Wednesday :: Oct 12, 2005

Another Poll, Another Low Point - Fineman Says This Is The Beginning Of A Conservative Crack-Up

by Steve

(Courtesy of

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has just come out, and Bush has fallen below 40% for the first time in that poll. Bush’s approval rating is now 39%.

For the first time in the poll, Bush’s approval rating has sunk below 40 percent, while the percentage believing the country is heading in the right direction has dipped below 30 percent. In addition, a sizable plurality prefers a Democratic-controlled Congress, and just 29 percent think Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers is qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court.
In addition, with 13 months until the 2006 congressional elections, 48 percent say they prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, compared with 39 percent who want the Republicans to control Capitol Hill. In fact, that nine-point difference is the largest margin between the parties in the 11 years the NBC/Journal poll has been tracking this question.
At least there was today’s good news that the Iraqi government has changed the draft constitution to attract Sunni support just days before the constitutional referendum. It is now hoped that the constitution will pass and another election in December will take place to elect a new national assembly to carry Iraq forward into the next stage. This is a good thing, because it brings us one step closer to getting our forces drawn down in Iraq.

And that is exactly what the neo-cons seem to fear. According to an interesting analysis by Howard Fineman posted this afternoon, he believes the conservative crack-up is upon us, spurred in large part by the Miers nomination and Katrina, and that the neo-cons have given up on the Bush Administration. Fineman speculates that the neo-cons are now willing to blame the Bush Administration's incompetence, and not the neo-cons’ own PNAC pipe dreams, for our problems in Iraq.

President George W. Bush may have no military exit strategy for Iraq, but the “neocons” who convinced him to go to war there have developed one of their own — a political one: Blame the Administration.
Their neo-Wilsonian theory is correct, they insist, but the execution was botched by a Bush team that has turned out to be incompetent, crony-filled, corrupt, unimaginative and weak over a wide range of issues.
The flight of the neocons — just read a recent Weekly Standard to see what I am talking about — is one of only many indications that the long-predicted “conservative crackup” is at hand.
The “movement” – that began 50 years ago with the founding of Bill Buckley’s National Review; that had its coming of age in the Reagan Years; that reached its zenith with Bush’s victory in 2000 — is falling apart at the seams.

Fineman does a quick survey of each part of the conservative base and finds that each, except for the supply siders, is unhappy with the administration and already planning to move beyond Bush to new actors in 2008. And for the neo-cons, Fineman says, that means adding more troops to Iraq, not withdrawal, more money for the toppling of governments and nation building, and a new team in 2009 to accomplish this.

If Fineman is correct, and I suspect he is, it means that these chickenhawks are ignoring what is happening on the ground in Iraq and the recruiting troubles and blown budgets here at home. We can see this line of thinking in the comments from our own trolls on this site, who argue that we must continue the fight, with other folks’ kids of course, and never leave Iraq until the experiment has been fulfilled.

Many of our trolls claim it is liberals who are out of touch with what America really wants. But if we want to test this hypothesis out, then I am only too happy to have the trolls run the GOP campaign next year with a message that more troops and money are necessary in Iraq, for a US army of Christianity throughout the Islamic world, and that the only problem with our Iraq debacle has been execution, and not with the delusional policies themselves.

Let’s have that debate in 2006, and we’ll see which party ends up becoming a minority party for the next generation. Larry Sabato is already speculating today that if the Democrats can keep the GOP’s ethics problems afloat for next year, coupled with Bush’s problems, they can regain many seats next year. Add to this a wingnut argument that we need to step further over the cliff in the Islamic world with someone else’s kids as cannon fodder, and you’ll see the neo-cons take the GOP down for the next several years.

Steve :: 4:06 PM :: Comments (27) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!