Friday, May 05, 2006

This doesn't surprise me:

Angry conservatives are driving the approval ratings of President Bush and the GOP-led Congress to dismal new lows, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that underscores why Republicans fear an Election Day massacre.

...Six of 10 conservatives say America is headed in the wrong direction.

...Conservative voters blame the White House and Congress for runaway government spending, illegal immigration and lack of action on social issues such as a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage. Those concerns come on top of public worries about Iraq, the economy and gasoline prices.

Candice Strong, a conservative from Cincinnati, said she backed Bush in 2004, "but I don't agree with the way he's handling the war and the way he's handling the economy. I think he should have pulled our troops out of Iraq."

...Of all Republicans, nearly 30 percent disapprove of the job Bush is doing, including 13 percent who feel strongly about it....

OK, Candice Strong wanting a withdrawal from Iraq surprises me somewhat -- but hey, we're not "kicking ass and taking names," so it's not the kind of war a real right-winger can rally around. She probably sees it as a welfare program at gunpoint, or however Shelby Steele would put it.

As for the rest, remember what I said during the Harriet Miers debacle:

The mistake Bush made here was thinking that he's the president of the United States. That's not what the base thinks. The base didn't vote for Bush -- the base voted for the conservative movement. To the base, Bush is president only insofar as he embodies the conservative movement.

It's odd -- I actually believe if he reinstituted the draft, sent another 100,000 troops to Iraq, nuked Iran, and declared gay marriage illegal everywhere in the U.S. by executive order, he'd shoot back up in the polls. He can't go much lower on the left, and right-wingers would just be in ecstasy.

(Before you tell me that a draft would destroy him politically, trust me -- any objection to it would be blamed on foul-mouthed, blog-reading hippie America-haters, even if some of the anger was actually in the centrist or right-wing heartland. And hell, most young people don't vote anyway.)

But he won't do anything different in Iraq, because he thinks everything's going great and only Fox News truly understands. As for his reticence on gay marriage, well, it beats the heck out of me what's up with that.

He probably will nuke Iran, though. And in terms of domestic politics, it'll probably work.

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