HOW MANY WANT BUSH BACK?
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 11, 2009
Like a man offering his seat to a lady on a New York City subway train, or seeing Derek Jeter in a Boston Red Sox uniform, there are things in this life that just don’t happen. Like an Obamacratic White House invite to Rush Limbaugh, a liberal pushing a policy position without making someone out to be a victim, and finding someone in the Western Hemisphere whom Tiger Woods has not slept with, there are some things one just doesn’t expect to see.
This is one of those instances.
When George W. Bush left office eleven months ago, his approval numbers had dipped so low, he wasn’t even popular enough to be called unpopular. People on both sides of the aisle were sticking pins in their little George Bush dolls as the Messianic Age approached. A CBS/New York Times poll had Bush’s final approval rating at just 22%. His Rasmussen Presidential Approval Index dipped to -30. The man who caused more Hitler moustaches and swastikas to find their way onto demonstration posters since the days of the Third Reich couldn’t have left Washington quick enough.
With the anointment of Barack Obama, it became difficult to imagine a time when every magazine, newspaper, t-shirt, and button would not be about the new boss. He was everywhere – plastered to every dry surface, pouring from every orifice, heard from every corner of the broadcast media, and even had schools named after him before ever taking the Oath of Office. That his approval numbers would ever dip below 70% seemed as likely as having a national holiday named after Donald Rumsfeld.
But, my, have times changed.
In fact, almost a year into the era of Bamification, the percentage of Americans who would rather see George W. Bush back in charge is only six points less than those who favor Bammy.
Ben Smith from Politico writes:
Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.
What analysis of the failure of the Obama presidency would be complete without the obligatory, “It Was That Way When I Got Here” approach.
Still, regardless of how the house looked when Obama moved in, his “pointing the finger” routine is wearing thin with the American people. They’re not buying his “Everything Wrong With the Earth is due to George Bush” nonsense anymore. Obama’s astronomical spending spree and deficit escalation has made the idiotic stimulus checks sent out by Bush in 2008 look like a tax cut.
And while there was plenty I openly opposed President Bush on – illegal immigration, TARP, entitlement increases – he was no socialist. He was a terrific wartime leader, an honorable man, a good man, the antithesis of Barack Obama on many levels – hence, the closing gap between one who couldn’t even garner one quarter support of his own nation a year ago and a Messiah from Chicago.