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Gallup poll, Bush worse than Nixon
November 9, 2007 7:21 AM   Subscribe

Gallup: Bush 'strongly disapprove' 50% > Nixon 48% Gallup notes that the two ratings are statistically equivalent. A newspaper industry site noted it, and Raw Story, while Uruknet (which is not unbiased) felt the story was under-reported.
posted by dragonsi55 (99 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Haha! Bush is still president?
posted by humannaire at 7:26 AM on November 9, 2007


Only 50%? WTF America?!
posted by dobbs at 7:30 AM on November 9, 2007 [6 favorites]


Washington Post not good enough for ya?
posted by imperium at 7:30 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


gee this will go well...
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:33 AM on November 9, 2007


Anyone feel like sharing [Democrat-controlled)] congress's approval ratings? I thought so.
posted by Autarky at 7:33 AM on November 9, 2007


Why in gods name are they using four random shades of green in this graphic are they MAD?
posted by delmoi at 7:36 AM on November 9, 2007


There was a story last week about how the housing crunch is hurting areas that were heavily Republican the most, and in turn, many formerly staunch Republicans have stopped identifying themselves as such.

Depending on how things shake out with the economy, this could lead to a huge shift back to the left.
posted by drezdn at 7:37 AM on November 9, 2007


What scares me is that over 40% of Republicans strongly approve.
posted by YouRebelScum at 7:37 AM on November 9, 2007


Breaking news: People don't like the President. Ever.
posted by dead_ at 7:37 AM on November 9, 2007


Anyone feel like sharing [Democrat-controlled)] congress's approval ratings?

Wouldn't it make more sense to poll on the democrats in particular, rather then "congress" in general and then just apply that to the democrats? The answer is yes.
posted by delmoi at 7:40 AM on November 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


Good post. Thanks, dragonsi55.
posted by koeselitz at 7:40 AM on November 9, 2007


Depending on how things shake out with the economy, this could lead to a huge shift back to the left.

I think you seriously overestimate the Malkavians' capacity for reflection.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


...the Republicans' capacity for reflection, rather.

Yeesh.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:42 AM on November 9, 2007


I identify myself as staunchly somewhat sane. I have yet to find a party to identify with.
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:43 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I can prove anything by statistics except the truth." - George Canning
posted by ZachsMind at 7:48 AM on November 9, 2007


Approval ratings polls are colossally stupid overgeneralized nonsense. But while we're here...

Anyone feel like sharing [Democrat-controlled)] congress's approval ratings?

You're being silly. This year's sinking approval ratings for the current Congress has mainly come from left-leaners who feel that Congress isn't doing enough to resist Bush's agenda:

In terms of their overall approval rating, the damage is almost entirely among people who strongly oppose the war in Iraq. In this group 69 percent approved of the Democrats in April, but just 54 percent still approve now -- a likely effect of the Democrats' failure to push a withdrawal timetable through Congress.

The left's disappointment with the current Democratic leadership for being sellout wimps is hardly counterevidence against discontent with Bush.
posted by mediareport at 7:53 AM on November 9, 2007 [8 favorites]


Ok, so now what? Does this lead to some kind of action against the President, or are the Democrats still sticking to the Grampa Simpson "Frowning of a Lifetime" plan?
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


From link: "Among the 75% of Republicans who say they approve of Bush’s performance as president, 42% approve strongly, while 33% approve moderately. That 42% strong approval among members of his own party is by historical standards quite respectable. Presidents Reagan and Clinton had similar readings among members of their own party, while Carter, Ford, Nixon, and Johnson all had significantly lower intensity of support. In some cases, the latter group of presidents were in situations in which less than 30% of members of their own party said they strongly approved."

This is because Republicans in the past weren't dishonest, bootlicking, sycophantic cynics. At least not on such a grand scale. When it turned out that Nixon was actually a crook, most Republicans were appalled; but they've gotten over it. Now, they seem to think it's a good thing.

Fucking Republicans.

Autarky: "Anyone feel like sharing [Democrat-controlled)] congress's approval ratings? I thought so."

The fact that Democrats are spineless know-nothings doesn't for a moment change the fact that Republicans are much, much worse, my friend.
posted by koeselitz at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


As a non-American a little north of you, and utterly inundated with American politics, here is my (and many other Canadians) view of the current President, Congress and Senate:

They all suck.

It is a combination of incompetence, evil, corruption, power mongering and ineffectiveness that boggles the mind. How a Congress, with a majority of Democrats, cannot manage to get a damn thing done against a president most of the country hates the rest seems to love by rote, is a total mystery. It has to be some of the saddest, least charismatic bunch of poll-following special-interest loving bunch of sheep ever to hold office. It is pathetic.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:55 AM on November 9, 2007 [15 favorites]


What scares me is that over 40% of Republicans strongly approve.

Yes, but how many Republicans are there left? I mean, not counting Laura and Barney...
posted by Skeptic at 8:01 AM on November 9, 2007


It has to be some of the saddest, least charismatic bunch of poll-following special-interest loving bunch of sheep ever to hold office.

Unlike the Canadian government.
posted by Bearman at 8:02 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Autarky: "Anyone feel like sharing [Democrat-controlled)] congress's approval ratings? I thought so."

