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May 11, 2006

29%

That was quick. We didn't have to wait for my prediction that Bush would drop below 30% approval rating in a major national poll to come true:

President Bush’s job-approval rating has fallen to its lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll. Of 1,003 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 29% think Mr. Bush is doing an “excellent or pretty good” job as president, down from 35% in April and significantly lower than 43% in January.

Yow. For those of you with a WSJ Online subscription, here's the link to the full article. In the full article we find that even among conservatives, his popularity is under the 50% mark -- 46%, in fact. 10% of liberals think he's doing a good job, which makes me think: really? That many? Republicans in Congress get a 20% approval rating, but as the Democrats only get a 23% rating, that's nothing for them to gloat about.

The over/under in this poll is 3%, so Bush's actual approval rating could be as high as 32% and as low as 26%. I'd note this poll was taken between May 5th and 8th, which means that the NSA phone thing (which I thought would be the proximate cause of his below 30% submersion) wasn't even on the radar.

I have to tell you I'm pretty much agog. Back in November, when Bush was clocking a 35% approval rating, I opined that "there's probably 33% of Americans who would rather chew on jagged glass than to show disloyalty to a sitting Republican president," that's about as low as he was going to go. Guess I was wrong. Now, well, I can't even imagine. If 29% is possible, what about 25%? At this point, is it really that far off? Nixon hit 24%, if I recall correctly, just before he resigned. Surely -- and I say this with all sincerity -- surely Bush could not come within a polling error of that number. I honestly find it unthinkable.

Let me repeat now what I said in November:

You'll note, however, that I did not say that I was happy that Bush has such a God-awful rating. I'm not. Having a weak and deeply unpopular president makes us vulnerable as a nation, particularly when we are engaged in a war... I don't like Bush, and I wish he weren't president; nevertheless he is my president, and my country is ill-served at home and abroad by his weaknesses, both real and perceived. Noting that this is a mess of his own making is cold comfort indeed. Bush may have made this bed, but we all have to lie in it.

Still true, alas.

Seriously, now: How low do you think Bush will go? I've pretty much given up guessing. You tell me.

Posted by john at May 11, 2006 11:05 PM

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Comments

JonathanMoeller | May 11, 2006 11:19 PM

I don't know, but 2007 is going to be epic.

John Scalzi | May 11, 2006 11:25 PM

Oh, joy.

Patrick | May 11, 2006 11:32 PM

I think these things are a vicious cycle. I know a number of republicans who seem to vote for republicans partially because they perceive them as "winners." Being extremely unpopular undercuts his popularity with those types even further.

JonathanMoeller | May 11, 2006 11:38 PM

Yeah...The Iliad was epic too, and most of the characters died at the end.

Brennan | May 12, 2006 12:56 AM

Supposedly, the crazification factor puts the lower limit at 27%.

Jeff Porten | May 12, 2006 01:44 AM

Hate to say it, but the poll is meaningless. Sure, it's good for some empty warming of the cockles, but the key issue is not what his rating is in May, but what it is in October.

It doesn't matter if his rating hits the mid-teens, he ain't gonna resign. He's already sitting on top of several scandals the size of Watergate (if we happened to judge them using quaint 1972 standards of "separation of powers"), and he's Congressionally protected through January.

The question you should be asking is, "What does Bush, Cheney, Rove, and the RNC have planned for September and October to swing this election?" Because these guys are constantly on record for using government power for partisan aims. Seems to me, the worse the ratings, the bigger they go.

You'll note that I don't mention what the Democrats are doing. That's because they're utterly irrelevant to this question; already they're showing signs of sitting back and trying to coast to a win. A slate of turnips could run a more effective campaign.

Dave Munger | May 12, 2006 06:36 AM

Its fascinating to me that, even with Bush's supposed impotence, the tax cut extension still got passed. It seems that people are primarily unhappy with the Iraq situation. Whether America is really getting more liberal on anything else remains to be seen.

John Scalzi | May 12, 2006 07:04 AM

Jeff Porten:

"Hate to say it, but the poll is meaningless."

I didn't suggest it was hugely significant, nor do I think something like a poll will keep the GOP from doing their thing and hanging on to its majorities come November. And I never underestimate the Democrats' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This doesn't have anything to do with any of that. I just wonder how unpopular Bush can get.

Dave Munger:

"Whether America is really getting more liberal on anything else remains to be seen."

I don't think America is getting more liberal in the slightest; I think it's getting less tolerant of incompetence.

