and the Healthy Forests Initiative which under the guise of forest fire control reduced environmental protections on our national forests. So what we have here is an administration who will not approach the facts, but attempts to make the facts in the image they wish them to appear as. My contention is that as the true state of affairs becomes apparent as has happened with Iraq and sundry other issues confronting this administration both internationally and on the home front, the non koolaid drinking public begin to turn away from this style of governance. So... what may be done to turn this around if you are President Bush?

The answer is quite simple really, and also something that President Bush will never bring himself to do. He must put aside the ideological millstone that has brought him to this sorry pass and begin to govern based with facts as the guiding principle. I propose he could really signal a shift in his governing style by tackling global warming. It clearly is accepted by the vast majority of the scientific community that this issue is being worsened due to human activities and that this warming will have extremely serious consequences on our way of life. Let the President signal a change in his way of thinking by proposing initiatives to slow this trend. If he were to do so would this not signal the public that the days of dogmatic adherence to ideology as a guide for governance have reached a conclusion?

Of course I don't believe that this one shift would bring back the poll numbers in one fell swoop. The shift signified by this would have to reach to all areas of the administration. Would is not be refreshing to hear the President tell us the truth about Iraq? About the Middle East in general. So a conversion in just one area would not be enough to change the malaise currently being suffered by the administration, but a change to the entire outlook would be met with welcome relief, by both the public, and consequently the administration as well.

Do I think thee could actually happen? Of course not. For this to occur would involve yet another action that President Bush cannot bring himself to do. To admit that he is wrong. By this I mean that by changing his style he would implicitly be admitting that his governing to this point has not been correct and we simply KNOW he is incapable of this. But... Should he by some miracle decide to change in this manner, I would suggest he hurry up the process. Otherwise the midterm elections may force him to face some very uncomfortable facts which he won't be able to wish away. And I'm not sure that the TBOR laws being contemplated for various states will really help in this regard. What is TBOR you ask? That my friends will have to wait for another post!

Comments:
I love proproganda...

Compassionate Conservative...

Clear Skies...

Healthy Forest...

WMD...

War on Terror...

Talking points...

I miss the old days of "thousand points of light"...
 
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