Bush Approval Ratings
Bush’s approval ratings from 2001 to 2005 as reported by the BBC
Bush Hypothetical Approval Ratings
Bush’s hypothetical approval ratings over the same period if 9/11 hadn’t happened

Bush diminished as world leader
8 November 2006
By Paul Reynolds

The mid-term elections have left President Bush diminished as a world leader.

The word abroad will be that George Bush is on the defensive and has taken a knock. Enemies will be encouraged. Friends will take cover.

To his own publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the way things are going in Iraq has been added voter dissatisfaction with him.

His party is even in danger of losing the Senate as well as the House of Representatives.

As Oscar Wilde might have put it: “To lose one House may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose both looks like carelessness.”

Mr Bush will have to find a way to stop the slow strangulation that Iraq is now exercising on him and his party.

What now for US foreign policy?
And the question being asked now is whether the days of major US foreign policy interventions under this president are over.

Will the United States now conclude that the problems in Iraq and the lack of domestic support for them require a purely diplomatic approach, for example towards Iran and North Korea?

And above all, what will this mean for policy in Iraq itself, the root of his woes?

Vice President Cheney dismissed the election results in advance with a statement that policy in Iraq would go “full speed ahead”.

One should not underestimate George Bush’s determination. He has said proudly that he will stay the course in Iraq even if his wife and dog end up as his only supporters.

And it is the case that since the president controls foreign policy, he need not change course because of cries from the voters.

But he himself has spoken of the need for re-assessment and everyone is waiting for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group under his father’s secretary of state James Baker. It is likely to report before the end of the year.

Not that the presidential options are many. Even before the election he laid down that the Iraqi government itself must do more, both politically and militarily, to go on justifying American support. That has to be given time to work through.

If there is any comfort in the Democratic party’s successes for Mr Bush, it is that his opponents really have no more idea of what to do in Iraq than he has.

Their constant call is to “change course” but nobody has explained what that means. They cannot, because they do not know.

The American Century
During his first term President Bush bestrode the world like a colossus.

He drew inspiration from the principles of the Project for the New American Century, drawn up in 1997. Among the signatories were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

It asked: “Does the United States have the resolve to shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests?”

The 9/11 attacks and the “war on terror” he declared in a speech soon afterwards allowed him to use the instruments of US power and diplomacy to topple the Taleban and gather support from around the world.

Then there was the “Forward Strategy of Freedom” announced in November 2003, for democracy in the Middle East. “Promoting democracy and freedom in the Middle East will be a massive and difficult undertaking, but it is worthy of America’s effort and sacrifice, ” he said.

Iraq and the disastrous course of events between Israel and its neighbours have lowered expectations for all that.

And now the mid-term elections, which the Republicans thought earlier this year they had in the bag have confirmed that criticism from fellow Americans has caught up with criticism from around the world.

and yet…

Pelosi: Bush Impeachment `Off the Table’
November 8, 2006
By Susan Ferrechio

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi promised Wednesday that when her party takes over, the new majority will not attempt to remove President Bush from office, despite earlier pledges to the contrary from others in the caucus.

“I have said it before and I will say it again: Impeachment is off the table,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference.

Pelosi also said Democrats, despite complaining about years of unfair treatment by the majority GOP, “are not about getting even” with Republicans.

She said the GOP, which frequently excluded Democrats from conference committee hearings and often blocked attempts to introduce amendments, would not suffer similar treatment.

“Democrats pledge civility and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here and we pledge partnerships with Congress and the Republicans in Congress, and the president — not partisanship.”

She also extended an olive branch to Bush on the war in Iraq, saying she plans to work with him on a new plan but will not support the current strategy and supports beginning redeployment of troops by the end of the year.

Pelosi also said she supports the idea of a bipartisan summit on the war.

“We know, ‘stay the course,’ is not the way,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi said she received a brief, early-morning call from Bush, who invited her to lunch on Thursday.

“We both expressed our wish to work in a bipartisan way for the benefit of the American people.”

A handful of Democratic lawmakers who are considered top Pelosi lieutenants said after the news conference that they believe she will be able to keep their traditionally diverse caucus united, despite an influx of new, more moderate Democrats.

“She will force a synergistic union,” of the caucus, said Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman John B. Larson of Connecticut.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said the election has sent a message to Democrats that will foster a sense of unity even among those who agree the least.

But the party must still complete potentially contentious leadership elections before any of that work can begin.

Pelosi was unwilling to discuss those elections Wednesday, saying the votes for all the House seats have not been counted.

“There are people who have ambitions,” Lofgren acknowledged. “A majority of the Democratic members have never served in the majority. There is a lot of pent-up ambition to do something.”

3 thoughts on “722”

  1. It’s a real shame about the impeachment thing. There has not been a president more deserving of that fate than Shrub.

Comments are closed.