Good news

And good news is hard to come by nowadays.

A new Gallup Poll finds a decline in George W. Bush’s job approval rating. After standing at 49% approval in the prior two CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls conducted this month, now just 44% of Americans say they approve of Bush, a new low mark for the president. The poll also shows a drop in Bush’s favorable rating to 48%, which is the first time it has dropped below 50% since Gallup began tracking this opinion in 1999. Four in 10 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, which is essentially unchanged from early July. The poll shows continued positive momentum for the Democratic Party in terms of national party identification and ratings of the two major political parties, both of which were evident before the drop in Bush approval occurred.

The July 25-28 Gallup Poll finds 44% of Americans approving and 51% disapproving of the job Bush is doing as president. Bush’s prior low approval rating was 45%, which occurred once in March and once again in June of this year.

Don’t you see? Bush’s popularity with the masses is a myth. All those controlled rallies and faux-townhalls with rigged questions and hand-picked audiences — those choreographed events helped Bush bask in what appeared to be an aura of popularity, except it was all faked. He’s not popular. The people don’t like him. He sucks. He ran on the single issue of national security, and now that the world is less safe than ever the emperor has nary a shred of clothing. He sucks. Write that down. Memorize it.

Via Atrios.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

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The Discussion: 94 Comments

He sucks. Write that down. Memorize it.

You forgot, “He’s a loser. A cipher.”

July 29, 2005 @ 5:45 pm | Comment

Some things go without saying.

July 29, 2005 @ 5:56 pm | Comment

and he’s a war criminal. And a traitor.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:23 pm | Comment

And a coke sniffer. And a compulsive liar.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:29 pm | Comment

Yet some still worship him with a near cultlike reverence. This is a hilarious new post about the phenomenon of Bush worship, and a masterpiece.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:33 pm | Comment

Are we talking about Clinton here?

The fact is, approval ratings don’t really matter that much to a second term President – it’s not like they’re going to run for office again.

But seriously, all the comments above could more easily be applied to Clintoon and that thunder thigh bitch that he calls a wife.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

Clinton, our last good president, was godlike and pure. He never led usinto an illegal and losing war. He presided over unprecedented peace and prosperity. He devoted resources to fight terror and his warnings about Al Qaeda were ignored, the anti-terror budget cut, Richard Clarke cut out of meetings. You’re comparing vintage Pinot Noir to Thunderbird. You’re comparing greatness with mediocrity, wisdom with powerdrunk stupidity, awesome success with miserable failure. Shame on you.

July 29, 2005 @ 6:50 pm | Comment

Illegal war? You mean like Kosovo? Yugoslavia?

God-like? ick!

Don’t forget all of those secrets he sold over to the Chinese.

There’s a traitor! He ought to be wearing a lead hat for that!

July 29, 2005 @ 6:57 pm | Comment

Don’t be silly. There were no lies told over Kosovo. We supported it, and it went exactly as we were told it would. I kind of like the idea of fighting genocide. Maybe he could have done more against the Rwandan genoicde,as Bush could do more in Sudan, but to fault the great Bill Clinton for his success in Kosovo verges on the bizarre.

Yes, godlike. He is universally beloved, as much as that galls Republicans, with their “Clinton body counts” and other obsessions. Thanks God Hillary will be sworn in soon to end the current madness.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:02 pm | Comment

He’s definitely a character and that is what people love about him.

As far as Kosovo and Yugoslavia, they were just as “illegal” as Iraq.

They idea of fighting genocide is nice, but I for one do not belive that our soldiers should be used for humanitarian reasons.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:11 pm | Comment

Clinton didn’t lead us into a war based on lies. This disaster in Iraq will haunt America for decades. Bush is going to go down as the worst President in recent US history.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:11 pm | Comment

Gordon. Bush is now saying it was the freedom and liberation and humanitarian aspects that made our losing war in Iraq worthwhile. The whole conversation has shifted from weapons to freedom.

Clinton, as always, did it right and succeeded. Biush failed. Can you deal with that? There is a reason Clinton’s popularity was at record highs while Bush’s is at record lows. For all their naivete, the American people aren;t totally stupid. They could only fall for the Bush lies and nonsense for so long. Under Clinton, their lives were better. Under Bush, their lives were much worse. What don’t you iunderstand about this? Success vs. failure, truth vs. lies, greatness vs. mediocrity.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:15 pm | Comment

No way, Gordon. We were told we had to go into Iraq because Saddam was connected with 9/11, then because Saddam had WMDs, and it’s clear now that these were all lies. Moreover, the war was badly planned, the occupation a disaster and Iraq is now on the verge of civil war.

How many American soldiers died in Kosovo?

I personally believe intervention is justified when you have a failed state – such as Afghanistan – because the resulting instability really IS dangerous.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

p.s. the above was me…for some reason my name went away.