Dave | May 12, 2006 07:06 AM

It seems that people are primarily unhappy with the Iraq situation. Whether America is really getting more liberal on anything else remains to be seen.

Actually, the recent analysis I've heard of indicates this is more likely to be evidence of conservative uneasiness about the recent immigration kerfluffle than anything to do with America becoming more liberal in general or Iraq in particular.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 08:24 AM

It's pretty clear that immigration is a problem that is seriously impacting Bush's numbers among not only Republicans, but independants, especially the so-called "South Park Republican" independants.

Then there are those who don't like No Child Left Behind, and those that think the Prescription Drug bill was an affront to fiscal conservatism. Strangely, even though NCLB was written by Sen Kennedy, he doesn't credit for this or the Drug Bill from the left, mostly because of blind hatred.

No to mention there are those who think he not being aggressive enough in Iraq.

But the fact that immigration is the issue for both Republicans and Democrats is evidenced by the Democrats deciding that leaving this as an issue for the November elections which was their original plan, needed to be rethought.

As a result, they have agreed to take up the issue again. Now.

Jim Winter | May 12, 2006 08:29 AM

Its fascinating to me that, even with Bush's supposed impotence, the tax cut extension still got passed.

This doesn't surprise me at all. The GOP is getting dragged down by an unpopular President and an even less popular Congress. I don't care which party you're in, when it's time to panic, you cut taxes and say it's for the economy, which should tank big time about five minutes after the next president takes office. And I'm certain Congress will panic again and cut taxes. Unless some sort of fiscal emergency forces them to raise them drastically.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 08:33 AM

Unless some sort of fiscal emergency forces them to raise them drastically.

You know, they could cut spending.

I'm just sayin'

John Scalzi | May 12, 2006 08:36 AM

CoolBlue:

"It's pretty clear that immigration is a problem that is seriously impacting Bush's numbers"

The irony here (for me, at least), is that Bush's immigration stand is one of the few things I'm mostly in agreement with him on. I guess you might say that if I agree with Bush on a policy issue, it's not a good policy issue for him.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 08:45 AM

The irony here (for me, at least), is that Bush's immigration stand is one of the few things I'm mostly in agreement with him on.

The problem is not his policy. The problem is that under his Administration, enforcement of the current laws has been perceived to be, um, lacking.

This is why you have seen some high profile "gets" recently.

John H | May 12, 2006 09:29 AM

Then there are those who don't like No Child Left Behind, and those that think the Prescription Drug bill was an affront to fiscal conservatism. Strangely, even though NCLB was written by Sen Kennedy, he doesn't credit for this or the Drug Bill from the left, mostly because of blind hatred.

...

You know, they could cut spending.

NCLB was designed to test kids to a national standard and spend money to help low-scoring schools improve. The administration decided to live by the first part and forget the second. What a shock that it's been seen as a miserable failure.

I agree that the government should be constantly looking to be more efficient, but at some point cutting spending is counterproductive.

Dave Munger | May 12, 2006 09:44 AM

If they were really trying to court voters, they might consider passing a tax cut that helped out the middle class as much as it does the million-a-year class.

minz | May 12, 2006 10:09 AM

>>10% of liberals think he's doing a good job, which makes me think: really? That many?

Proving that there actually is a grain of truth to the "Big Government" Liberal label. Nobody grows government like Georgie Jr--he just doesn't believe in paying for it with his own money.

Dane | May 12, 2006 10:11 AM

"Bush may have made this bed, but we all have to lie in it."

...strange bedfellows indeed...

John League | May 12, 2006 10:19 AM

And I never underestimate the Democrats' ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

But this time Mr. Bush doesn't have a liberal straw man ("weak" Kerry, "obstructionist" Daschle) to scare people. His popularity seems to be flagging under the weight of his administration's own ineptitude, from Iraq to Katrina to energy policy to schools to privacy.

I wonder what kind of rabbit Rove pulls out of his hat this time to shock and awe voters back into the fold. (Remember the Cave of Caerbannog: "I warned you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you knew, didn't you? It's just a harmless little bunny, isn't it?")

Taeyoung | May 12, 2006 10:34 AM

NCLB was designed to test kids to a national standard and spend money to help low-scoring schools improve. The administration decided to live by the first part and forget the second. What a shock that it's been seen as a miserable failure.