Autarky, this is why Americans hate Congress too. They hold the majority but can't even find the stones to reject an AG candidate who won't condemn torture. The republicans could be in control of both houses right now for all the difference it seems to make.
posted by octothorpe at 8:03 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Fucking Republicans." I concur....

"They all suck." I also concur....

The fact is Bush is vetoing everything and anything just because congress came up with it. They could try to pass a law that is 100% great for America but Bush will simply veto it and say take that democrats! Everyone has to be on the same page in order for things to work out. That means Bush has got to leave and take his ideas with him.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:07 AM on November 9, 2007


Did you all see this "Suddenly, impeachment proceedings are looking like a strong possibility" post? It's about Cheney, not Bush. According to it:

The latest polls show three in four Democrats in favor of impeaching the vice president and president, while a majority of all Americans favor impeaching the vice president and roughly half of all Americans favor impeaching the president.

This is before hearings and presentation of evidence have even begun...

posted by salvia at 8:07 AM on November 9, 2007


Bearman: Unlike the Canadian government.

Well, not gonna argue too much there; I'm not fond of the current lot (any of the sides, really) and the current leader makes Paul Martin almost look charismatic and leader-like. Almost. I'll say one thing for the huge majority of Canadian governments: They rarely do much. I am pretty sure we vote 'em in on the general principle of which will do the least harm by doing nothing. Unfortunately for the US, there has been a whoooole lotta things done already in recent times, so that strategy isn't going to work out so well for the populace.
posted by Bovine Love at 8:08 AM on November 9, 2007


salvia: Yeah, but I read that it is going to die in committee because the D leadership doesn't want to fight that battle, all afraid that it'll be traumatic for the nation and shit. Surgery to remove cancer is traumatic, but usually is also the right thing to do.
posted by edgeways at 8:13 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The problem is, the Dems do not have a veto-proof majority. A majority, yes, but veto-proof, no. And by and large the Republicans stand with 'their man', even though their presidential candidates rarely mention him at all. He may be unpopular with the *people* in the country (though clearly he's more popular than I would have expected), but he's not so unpopular that he's lost the support of most Republicans in Congress. This means that anything the Dems propose, the Republicans can shoot down, unless it has broad bipartisan support (like the water bill recently passed with a veto-proof majority).

What needs to happen is for Dems to get a veto-proof majority in the next election cycle, or to get a Democratic president elected. Both are possible. I'm naturally a liberal myself, but even so, I'm not sure what I'd think about a heavily Democratic Congress *and* a Democratic president. That's almost too much power in the hands of one party. One reason the Clinton years were so nice is that Congress was Republican, so there was an adversarial relationship. True, sometimes not a ton got done in that scenario, but what *did* get done was generally worthwhile.

Also, unlike Bush, Clinton was one powerful veto-wielding dude, who forced Congress to strip out mega pork from many, many bills; he didn't wait five damn *years* to wield that power. That is, in part, why our financial situation was so great under Clinton, with a projected surplus instead of a debt so monumental that it dwarfs all debts from all previous presidencies *combined*. (Which is saying something when you look at the 'trickle-down' Reaganomics years.)

Personally, I prefer the presidency to be of a different party than the majority in power in Congress, and the judiciary to be neutral. Unfortunately, the judiciary, especially SCOTUS, has veered significantly to the right under Bush, and since the president picks the judges to be considered for our highest court, we desperately need a Democratic president to restore some balance. The makeup of Congress doesn't concern me nearly as much as getting a Democratic president to fix the hard-right shift of SCOTUS (assuming any judges die or retire, which is fairly likely).
posted by jamstigator at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


Fuck all these guys. I'm joining the Malkavians. WHO'S WITH ME?
posted by Skot at 8:23 AM on November 9, 2007


Toreadors get all the bitches, man.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 8:33 AM on November 9, 2007


They could try to pass a law that is 100% great for America but Bush will simply veto it and say take that democrats!

And then, he'll kick a puppy!
posted by Krrrlson at 8:35 AM on November 9, 2007


Oh, there are differences between the two paties still:
These days, you can forget that old-style GOP rhetoric about "values," "human dignity" and the "culture of life." Because the GOP has a new litmus test for its nominees: Will you or will you not protect U.S. officials who order the torture of prisoners?

As Scott Horton reports in his Harper's Magazine blog: "Several days before his first meeting with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Michael Mukasey's Justice Department handlers arranged a private meeting for him with a number of 'movement conservatives.'... They pushed aggressively on the torture question. They wanted Mukasey to pledge that he would toe the administration's line" by not criticizing the administration's approval of waterboarding and similar interrogation techniques, and they wanted him to "protect those who authored the [interrogation] program" by issuing opinions that would keep those responsible for the program from facing criminal prosecution.
Torture: the new abortion
posted by y2karl at 8:36 AM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


That's a good read, y2karl. Thanks for the link-
posted by localhuman at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2007


Thanks y2karl. I particularly liked: Giuliani claimed that whether or not waterboarding is torture "depends on who does it." Remarkable.
posted by YouRebelScum at 8:48 AM on November 9, 2007


The job of a politician is to engage in politics. Proposing a bill and crying when it gets vetoed is not engaging in politics; it is wasting their time (unless it is for purposes of later leverage). They have to gain leverage so that they can force the president (via the prez's party for second termer) to come to some middle ground.

