Despite Contrived Images Yesterday, Bush Is On Shaky Political Ground
In all the pageantry and boisterousness that greeted Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney yesterday along the parade route, keep one thing in mind: this was a private affair. What you saw in the images yesterday was not the loud and ecstatic support of everyday Americans for this cabal, but in fact an invitations-only throng of GOP supporters along the route, much like the orchestrated campaign appearances before adoring crowds. According to a Washington Post editorial this morning, the parade route was closed to the general public, and space along the way was reserved for sycophants and supporters of this regime, and those who could wrangle tickets from the sparse allocations given to members of Congress, thereby planting the image with a gullible media of thousands of cheering everyday Americans giddily supporting another four years. As proof of how the media didn’t really pick up on this, I steer you to a NYT story this morning by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, who never once mentions that the parade route was closed to the general public. Nor did the Post's Maureen Fan mention the "supporters only" screening that kept the general public away from the proceedings.
As proof that any image of vast support for this regime at the start of a second term is an illusion, I point you to several recent polls which all show that Bush’s approval ratings hover around the 50% mark, and that support for the Iraq war and Bush’s handling of it have plummeted. There is no mandate for much, if any of Bush’s second term.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll
Right Track/Wrong Track: 40%/47%
Bush Approval/Disapproval: 50%/44%
Bush Has A Mandate Yes/No: 33%/56%
Iraq Worth It/Not Worth It: 40%/52%
This poll was comprised of 39% Republicans and 39% Democrats, but a 46%/41% Bush voter/Kerry voter split.
USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll
Bush Approval/Disapproval: 51%/46%
Iraq Worth It/Not Worth It: 47%/52%
Bush Mandate or Bipartisanship: 36%/58%
And as you might guess, we have confirmed that the Gallup polls have returned to over sampling Republicans by anywhere from 2-4%.
CBS News Poll
Right Track/Wrong Track: 39%/56%
Bush Approval/Disapproval: 49%/46%
Iraq Worth It/Not Worth It: 41%/53%
Folks, there’s no ringing endorsement of a Bush agenda or mandate here, no matter what image the RNC and White House tried to engineer yesterday.