I don't know -- I don't really care about the second part as much as the first. After all, we pump huge amounts of money into the schools here in DC and pump huge amounts into the schools in California, where I used to live, and that hasn't changed the fact that they have in general failed miserably at doing what they are supposed to do, namely, teach students basic skills, like reading and addition. There's plenty of money in each state's budget, it's just being squandered by layers of corrupt local administration.

Re: immigration,

I think immigration caused Bush's numbers to implode, but prior to that, the Harriet Miers fiasco earlier softened up his support among conservatives considerably. Around that time, the thought that Bush really isn't going to be helping us implement a Conservative set of policies became widespread. Immigration has only confirmed that sneaking sense that he's sold out.

In addition, I think a lot of Republicans (myself included) think about immigration in rather old-style national honour terms, which make acquiescence to illegal immigration a staggering humiliation, a great blow to our basic dignity as a sovereign nation. It is an emotional issue in a way that "immigration," just taken as a general question, really isn't.

Which is why I'd say I'm very cross with the President these days. I am also roughly as cross with the Republicans in Congress, who, with their "K-Street Project" and their unrestrained spending might as well be Democrats, for all the difference it makes.

The only reason the Republicans might do well in November is that the Democrats are led by halfwits like Nancy Pelosi. The only reason the Democrats might do well is that the Republicans have managed to accrue about 50 years' worth of corruption in about 10, disgusted the independents, and left their base sore annoyed.

Well, and Iraq, except that on Iraq, I think any historical perspective makes the numbers there look awfully good.

Josh Jasper | May 12, 2006 10:39 AM

He only has to shed 4 more points to beat Nixon.

GO BUSH, GO!

Anonymous | May 12, 2006 10:40 AM

Oops. Six more. I can't math today. I have the stupid :-/

Dave | May 12, 2006 10:44 AM

But this time Mr. Bush doesn't have a liberal straw man ("weak" Kerry, "obstructionist" Daschle) to scare people.

Hate to be the one to tell you this, but Howard Dean is likely to be getting a lot of press come November time, due to being a highly recognizable head of the Democratic party. He's more than enough to scare people.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 10:46 AM

John,

The irony here (for me, at least), is that Bush's immigration stand is one of the few things I'm mostly in agreement with him on.

You don't mean you support the "guest worker" idea do you? It has serious flaws.

Taeyoung,
I don't know enough about DC and California schools to dispute you but did you really think NCLB would fix them?

I will tell you my local schools are GREAT, and the MN state schools are pretty darn good, and NCLB is branding them as failures. We've got a pretty big influx of Somalian immigrants here and the schools are required to test every single one of them, even if it is their first day here (speaking no English). Every single special ed student is tested as well. Since those students fail the test (no duh) our schools are 'failures' and are due to lose funding. That is just stupid.

Oh, and the latest Southern Baptist convention was trying to pass a bylaw stating all the Southern Baptist kids should be removed from public school.

I wonder why the Federal Government is trying to dismantle MN public schools?

John Scalzi | May 12, 2006 10:46 AM

And Pelosi, since I've seen her brought up as a bogeywoman on two separate comment threads here. So let's not pretend the GOP won't find someone to pillory.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 10:48 AM

John H

NCLB was designed to test kids to a national standard and spend money to help low-scoring schools improve. The administration decided to live by the first part and forget the second. What a shock that it's been seen as a miserable failure.

Um, Congress allocates the money. The Executive Branch spends it.

Are you saying that the DoE didn't spend some money it was allocated?

And you would be hard pressed to find many on the left who praise NCLB especially among the teachers unions regardless of funding.

John League

But this time Mr. Bush doesn't have a liberal straw man ("weak" Kerry, "obstructionist" Daschle) to scare people.

In Congressional elections, all politics are local and Bush isn't running.

I will be very surprised if the Democrats pull of an upset.

I would be very happy if the Republicans got stung, but it would be a disaster if Democrats actually pulled off an upset.

What I really want is another choice. I wish the Democrats were that choice but they are the worst of the two evils before us.

I want the Federalist Party! And I want it now!

Raphael | May 12, 2006 10:51 AM

">>10% of liberals think he's doing a good job, which makes me think: really? That many?

Proving that there actually is a grain of truth to the "Big Government" Liberal label. Nobody grows government like Georgie Jr--he just doesn't believe in paying for it with his own money."

Not necessarily- I guess most of these 10 percent might be people who are liberal on domestic US policy issues but hawkish on foreign politics.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 10:53 AM

CoolBlue,

I wish the Democrats were that choice but they are the worst of the two evils before us.