Making excuses because you do not have the ability to pass what you want is just being a loser. Do they even know how to do anything other then whine? Do they know how to exercise power?
posted by Bovine Love at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


edgeways: I heard that (somewhere else) too, but that link suggests different. Still might be true, though.
posted by salvia at 8:58 AM on November 9, 2007


More tedious ranting. the simple question remains: What is to be done?
posted by Postroad at 9:01 AM on November 9, 2007


Postroad - I can't vote in the US, so "watch from the sidelines impotently whilst whinging" has been my strategy on the US government so far. But I'm interested in alternative suggestions.
posted by YouRebelScum at 9:04 AM on November 9, 2007


Making excuses because you do not have the ability to pass what you want is just being a loser. Do they even know how to do anything other then whine? Do they know how to exercise power?

Seconded, and thirded, with bold type and underlining.

The part that chaps my ass about the Democrats is that the leadership has been so cowed that their sole motivation seems to be "don't get painted with the soft-on-terror brush". This is in the face of absolutely huge numbers of voters registering support for impeachment.

If they were smart, they would turn the tables by pushing for impeachment every day and then publicly attack the opposers with the "why-do-you-hate-America" brush. It seems like such a no-brainer that the only plausible explanation the Dem leadership hasn't taken that course is people are getting paid-off or blackmailed.

BTW, for any kind of responsible legislator to say categorically that "impeachment is off the table" ( I'm looking at you Hoyer, and Reid and Pelosi) is dereliction of duty, in my opinion.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


You think more Democrats will help? I'd laugh, but it's just not funny.

Why should I vote for the Democrats, when they have consistently and completely given Bush everything he asks for. What difference is there when they confirm Bush's nominations and pass Bush's budgets?

Why should I vote for Hilary or Obama? They've very clearly supported Bush, when it counted. Oh, they talk a good game when the votes are meaningless, but when the time to stop the enabling legislation happens, they refuse to make the stand.

Nothing is going to change in 2008, or 2010. It doesn't matter if it's a D or and R. The economy will continue to collapse, unless you are very rich. Our rights will continue to be removed, because will still be fighting the war on some emotion. We will still be in Iraq. You will either be for us or against us.

Our choice is Hobson's choice -- we will get the pro-business, pro-ultra rich, pro-war candidate or none.

Personally, I'm thinking what this country needs is Al Gore, but what is deserves is Rudy Guliani.
posted by eriko at 9:13 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is because Republicans in the past weren't dishonest, bootlicking, sycophantic cynics. At least not on such a grand scale.

With all due respect, koeselitz, they sure seemed that way by late '87 or so. On the other hand, as I've noted, this bunch positively fills me with wistful nostalgia when I think back on Ronnie and Co.
posted by pax digita at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2007


I'm sick of you people, you're nothing but a bunch of fickle mush heads!
posted by designbot at 9:22 AM on November 9, 2007


It's just as well this was under-reported. Bush might have read it, realized all the harm he's done and resigned then and there.
posted by tommasz at 9:24 AM on November 9, 2007


Bovine Love: How a Congress, with a majority of Democrats, cannot manage to get a damn thing done against a president most of the country hates ... is a total mystery.

As jamstigator points out, they need more than a majority. They need two-thirds.

Bearman: Unlike the Canadian government.

Canadian politicians are much less reliant on funding from special interests than American politicians are. As Anthony King puts it:
Politics and government in the United States are marked by the fact that U.S. elected officials in many cases have very short terms of office and face the prospect of being defeated in primary elections and have to run for office more as individuals than as standard-bearers for their party and have continually to raise large sums of money in order to finance their own election campaigns. Some of these factors operate in other countries. There is no other country, however, in which all of them operate, and operate simultaneously.
In Canada, we have legal restrictions on campaign spending. Total campaign spending for the 2004 US federal election was well over $1 billion; the money has to come from somewhere. This makes US politicians extremely vulnerable to lobbying from special interests.

Bovine Love: I'll say one thing for the huge majority of Canadian governments: They rarely do much.

Here I'd have to disagree strongly. The federal government was able to balance the budget in the mid-1990s, for example, by cutting both federal spending and transfers to the provinces. (At the time, public debt was 100% of GDP, interest on the federal debt was consuming 34% of revenue, and the deficit was $40 billion. The unemployment rate was 11.2%.)

There's a reason why the government in Canada is sometimes called a friendly dictatorship: because of party discipline, once the Prime Minister makes a decision, he can push it through. That's not true at all in the US system, because there's no party discipline; this is why there's so much "pork" in each bill. (Sometimes called "log-rolling": I'll help you roll your log if you help me roll mine.)
posted by russilwvong at 9:59 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


"The general feeling among Americans about [the two major] parties is that one of them is evil, and the other is incompetent. Which is which depends on who you talk to."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:02 AM on November 9, 2007


I'm joining the Malkavians. WHO'S WITH ME?

Malkavians suck.
posted by rokusan at 10:15 AM on November 9, 2007


What the fuck is a Malkavian?
posted by Curry at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2007


As jamstigator points out, they need more than a majority. They need two-thirds.

To force passage, yes -- but the Democratic Party could have stopped many of Bush's plans since the last election by *not passing his bills.*

They don't need two thirds to not confirm a new AG, or to not pass a Iraq supplemental funding bill, or to not give telecom firms retroactive immunity for crimes they've committed.

