Monday, May 08, 2006

How low will they go?

By that I mean Bush's numbers. According to Drudge Bush's approval rating is now hovering around 31%. Not good, not good at all. But Fox has him up a little. Dick Morris blames it on the price of gas:

The Fox News poll asked voters who is to blame for the oil price spike: The federal government, uncertainty over Iran, curbs on oil drilling in the Arctic, increased use of oil by India and China, driving big cars, hurricane damage to refinery capacity - all those came in behind the oil executives as the cause: Sixty-six percent cited the companies as having a "lot" to do with the price increase. (Even Republicans cited put the oil companies as the No. 1 villain).

The result is a big loser for the GOP. When the Fox News poll asked who was more responsible for the high gasoline price, Republicans were blamed by 36 percent; Democrats, only 20 percent. (Independents blamed Republicans by 32 percent, Democrats by 11 percent. A full 19 percent of Republicans blamed their own party.)

The answer? Democrats will feature crackdowns on evil oil company executives. But mimicking them wouldn't serve Republicans well - it's a game Democrats will always play better.

No. Republicans need to look at the man in the White House and understand that he is closely linked to the oil industry - which is the source of the problem in the estimation of most voters. It is only by declaring independence of oil politics that Bush can salvage GOP chances for 2006 and beyond.

Bush can outdo the Democrats in only one area: He can lead a national effort to convert from oil to other fuels in the immediate future. He can declare a Manhattan Project to build alcohol fuel plants rapidly and to incentivize the production of cars to run on them.

I tend to agree to a great extent, but I think it is more complicated than that. Bush's low numbers are due to three things:

1} Violence in Iraq

2} Price of Gas at the pump

3} The bitterness surrounding the immigration debate.

4) Deficit spending.

Hopefully the price of gas will at least stabilize in the near future.

I am also hopeful that continued political progress in Iraq will begin to bring down violence. {It would be helpful if Sadr would get hit by a truck.}

I think it will help Bush if the politicians can come up with a compromise bill on immigration and if the hardliners will accept it perhaps certain people can stop threatening to vote for Hillary just to show the GOP a thing or two.

It would also be helpful in regards to the base if Bush could veto a spending bill, but in truth I think more Americans would be upset by a stingy government than a big spending one. I think this issue is important to a minority of conservatives, but not to the general public.

Dick Morris continues:

Those who say that ethanol and alcohol fuels are inefficient need to realize that vast improvements have been made in production efficiency in recent years and more can be expected with economies of scale and new technology.

By moving away from oil dependence, Republicans can move away from the blame for the gasoline price escalation. No other solution will do.

Perhaps this is the answer. I remember when Jimmy Carter was president and there was an oil shock. Republicans blamed him. It seems that what goes around, comes around.

Plus Rasmussen notes an interesting change:

Based upon the past three months, the current targets are 36.6% Democrat, 33.5% Republican, and 29.9% Unaffiliated. These targets will be updated monthly. Previously, our weighting targets assumed an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.


cf said...
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cf said...

I think what people are really unahppy about is the failure of Congress to deal with big issues like immigration and energy. The Reps who self-identify as Independents are just waiting to get some sign of Administration action and response --and Bush is as usual holding his cards close to his chest until he can be most effective re the election.

Ed onWestSlope said...

"...the current targets are 36.6% Democrat, 33.5% Republican, and 29.9% Unaffiliated."

One or two very good moves by either the White House, Congress or Senate (I wouldn't hold my breath on the 'elderly gentlemen, charged with high duties and misdemeanors)should really swing the 29.9% Unaffiliated. In a game of chance or skill, it is usually prudent to make a late move. No time for the opposition to react.

Yes, I agree that Bush will hold off for a while.

Unfortunately, a lot of hand wringing, posturing and coffee shop discussion goes on which tends to be troublesome in the longterm.

MeaninglessHotAir said...


The problem for the politicians is that they can't move until some kind of consensus is built up. Bush could champion the most reasonable policies in the world (and for the most part he does), but the Democrats would completely obstruct him on principle. When you have a couple of opinions that are more or less pointed in the same direction, that's one thing, there's room for compromise. When your religion dictates that the other side is not just wrong or misguided but evil, that's another thing entirely.

What are the realistic options on energy? I don't know of any good ones. Eventually, it seems right now, people will come around to the nuclear option, but that won't help the drivers much.

What are the options on immigration? One side has twisted the debate with words so that one is not even allowed to have an opinion without being labelled "racist". The other side has become absolutist and completely unwilling to compromise. I'm not sure how even the best politicians could solve that conundrum, and the current bunch don't seem all that impressive to me.

cf said...

Watch. My spidey sense is that the entire Wilson Gambit is about to be exposed along with more revelations about what was going on in the CIA.

We just held back sending more troops on rotation to Iraq and the Iraqis have at last formed a government.

The Dems will overplay their hand in the Heyden hearings and show they prefer protecting AQ privacy rights than the NSA surveillance program.
Pelosi has just indicated her plan on winning is to tie up Congress with more vengeful investigations.

Bush will open up ANWR.
Etc. Etc..

Unknown said...


I have said it before, extremems meet and the result is always the same.

And David, the US did not control the rpice of oil or OPEC in the 70's any more than it does today.