Ah yes, the reassuring "the democrats would be worse" chant of the faithful. Once you internalize that and the equally corrosive "Don't trust the mainstream media, they are liberally biased" you are completely immune from reality.

Thank goodness you belong to an ever shrinking and marginalized group. You had your heyday, your eight years, now stand back and watch the future.

Oh, and I meant to ask, did you serve in Vietnam? I'd imagine a guy like you would volunteer even if you (barely) missed the draft.

Magenta Griffith | May 12, 2006 10:54 AM

I'm not sure whether the Republican plan is to pull a rabbit out of a hat in October, give the Democrats enough rope and hope they hang themselves, or just keep up the good work with Diebold counting the votes and who cares how people actually cast their ballots. Or some combination of all three. The latest news about voting machines *should* have people up in arms - but it doesn't.

On the other hand, we may see a Democratic (in both senses of the word) Congress come January, and impeachments for Bush and Cheney soon after.

John League | May 12, 2006 10:58 AM

Dave: Of course. How could I forget Dean? That's the guy who sends me e-mails every other week with some ill-conceived screed that's supposed to make me want to send him money, right?

I agree that Dean could be a liability. But even as voters won't see the names Dean or Bush on their ballots, I have to think that they are more likely to take their frustrations out on the sitting president's party than on the consolation-prize-chariman's party.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 10:58 AM

Magenta,
On the other hand, we may see a Democratic (in both senses of the word) Congress come January, and impeachments for Bush and Cheney soon after.

It is interesting that one of the tactics they are trying out against the Democrats is "don't elect them because they'll tie up government with invesigations and witch hunts."

With an abysmal approval rating for Republicans it seems to me the public might be eager for some investigations and witch hunts.

Taeyoung | May 12, 2006 11:00 AM

And Pelosi, since I've seen her brought up as a bogeywoman on two separate comment threads here. So let's not pretend the GOP won't find someone to pillory.

The Democrats will be fine if they keep Pelosi and Howard Dean away from the cameras. Reid is generally pretty level sounding, hasn't said anything gobsmackingly idiotic, and contrasts very well with Bill Frist, who has a funny voice and whose family has put out weird books smacking of eugenics about themselves. If they need a national face, they should stick with Reid.

On the other hand, I don't think they need a national face, and are better off avoiding letting anyone serve as a public "face" for the Party. If they can make it real-Republican versus generic-Democrat, they win. I mean, back in 2004, Bush would have lost to a generic Democrat (i.e. what voters think of Democrats in the abstract), it's only that their actual candidates were such a sorry bunch.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 11:04 AM

Tripp

Thank goodness you belong to an ever shrinking and marginalized group. You had your heyday, your eight years, now stand back and watch the future.

Can I quote you on that?

Oh, and I meant to ask, did you serve in Vietnam? I'd imagine a guy like you would volunteer even if you (barely) missed the draft.

I volunteered in 1975, and though I am a "Vietnam Era" veteran, I never went to Vietnam.

Why do you ask?

Taeyoung | May 12, 2006 11:11 AM

I don't know enough about DC and California schools to dispute you but did you really think NCLB would fix them?

No -- I think they are utterly unfixable, in their current form. The rot has gone too deep, as it were.

My hope is that we can destroy the systems that have been ruining education for the poor in DC and California, by using NCLB testing results to generate and concentrate political pressure against them. At the moment, because the entrenched interest groups (teachers unions, certain affiliated organisations) are concentrated, general disgust at the public education system is diffuse, and the poor people who have got the short end of the stick are poor, there's no way to leverage for meaningful reform, let alone revolution.

Ideally, they can be replaced by something like vouchers or charter schools, which (at least at the moment) seem on average to be doing rather better with a more "at-risk" student population. Possibly this is only because charters haven't had two generations of stultifying administrative bloat, the way public school systems have had, but I am focussed on the short and mid-term here. If they turn out just as corrupt and ineffective in the future, we can replace them too.

John Scalzi | May 12, 2006 11:11 AM

Tripp:

"You don't mean you support the 'guest worker' idea do you? It has serious flaws."

I support the guest worker idea in a general sense; I'd need to look more at Bush's implementation of it to decide if his is one I'd get behind.

Taeyoung | May 12, 2006 11:13 AM

With an abysmal approval rating for Republicans it seems to me the public might be eager for some investigations and witch hunts.