They simply need half -- less than half, in the Senate -- to make sure there is no bill for Bush to sign into law.

They have repeatedly refused to do so. Bush threatens, they pass. Why would a larger democratic majority change anything?
posted by eriko at 10:33 AM on November 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


The Dem leadership isn't cowed folks...that's where so many have it wrong. The Dem leadership (and Rep leadership) know exactly what they are doing. They are politicians, therefore: 1)they know the electorate better than you do; 2)bringing home the pork takes up a lot of their time; 3) CYA and getting re-elected to the good 'ol boys club is priority one.
posted by rockhopper at 10:42 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


How can anyone still approve !?
posted by Camel of Space at 10:50 AM on November 9, 2007


russilwvong: "Canadian politicians are much less reliant on funding from special interests than American politicians are... In Canada, we have legal restrictions on campaign spending. Total campaign spending for the 2004 US federal election was well over $1 billion; the money has to come from somewhere. This makes US politicians extremely vulnerable to lobbying from special interests."

I wish I had links to back this up - I don't have a great deal of time to find them right now - but, as I recall, studies have shown that this generally isn't quite true. Up until now, at least, special interest groups have generally proven a good way for politicians to stay honest, as they've hemmed generally along the lines that the general populace does, although there are some notable exceptions. (This surprised me a great deal in college, but the very-liberal professor with whom I studied went to great lengths to point it out.)

While I feel like campaign-spending limits would be nice, I don't think they'd solve the whole problem. What would help more is the elimination of winner-take-all races, which are an anamoly in the developed world. Campaign-spending limits would only cut back or drive underground the amount that the two parties are able to use on themselves, but they continuously prove very creative in methods of publicizing themselves that fall outside given limits. But eliminating winner-take-all races would mean that less-funded but popular parties and candidates would necessarily gain footholds without becoming historical footnotes and remaining on the sidelines of government. I don't know Canadian government well, but this is already the case there, isn't it?
posted by koeselitz at 10:57 AM on November 9, 2007


Only 50%?

WTF indeed. Bush -- regardless of Ohio -- got a fuckload of votes three years ago after no-WMDs in Iraq, after Katrina, after Abu Ghraib.

he should have been buried under a landslide, a Diebold-proof one. he was losing about 20-80 against Kerry in polls in most industrialized countries back then. inastead America gave him 51 (or 49, depending on your ideas re: Ohio)
posted by matteo at 11:01 AM on November 9, 2007


The Gallup poll is nice and everything, but anyone who thinks that this administration cares one iota about anything that polls reveal is in for a rude awakening.
posted by blucevalo at 11:34 AM on November 9, 2007


Did you all see this "Suddenly, impeachment proceedings are looking like a strong possibility" post? It's about Cheney, not Bush.

Speaking of Dick: Cheney Pressuring Intel Analysts, Stifling Dissent, Manipulating Intelligence
posted by homunculus at 11:37 AM on November 9, 2007


Koeselitz, I completely agree. I don't understand the winner-take-all system; it leads to the weak and ineffectual binary that we have now. Almost any particular passions and interests get eaten up by a candidate's party affiliation. Without a greater diversity of parties, we're never going to get anywhere.
posted by bassjump at 11:39 AM on November 9, 2007


Malkavians suck.

The voices in my head say NO U.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:42 AM on November 9, 2007


koeselitz: I don't know Canadian government well, but this is already the case there, isn't it?

Actually, no. We also have a first-past-the-post, winner-takes-all electoral system here.

Despite this, we have four major national parties. New parties can get seats in Parliament if they have strong regional support (Reform, Bloc Quebecois), but not if their support is spread across the country (Green).

I wish I had links to back this up - I don't have a great deal of time to find them right now - but, as I recall, studies have shown that this generally isn't quite true. Up until now, at least, special interest groups have generally proven a good way for politicians to stay honest, as they've hemmed generally along the lines that the general populace does, although there are some notable exceptions. (This surprised me a great deal in college, but the very-liberal professor with whom I studied went to great lengths to point it out.)

Interesting. I'd like to see this argument; I'm extremely skeptical.
posted by russilwvong at 11:51 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


russilwvong, when I say "don't do much", I am referring to the bigger sense and relative to our southern neighbours, well beyond economic reforms (which were largely incremental, if quite helpful); i.e. we didn't invade anyone, make eternal enemies, wave our (albiet kind of wimpy) swords about, that sort of thing. Most Canadian governments tweak a little here and there, but manage to stave any kind of serious change through committees, commissions, 'public consultations', studies and general procrastination. This is largely a good thing.

Our friendly dictatorship is interesting in that it appears to be very powerful, but yet very restrained. This is a very complex balance that certainly goes beyond here, but this balance is sometimes present in the US too; many many administrations have had mixed party power (executive/congress/senate) and managed to not do anything too entirely stupid by all of them exercising their power and then coming to compromise positions. This system is currently clearly not working; the house and senate are failing to exercise their options to push bacj. They don't need a 2/3rd's majority, they need to get some political skill and -- most importantly -- pay for it if they don't. And there's the rub .... will the voters toss them for being ineffective? Probably not. They are still too pissed at the other side. So the Dems will get rewarded .
posted by Bovine Love at 12:04 PM on November 9, 2007


Bovine Love: "russilwvong, when I say "don't do much", I am referring to the bigger sense and relative to our southern neighbours, well beyond economic reforms (which were largely incremental, if quite helpful); i.e. we didn't invade anyone, make eternal enemies, wave our (albiet kind of wimpy) swords about, that sort of thing."

