MANDATE MY ASS REDUX
OK, so Gallup has Bush's approval up 5% since the election. So, is that a mandate? No, it's not a mandate. It's a bump. Look at the graph: the trend (a slow but steady decline in approval and increase in disapproval) is unmistakable.
As I said a couple of days ago, Bush's approval decreased in a Newsweek poll taken after the election. I should have been more specific: that poll was taken after the election but before everyone in America was told that Bush is now a god and the Democrats are pathetic, out-of-step dinosaur pinko losers. So that Newsweek poll, in my opinion, is a pretty good reflection of voters' opinions before this conventional wisdom was shouted at them from all corners. And afterward? Well, Bush gets a five-point bump and the Dems take a ten-point hit. It's temporary -- and while I worry that the Democrats won't take sufficient steps to stave off further losses, those losses are preventable, and these are reversible. So right-wing simpletons gloat at their own peril.