Tuesday, September 13, 2005

From the “Gee, What a Surprise” Category…

Seems Katrina has had a bit of an effect on President Bush’s approval rating. I, for one, am shocked and saddened by this development.

Okay, not really, on either count. But what does surprise me is that, despite all the blustering, spin, and outright lies I’ve heard from Conservatives both in real life and on the interwebs, Bush’s support is down on the Right. I mean, yeah, it’s still ridiculously high as Republicans maintain that ever-necessary denial of reality to continue supporting this administration, but some cracks could finally be showing up in that solid wall of…whatever it is that keeps them going:

Even some members of Bush's own party appear to have lost faith in their leader: The president's overall approval rating among Republicans has declined from 91 percent in January to 78 percent in the latest poll.

Now, for any sane individuals, 78 percent seems ridiculously high, but I am starting to see signs of flagging support as the myriad of yellow ribbons and Bush-Cheney 04 stickers begin to disappear all along I-66, and my neck of the woods is solid Bush country. Oh how I miss Fairfax County.

One more interesting statistic that really bears scrutiny: the race factor of Katrina. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more clear, empirical outline of the differences that we still face in this country than this snippet:

More than six in 10 blacks -- 63 percent -- said the problems with the hurricane relief effort are an indication of continuing racial inequity in this country, a view rejected by more than seven in 10 whites, according to the poll.

Hmmm…could white America be in denial? Is it still hard to get a management job if you’re something other than a whitebread All-American? I think the answer to both….well, if you don’t know, you’re part of the majority.

Here’s the story from the Post:

Bush's Approval Rating Drops To New Low in Wake of Storm
He Says Race Didn't Affect Efforts; Blacks in Poll Disagree

By Michael A. Fletcher and Richard Morin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 13, 2005; Page A08

Touring devastated portions of New Orleans yesterday, President Bush sought to reassure the public that the government is responding to Hurricane Katrina with equity and dispatch, even as his standing hit record lows amid broad support for an independent investigation of the federal response to the storm.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that clear majorities of Americans disapprove of the way officials at all levels of government are handling the recovery from Katrina. A 54 percent majority disapproved of Bush's response to Katrina, while an even larger majority -- 57 percent -- say state and local officials should bear responsibility for the problems.

Attitudes toward Bush and the government's overall response to Hurricane Katrina fracture along clear racial lines. Nearly three in four whites doubted the federal government would have responded more quickly to those trapped in New Orleans if they had been wealthier and white rather than poorer and black, the poll found. But an equal share of blacks disagreed, saying help would have come sooner if the victims had been more affluent whites.

More than six in 10 blacks -- 63 percent -- said the problems with the hurricane relief effort are an indication of continuing racial inequity in this country, a view rejected by more than seven in 10 whites, according to the poll.

Speaking to reporters after touring New Orleans yesterday, Bush sought to dispel the view that race played a role in the government's response to the disaster. "When those Coast Guard choppers, many of who were first on the scene, were pulling people off roofs, they didn't check the color of a person's skin," Bush said. "They wanted to save lives."

Bush vowed that the massive federal response, which already has received funding of more than $62 billion and involves more than 71,000 federal personnel on the ground, would be managed fairly. "The storm didn't discriminate, and neither did the recovery effort," he said, adding: "The rescue efforts were comprehensive, and the recovery will be comprehensive."

The bungled response to the hurricane has helped drag down Bush's job-approval rating, which now stands at 42 percent -- the lowest of his presidency -- in the Post-ABC poll and down three points since the hurricane hit two weeks ago. Fifty-seven percent disapprove of Bush's performance, a double-digit increase since January.

Even some members of Bush's own party appear to have lost faith in their leader: The president's overall approval rating among Republicans has declined from 91 percent in January to 78 percent in the latest poll.

Overall, half the country now characterizes Bush as a "strong leader" -- down 12 points since May of last year. And the proportion who say he can be "trusted in a crisis" likewise has fallen from 60 percent to 49 percent now.

The survey found that 76 percent of the public favors an investigation of federal storm response efforts by an independent commission similar to the one that probed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The proposal drew strong bipartisan support: 64 percent of all Republicans and 83 percent of Democrats favored creating the independent panel.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:08 AM

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What I don't understand is why it hasn't plumeted, and I know the answer...the base. What is wrong with these people. This administration is a total and utter failure on all levels so far. I can't get these people to list one thing bush has done right (other than 9/11).

I think Bush will personally have to shoot their children before that base turns around.

Bah! I'm embarrassed to live in the same country

Posted by Blogger Jessica @ 9:35 AM #
 

I can only guess that there is just that one issue that, for each of them, is worth putting up with all this crap. One of my friends who is finally losing faith in Bush is a small government junkie, and only now is he seeing that get screwed up, so only now is it becoming real for him. I think we'll have to see Bush screw up on each and every one of these issues that fall under the great "Conservative" umbrella for him to lose that base.

Ugh. I don't like people who can't see the big picture.

Posted by Blogger crimnos @ 12:21 PM #
 
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