So you're saying that you're only talking about US foreign policy. Just checking. Please note that, while I appreciate your position, it is, essentially, motivated by selfishness.
posted by koeselitz at 12:15 PM on November 9, 2007


Huh?

No, I am not talking only about foreign policy; Canada doesn't change much at home either, even our tax swings are generally (since GST, anyway...) very modest. This sometimes is infuriating, but on the whole seems to work.

And I have no idea what you are getting on with about selfishness. Not to mention the whole Canadian thing is just a strawman; it doesn't change a thing about the current lack of action by the Congress/Senate.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:20 PM on November 9, 2007


Bush is liked, but not well liked.
But nobody dast blame this man. Bush is a President. And for a President, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A President is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:23 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


“The fact that Democrats are spineless know-nothings doesn't for a moment change the fact that Republicans are much, much worse, my friend.”
&
“How a Congress, with a majority of Democrats, cannot manage to get a damn thing done against a president most of the country hates the rest seems to love by rote, is a total mystery.”

The Dems are like the mom who looks the other way while the stepdad molests you.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:27 PM on November 9, 2007 [7 favorites]


There will never BE a shift back to the left.

Our demographics are too easily divided, our citizenry existing in intellectual squalor and held in the sway of extreme religiosity far too long. The damage is done. It's sad but true.

The best we can hope is that the republic survives and functions well enough that the enclaves of liberality continue to succeed above the mouth breathing masses and lead by example. These enclaves are and will remain the only viable and diverse economic engines in the republic and that for the dominant political paradigm to sacrifice them with further oppression would be self evident suicide.

BTW. We were never left in the first place. Perhaps more reasoned at times. Slightly more competent. But never "Left."
posted by tkchrist at 12:28 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Bush -- regardless of Ohio -- got a fuckload of votes three years ago after no-WMDs in Iraq, after Katrina, after Abu Ghraib.

Wait.... Katrina was in 2005.
posted by ELF Radio at 12:28 PM on November 9, 2007


“What the fuck is a Malkavian?”

I dunno. I’m a old-school Brujah.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:36 PM on November 9, 2007


I can remember the exact moment that i lost all hope for America... i was having lunch with a small group of my co-workers in late 2006, just after the Israel-Lebanon clash and just before the November elections. I put forth my usual litany of reasons why Bush is the worst President in memory, and the responses from my (mostly college-educated) peers were along the lines of....

"Whatever, i think we should just nuke that whole place [meaning the Middle East] and turn it into a parking lot."

"Maybe Bush ain't perfect, but at least he knows how to make up his mind -- not like some Democrat who flips and flops this way and that way."

"You might think this is silly, but i'm a Christian, and so i believe that the Lord put Bush in office for a reason... i don't know what the reason was, but there was definitely a reason, and it's all part of the Lord's plan."

"I don't care about that political crap."


And that's how i became a nihilist, Lebowski.
posted by ELF Radio at 12:38 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


If it weren't for 9/11, this would have happened 4 years ago.
posted by shunpiker at 12:46 PM on November 9, 2007


Bovine Love: This system is currently clearly not working; the house and senate are failing to exercise their options to push back. They don't need a 2/3rd's majority, they need to get some political skill--

What does that mean?

Today's story: the House Democrats just passed a bill to extend relief from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for one year, paying for the cost by increasing the tax rate on private equity managers from 15% to the ordinary tax rate of 35%. "Democrats argued that 23 million people in danger of getting hit by the AMT would be protected by tax changes affecting some 50,000 people earning carried interest." The White House has promised to veto the bill. Not one Republican in the House voted for it.

How are you supposed to compromise with ideologues?
posted by russilwvong at 1:06 PM on November 9, 2007


In fact, Gallups indicates the public view of Congress is very poor, also. A look at history indicates that the Senate's lack of courage is nothing new, and goes back to the origins of democracy in Greece and Rome.

I find myself with musings similar to Joel Pett
posted by dragonsi55 at 1:29 PM on November 9, 2007


People don't like the President. Ever.

Actually, Clinton I did very well. Reagan was initially very high but then went into a deep trough equalling Bush II during the drugs-for-guns scandals. Ironically, his career average is about the same as Clinton I's.
posted by meehawl at 2:21 PM on November 9, 2007


Actually, Clinton I did very well.

God, I miss Bill. And nothing could make me miss him more than President Hil.
posted by The Bellman at 3:22 PM on November 9, 2007


Current politics are like playing sports in junior high gym. It didn't matter who won. Everyone was from the same school. Shirts vs skins. Democrats vs Republicans. Moderate Liberal vs Moderate Conservative.

If you actually vote, and it matters to you whether the Detroit Tigers or the Pittsburgh Steelers win? You're NOT a part of the solution. You're a part of the problem. You're why our politics are the way they are today.