Or for tied-up government. After all, every minute they spend on pointless witch-hunts is a minute they can't spend spending my money buying votes.

alex | May 12, 2006 11:35 AM

How low can Bush go? There's two little things coming along that will be interesting.

1. In another couple months a lot of senior citizens will run into the Medicare Part D "donut hole", when the drug plan stops covering part of their medications and the next $1250 comes directly out of their pockets. A lot of them don't have that cash. People will either dig deep to cover their relatives, or watch them get sick and die.

2. Increasing house prices have forced lots and lots of buyers into alternative mortgages: interest-only, ARMs, zero down payment. In 2007, 20% of the mortgage debt in the entire country is going to convert in some fashion. A lot of people are suddenly going to be paying a lot more for their McMansion--or they will be facing foreclosure. None of them will believe that the economic picture is rosy.

AliceB | May 12, 2006 11:45 AM

A major current flaw with the guest worker program as it is now conceived is that workers would be sponsored by their employer, which, for low paying jobs has, historically, led to abuse--do whatever I tell you to do or I'll fire you, and you'll be shipped back to Mexico (or wherever). There needs to be a disengagement between the right to work in the U.S. and self-appointed employers of immigrants (who, also historically, have dodgy records when it comes to abuse).

Jim | May 12, 2006 11:48 AM

I find it amusing that some on the left screamed "fascist" when Heinlein made military service a prerequisite for voting rights in Starship Troopers and now it seems as if some on the left are insisting that only those who served in the military have the right to speak about military policy. (Does this new moral principle include politicians such as Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy or do they get a free pass because of their outstanding moral leadership?)

Jon Marcus | May 12, 2006 12:11 PM

John, your prediction seemed to link Bush's falling poll number to the NSA story. But believe it or not, the NSA's spying on Americans is actually pretty popular, especially compared to anything else Bush is doing these days:

http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2006/05/abcwapo_on_nsa_.html

Something like 60% of those polled right after the news broke supported the program. I don't know how that'll play out over the longer term. I hope that ignoring the laws will get less popular, but I'm not optimistic.

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 12:18 PM

Jon Marcus

Something like 60% of those polled right after the news broke supported the program. I don't know how that'll play out over the longer term.

It is my opinion that this is precisely why Bush is not shying away from Gen Hayden's noination in spite of the threat by some that they will bring up the whole NSA spying deal.

They want that discussion...

darren | May 12, 2006 12:21 PM

"The problem is not his policy. The problem is that under his Administration, enforcement of the current laws has been perceived to be, um, lacking."

Which is an assessment you agree with when it comes to border security, but not warrentless spying on your countrymen?

John H | May 12, 2006 12:23 PM

...now it seems as if some on the left are insisting that only those who served in the military have the right to speak about military policy.

I don't think anyone has actually said that, but having served in the military and sent to war I can tell you it certainly lends credibility if the civilian leaders have had military experience.

What galls me are those chickenhawks on the right who had more important things to do during Vietnam but beat the war drums now that it's not their ass on the line.

Jon Marcus | May 12, 2006 12:25 PM

Jim, who are the "some on the left [that] are insisting that only those who served in the military have the right to speak about military policy"?

Are they the same "some" who said Heinlein was a fascist? (Seems unlikely, as Starship Troopers was written almost 50 years ago...)

Tripp | May 12, 2006 12:33 PM

John,

I support the guest worker idea in a general sense;

The guest worker idea has been a disaster for Europe. It creates the status of a second class citizen and the so-called guest workers will soon resent the fact that they are wanted as cheap labor and nothing else. Without the opportunity of citizenship (with all the privileges and responsibilites that entails) the laborers will feel exploited and will have no loyalty to the US.

We are already pissing off the world - why build even more resentment towards the US?

Why create an official disenfranchised underclass living here? Mark my words - it will be a terrorist breeding ground.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 12:36 PM

CoolBlue,

I like to know where people are coming from. If you volunteered and served in the military then I thank you for your service to our country. I also thank your son, whom you say is currently a medic in Iraq.

When you say you work in the aerospace industry do you mean US government contracts?

Jon Marcus | May 12, 2006 12:40 PM

The "guest worker" thing strikes me as a non-starter. One the on hand, people who (generally*) favor immigrantion worry about the "underclass" issue Tripp mentions.

And for those who (generally*) oppose immigration, one of the biggest beefs is that immigrants don't assimilate. (They wave Mexican flags, since a Spanish version of the National Anthem, etc.) Guest workers are unlikely to assimilate.