We let the wolves in the hen house. We fell asleep at the checkpoint.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:15 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Btw, guess who else disaproved of congress, that's right Nancy Peloci (on November 1st)
posted by delmoi at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2007


And they don't need 2/3rds to shut bush down, they only need 40%. A government that tortures isn't a government worth funding. Democrats in power disagree.
posted by delmoi at 4:28 PM on November 9, 2007


he should have been buried under a landslide, a Diebold-proof one. he was losing about 20-80 against Kerry in polls in most industrialized countries back then. inastead America gave him 51 (or 49, depending on your ideas re: Ohio)
posted by matteo at 12:01 PM


And I think this speaks volumes about the Democratic party as much as it does about the Republicans. The alternative isn't always the obvious choice.
posted by Eekacat at 4:35 PM on November 9, 2007


ZachsMind: Current politics are like playing sports in junior high gym. It didn't matter who won. Everyone was from the same school. Shirts vs skins. Democrats vs Republicans. Moderate Liberal vs Moderate Conservative.

ARRRGGHHH.

Have you failed to notice that the Republicans are no longer "Moderate Conservatives", that they're radical ideologues?

Torture: The New Abortion

Eekacat: And I think this speaks volumes about the Democratic party as much as it does about the Republicans. The alternative isn't always the obvious choice.

From here in Canada, the Democratic party looks pretty damned good compared to the Republicans.
posted by russilwvong at 4:38 PM on November 9, 2007


russilwvong: "Have you failed to notice that the Republicans are no longer 'Moderate Conservatives', that they're radical ideologues?"

Have you failed to notice that Democrats (moderate liberals who often reflect socialist leanings) only appear to oppose them but actually do nothing substantial to impede these fascists from their goals?

THAT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE ON THE SAME SIDE.

I really don't know how more clear I can possibly be.

Call it what you like. Socialism. Fascism. Benevolent Dictatorship. My personal favorite is Corporate Oligarchy, but so few understand what I mean when I say that.

Call it what you like. It's not a democratic republic anymore. Arguing over stats like they mean something is precisely the sort of thing that got us in this trouble in the first place.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:58 PM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


ZachsMind: THAT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE ON THE SAME SIDE.

What on earth does that mean? You think it's a big kabuki show, that the Democrats are actually conspiring with the Republicans while pretending to oppose them? Or did you mean something else?
posted by russilwvong at 5:38 PM on November 9, 2007


From here in Canada, the Democratic party looks pretty damned good compared to the Republicans.
posted by russilwvong


Yeah OK fine. So mind your own fucking business and take care of your own country where conservatives are in power because liberals were criminals. Really. Perhaps you're spending way too much time looking at your neighbor, and not taking care of things at home.

What ZachsMind is saying is that other than a few social issues (abortion, gay marriage), the Democrats and Republicans aren't really politically different. There is no opposition.
posted by Eekacat at 6:22 PM on November 9, 2007


Yes, but that's a supremely stupid thing to say, is the problem.

As regards the war, it's stupid because no Congress is going to defund an ongoing war short of a disaster of Stalingrad proportions. Defunding doesn't bring troops home. It leaves troops in harm's way and makes it illegal to supply and rearm them, which is both unwise and political suicide.

As regards the rest, it's also stupid. Only a fool would believe that a unified Democratic government would enact the same lack of environmental law that the Republican one did. Only a fool would believe that the estate tax would have been repealed under a unified Democratic government. Only a fool would believe that a unified Republican government wouldn't simply have extended AMT protections without paying for it, or by taxing the middle class, instead of the plan that just passed the House paying for it largely by taxing investment fund managers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:56 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eekacat essentially summarized my sentiments correctly.

There's no US vs THEM. There's Those Guys versus Those Other Guys, but neither of THEM are for YOU.

You're not in the equation, unless you own a few million dollars worth of something that they give a shit about.

You're not in the equation, unless you contribute to their campaign - and I don't mean volunteer or a few bucks. I mean a contribution big enough for the politician to actually pencil you in for fifteen minutes somewhere.

russilwvong, I'm saying that it's really about the Haves and the Have Mores.

We are the Have Littles and the Have Naughts.

We don't factor into the political landscape. Well, we're the sludge that's been poured into the landscape's rivers. We've been flushed down the toilets of the Have Mores.

The Haves and the Have Mores are fighting amongst themselves over influence and resources.

They are arguing over which of them will ultimately get to boss us around, and for how long, until someone else climbs up that hill and pronouces themselves king.

Does it really matter which of Them end up winning their little game, if the winner gets to tell you what you can do with your body, or your property, or your child's future? They're all punks. You're still the one who gets screwed in the end by bullies on a playground.

ROU_Xenophobe: "Yes, but that's a supremely stupid thing to say, is the problem."

What's stupid is not pointing at the emperor and laughing when he's obviously got no clothes.

Of course, that'll also eventually get me shot, but I'll have a smile on my face when I go down.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:16 PM on November 9, 2007


Under reported? According to the poll, 50% got the story firsthand.
posted by klarck at 7:20 PM on November 9, 2007


Eekacat: So mind your own fucking business and take care of your own country where conservatives are in power because liberals were criminals. Really. Perhaps you're spending way too much time looking at your neighbor, and not taking care of things at home.

(shrug) People outside the US are interested in US politics for the same reason that people in the US are more interested in federal politics than state or local politics: the federal government has more visibility and much more power. The US government wields a tremendous amount of power, certainly much more than the Canadian government.

That said, I do pay quite a lot of attention to Canadian politics (I'm looking forward to the next election here), and if the Bush administration hadn't been such a disaster, I doubt I'd spend nearly as much time here talking about US politics.

ZachsMind: We don't factor into the political landscape.

Why not? A rich person doesn't have any more votes than a poor person, and there's a lot more have-nots than haves.

If you don't think government policies make any difference, take a look at the Earned Income Tax Credit.
While already in existence, in 1993 the government significantly expanded the program so that it now gives a family with two children a 40-cent payment from the Internal Revenue Service for every dollar of income earned up to $9,500. A part-time $8-an-hour job thus becomes, after taxes, an $11.20 an hour job for the working poor.

The tax credit means that a two-child family with a full-time minimum-wage worker is lifted -- just barely -- above the poverty line.
Right now, the Democratic front-runners all have serious health care proposals on the table.
posted by russilwvong at 8:42 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's too bad we can't at least *try* Ron Paul for a few years.

I mean, it's possible that Libertarian notions would be a travesty when implemented nationally, but at least they'd be a very inexpensive travesty that wouldn't involve the direct slaughter of anybody in any other countries.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 8:52 PM on November 9, 2007


Have you failed to notice that Democrats (moderate liberals who often reflect socialist leanings) only appear to oppose them but actually do nothing substantial to impede these fascists from their goals?

THAT IS BECAUSE THEY ARE ON THE SAME SIDE.


That's an idiotic statement.

Read this for a concise difference between the parties.

The Democrats shoved through a bill to prevent the AMT from adversely impacting middle-class families (it was meant to make sure that millionaires paid some tax, back when being a millionaire meant something.)

The White House promised to veto the bill (protecting the middle class from a tax increase) in principle, and additionally noted that they objected to a clause in the bill which forbids the IRS from using external collection agents on delinquent accounts.

Both parties want power, for sure, but it's absurdly inane to claim that they are identical.

Personally, I want Ron Paul, but I'll probably vote for a Democrat, because recent history shows that they aren't nearly as good at wasting money as the modern GOP.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 8:59 PM on November 9, 2007


Eekacat, the Conservatives are only in power partly because people were mad about corruption in the Liberal party. To keep things in perspective, we're talking about a few instances of the kind of corruption that is totally entrenched in Washington in the form of lobbying, earmarks and the military industrial complex.

Secondly, the left in Canada is divided into three parties (four if you count the Greens) which together enjoy a commanding majority over the Conservatives in both the House of Commons and in terms of popular support. They cannot form a coalition because the Bloc is separatist, and without them the Liberals and the NDP have around 49% of the seats in the House.

Quite frankly, Canada does have its house in order, by and large. While I disagree strongly with the policies of the current government, I still feel that they genuinely have the best interests of Canada at heart, and furthermore, I have confidence in our political system and our governmental institutions, which are undoubtedly among the finest in the world.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 9:28 PM on November 9, 2007


Which is not to say that we don't have problems in Canada: we have the same problems of voter malaise and dissatisfaction that all the Western democracies have. For a discussion of this in mind-numbing detail, see Neil Nevitte, The Decline of Deference. Voter participation in the 2006 election was only 64.7%.

Nevitte's suggestion is that voter dissatisfaction in all the Western democracies has grown as the education level of the general public has increased: our elected officials are no longer smarter than we are, and we all know it. People are very interested in politics, and not particularly happy with the "vote once every few years" model of political participation.
posted by russilwvong at 10:08 PM on November 9, 2007


Russilwvong, I just read that NYT link on the AMT bill you posted. The Republican objection is such a fucking farce. "The entire edifice of capitalism will collapse if we make hedge fund managers pay the same amount of tax as salaried CEOs! Oh won't someone please think of the hedge fund managers!?"
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:35 PM on November 9, 2007


"Why not? A rich person doesn't have any more votes than a poor person"

HAS EVERYONE BEEN BLIND DEAF AND DUMB THE PAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS? They are not using votes to determine who is getting into office. That's being decided thru other means, hidden inefficiently via the electoral college, and the voting system in the US is rigged to reinforce that decision. Bush is in the white house despite over half the country (popular vote) saying otherwise. WE DIDN'T PUT GWB IN THE WHITE HOUSE! THE OLIGARCHY DID!

"That's an idiotic statement."

Your link that supposedly proves me wrong is to the New York Times. Contrary to popular opinion, not everything in the New York Times is true. It's net worth is almost two hundred million. It's one of the players, and will tell you what it wants you to think. Using the NYT to prove me wrong was idiotic.

I'm not saying they're identical. The Steelers have different colored jerseys than the Cowboys, don't they? And they come from different places. And they each have different catchy slogans talking about how they're gonna trounce the opposition. They have different colors. The Steelers are nothing like the Cowboys.

It's a rarity that any Cowboy actually was born in Dallas, or any Steeler was actually born in Pittsburgh. The geography of these teams is irrelevant. Which team was able to get the best talent that season? Did they pay them enough? Were they able to slip in enough steroids without someone catching them? Did they work out enough to be stronger than the other team? Geography doesn't factor into it. The name. The colors. Whether your side cheered more than the other side.

I hate to burst yer bubble ifn yer a fan, but who wins is really irrelevant. Trust me. If you root for the Cowboys and the Steelers win, the beer you drink after the game is going to taste the same. It may be your perception that's different, but the end result makes no difference.