So where's the constituency for it?

* Yes, people don't simply oppose or support immigration. All the shades and nuances is what makes it such a difficult subject. This is just shorthand for what I think is still a valid point.

John Scalzi | May 12, 2006 12:48 PM

Tripp:

"Why create an official disenfranchised underclass living here? Mark my words - it will be a terrorist breeding ground."

I think it matters how it's handled, and I think one terminus to it should be the possibility for citizenship. But I know anecdotally that at least some illegal workers don't want US citizenship; they want to work and then return home to families, etc. Something that could accomodate both would not be a bad thing. But again -- it matters how it is handled. The gap between the theory and the implementation is large.

Smurf | May 12, 2006 12:57 PM

Only a matter of time before Bush gets down to the 1% approval rating to match the 1% of the country he is aiming at helping with his Presidency.

Take that 1%, subtract it from whatever the % was when America's war fever cooled off, and you'll have a pretty good idea of the % of truly stupid people in this country.

Anyone care to throw $20 on an Iran war starting around the mid-term elections?

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 01:27 PM

Tripp

I like to know where people are coming from. If you volunteered and served in the military then I thank you for your service to our country.

No problem.

I also thank your son, whom you say is currently a medic in Iraq.

Actually, my son is no longer in Iraq. He was there through the elections in January of 2005 and was back at base by February. He separated from the Regular Army last August and has since joined the Vermont National Guard as a combat medic.

When you say you work in the aerospace industry do you mean US government contracts?

I have worked on military projects. For instance, I have code flying right now, today on the B-2 bomber. I also wrote the entire fuel management system for the European NH-90 helicopter.

At the moment, though, I am working on a civilian project: the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. We are attempting the first ever implementation of an electric braking system on a commercial airliner. Wish us luck 'cause such a thing presents some interesting engineering problems.

Does this make me bone fide?

CoolBlue | May 12, 2006 01:43 PM

darren

Which is an assessment you agree with when it comes to border security, but not warrentless spying on your countrymen?

From what I know of the program right now, I do not believe it is illegal.

That doesn't mean it's not, it just means that I have seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 03:01 PM

John,

Something that could accomodate both would not be a bad thing.

I agree. Personally I know some legal immigrants that do not want US citizenship and I think that is fine.

My overall point is that we are already suffering greatly from polarization and extreme individualism and more of the same will hurt us in the long run.

But what should we expect? We've sustained a constant drumbeat for the last thirty years stressing how any collective action is bad so why should we be surprised when people behave selfishly?

Divide and conquer is a wonderful strategy.

Tripp | May 12, 2006 03:04 PM

CoolBlue,

Does this make me bone fide?

I never doubted your bone fidedness. It helps me understand your biases.

emeraldcite | May 12, 2006 03:51 PM

I think he'll hit 17% before he even has a clue that people don't like him.

Top | May 12, 2006 07:50 PM

How low will he go? It doesn't really matter, as he will not resign. Regardless of my split with him on immigration, or even on the strategic decisions in Iraq, I'm still not about to vote for a democrat. The difference there is even more of a split. The Republicans, for the time being at least, are the lesser of two evils.

As for people being upset over the NSA surveillance, too damn bad. I suppose that if a german sub were talking to an American citizen via shortwave during WWII we'd have needed a warrant then as well. A better understanding of the Separation of Powers and Constitutional jurisprudence is called for.

Bobarino | May 13, 2006 03:29 PM

Of course, during WWII we were at, uh, war.

darren | May 14, 2006 12:04 PM

"The Republicans, for the time being at least, are the lesser of two evils."

I'd be interested to know what you base this on? John made a point in another thread that "Republicans would vote for a dog as long as it is a Republican dog." Are you one of those? In the face of all evidence, you will vote completely against your best interests because you think the other side is worse? I'd be happy to entertain your statement if it actually said anything, but again, it was a rather vague statement.

Tripp | May 15, 2006 11:32 AM

Top,
I suppose that if a german sub were talking to an American citizen via shortwave during WWII we'd have needed a warrant then as well.

Perhaps you need a better understanding of legal history. The FISA laws were passed after WW II, mostly in response to abuses in survelliance.

To answer your question - No, a warrant wasn't needed then, and if the government had not abused its survelliance powers then maybe it would not have passed a specific law regarding survelliance.

But I imagine strawman and misleading arguments are your stock in trade. It makes debate so much easier, don't you agree?

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