And the NFL still gets your money, regardless who wins.

So back whichever team you want. You're wasting your time but hey! You had fun wasting it right? Politics have no more relevance to anything than sports, and you can make up all the statistics you want to prove me wrong, but it won't change the truth none.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:03 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


The best we can hope is that the republic survives and functions well enough that the enclaves of liberality continue to succeed above the mouth breathing masses and lead by example. These enclaves are and will remain the only viable and diverse economic engines in the republic and that for the dominant political paradigm to sacrifice them with further oppression would be self evident suicide.

Wow, way to rip off Ayn Rand, Mr. "I'm a liberal, even though I'm supremely arrogant and hate the working class."
posted by nasreddin at 11:33 PM on November 9, 2007


While there may only be marginal differences between the parties, the size of the Federal Budget is of a large enough scale (about $10,000 per person) that even a tiny difference can have a big effect, particularly to people who are sociologically marginal.

It sure looks as though the number of people in poverty increases under Republicans and decreases under Democrats.
posted by dragonsi55 at 6:31 AM on November 10, 2007


I'm glad we have graphs for these things. I wasn't sure who to hate more, but now I know. Thanks, math!
posted by Eideteker at 6:47 AM on November 10, 2007


I hate to burst yer bubble ifn yer a fan, but who wins is really irrelevant.

Haven't been paying attention the past couple of decades, have you?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:58 AM on November 10, 2007


Politics have no more relevance to anything than sports, and you can make up all the statistics you want to prove me wrong, but it won't change the truth none.

It's awesome how you defined "the truth" after already telling us that it is IMPOSSIBLE to prove it wrong, even with "facts" and "statistics." But this is a ridiculously stupid statement on its face.
Obviously politics has a direct impact on all of our lives- if a minimum wage increase goes through, a fair amount of people on hourly salaries will get a pay increase (good!), but some might get fired to cut costs (bad!). This is an extremely simplistic example, but the decision to raise the minimum wage didn't come from the MOON or the King of Spain or something- it came from Washington, as a result of what your elected officials decide. If you give a shit about any of the contentious issues that the parties clearly disagree about- abortion, gay rights, etc.- you better get your ass to a polling place and vote for representatives who hold or at least care about your views. "They're all the same" is an argument that holds up until you realize that there are people CURRENTLY BEING TORTURED who would not be TORTURED if the elections went another way. And yeah, the last Presidential elections have been marked by clear and illegal attempts to affect the outcome, but then...why don't you become a worker at a polling place to make sure this doesn't happen?
posted by 235w103 at 7:25 AM on November 10, 2007


ZachsMind: Take your fucking medication.

I pointed to an article documenting that the GOP was specifically opposing middle class tax cuts because they wanted to engage in tax farming. And your counter-argument is that this is somehow false because it was reported by a corporation.

There are many cogent and reasonable arguments that can be made for changes in the electoral system, political parties and more. Unfortunately, you have made none of them.

There is a difference. Perhaps the difference is not as large as you'd like, but it exists.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:52 AM on November 10, 2007


ZachsMind: Take your fucking medication.

I pointed to an article documenting that the GOP was specifically opposing middle class tax cuts because they wanted to engage in tax farming. And your counter-argument is that this is somehow false because it was reported by a corporation.

There are many cogent and reasonable arguments that can be made for changes in the electoral system, political parties and more. Unfortunately, you have made none of them.

There is a difference. Perhaps the difference is not as large as you'd like, but it exists.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 9:52 AM on November 10, 2007


""They're all the same" is an argument that holds up until you realize that there are people CURRENTLY BEING TORTURED who would not be TORTURED if the elections went another way."

When Clinton becomes president - what are the odds Gitmo will be folded up?
Serious question. Does anyone think whomever is the next president (pretty much gonna be Clinton I suspect), whoever is in control of congress, whatever happens - that: A. anyone is going to be on the hook for it (i.e. prosecuted and ultimately doing time) or B. it will stop, the prisoners will be released and some restitution will be made?

Honestly - what's the scenario there? In consideration, I don't know that I see it. At best I see a quiet shutting down of some of the most visible black holes we have.
I don't know that it will stop.
And I'm pretty damned sure that the folks hollering about it now will conveniently forget all about it once their guy is in office (much like Diebold, much like the bombing campaigns in Iraq under Clinton the First, etc).
And of course, I'll be a right wing conspiracy theorist once again (oh, right Smedley, the government is spying on us, whoa, tinfoil hat time!)
That'll all just - go away - once we get the new blood in there?
(I'm only in part facetious) - How does that dismantlement process work? What's the oversight? Is it going to be the new loyal opposition? I'd hope so, but I suspect many folks are going to be resisting the Republicans just because they're Republicans if they try to take the "presidential powers" away from Clinton (hey, Bush did it first, right?)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:08 PM on November 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


More importantly (to me anyway), would any of the Democratic candidates attack Iran?
posted by homunculus at 2:17 PM on November 10, 2007


Will Democrats Restore Our Liberties Stolen in the Bush Era?
posted by homunculus at 6:04 PM on November 10, 2007


The Republicans who would've impeached Bush? Not so long ago, members of Congress put the rule of law above partisan politics and loyalty to the White House.
posted by homunculus at 12:31 AM on November 26, 2007


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