July 29, 2005 @ 7:16 pm | Comment

I’m not arguing the Iraq factor here. All I am saying is that even though the public wasn’t mislead about Kosvo, it was still done under the same reasons that Bush took us into Iraq.

BTW, in case you have forgotten..we still have troops in Kosovo. It’s not over and done with.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:10 pm | Comment

I’m not for comparing Kosovo and Iraq. Different wars fought for different reasons.

I am for comparing Clinton and Bush. Clinton was flawed and made mistakes and did some dumb, dumb sh*t.

But I never felt the future of the country was being undermined in his hands.

I feel that way about Bush.

Plus, to remind yourself what a president should be able to do, go watch or listen to an old Clinton speech. The could speak. He could control a room, answer questions, work on the fly. I miss that, and I am reminded every time I am treated to the agony of a Bush speech or press conference. Now maybe brilliant oratory isn’t a necessary skill for a president, but it sure helps.

July 29, 2005 @ 8:17 pm | Comment

Will I shudder every time I hear a Bush speech. You’ll get no arguments from me there.

There’s no doubt that Clinton was great at communicating with people. Almost as good as Ronald Reagan. :-P

July 29, 2005 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

BTW Richard,

What exactly is an illegal war and who makes the decision as to whether or not it is legal or not?

July 29, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

I don’t know if the Iraq War is technically illegal, but I would argue that it is certainly immoral.

And taking a country to war under false pretenses – by lying to the American people – well, I’m not sure what the right word for that is, but I think it falls under the category of “high crimes,” as opposed to misdemeanors.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

Actually, isn’t it illegal to attack a sovereign country for no good reason? Isn’t that why Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was considered worthy of an international armed response?

July 29, 2005 @ 9:15 pm | Comment

Tricky question actually. In theory a war of aggression without UN sanction is illegal, I believe. But the devil is in the details: what is a war of aggression?

Also, the Iraq war’s legality is debated around the wording in UN resolution 1441, which stipulated “serious consequences” if Iraq did not comply with UN disarmament directives and cooperate with inspectors.

This, of course, is also a point of debate. Disarmament was a moot point, as we all know now.

But, of course, the Bush administration has never considered international law or international jurisprudence to be anything other than minor inconveniences. When you’re the 500 pound gorilla, what do you care what the ankle monkeys think is illegal?

July 29, 2005 @ 9:30 pm | Comment

Oh, yeah, I’ll give Reagan communication and speech-making. He had charisma and knew how to use it.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:32 pm | Comment

And while I’m seagull-commenting, Richard, have you ever read Mark Hertsgaard’s book, “On Bended Knee: The press and the Reagan presidency”? Reagan’s media handlers were ultra-pros also. A fascinating read.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:33 pm | Comment

Have you guys seen this, from the aptly named Hindrocket at Powerlines?

“It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can’t get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another to a reception that, when not bored, is hostile.”

I mean…whoah…

July 29, 2005 @ 9:41 pm | Comment

Lisa, you don’t see Chimpy McCokespoon as a great artist and genius? What’s wrong with you?

July 29, 2005 @ 9:46 pm | Comment

Denial. It ain’t just a river in Egypt.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

Well, I forgot to have that lobotomy…

July 29, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

Will, great points. You and Lisa are totally right. Gordon on the other hand is wrong on all counts, except in his acknowledgement of Clinton and Reagan being inifintely better communicators than Shub.

Gordon, Clinton laid out his goals and strategies for Kosovo and achieved them. BushCo made all kinds of extravagant promises about finding stockpiles of weapons, of being greeted as liberators and handed flowers and chocolates, of paying for the whole thing with Iraqi oil and setting up a bastion of democracy that would result in the demise of terrorism as envious neighbors demanded democracies for themselves. Clinton: totally successful on all counts, his efforts lavishlyt praised by Americans and the global community alike. Bush: utter, agonizing failure resulting in estrangement from allies and loss of international respect, deep debt, scores of thousands dead and relentless misery for all involved. Some comparison.

July 29, 2005 @ 9:56 pm | Comment

Will, great points. You and Lisa are totally right. Gordon on the other hand is wrong on all counts, except in his acknowledgement of Clinton and Reagan being inifintely better communicators than Shub.

Gordon, Clinton laid out his goals and strategies for Kosovo and achieved them.

Sorry Richard, but I’m gonna have to call bullsh!t on this one.

What reason did we have for going into Kosovo? What did we gain from it? Was the genocide in Kosovo a threat to our national security and way of life?

Nope!

We had even less of a reason to send our troops into Kosovo than we did into Iraq. Point!

July 29, 2005 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

Yes but you see, we did not go to Kosovo under false pretenses. Clinton did not lie to America about it. And obviously, it was a doable mission that could be accomplished without a huge loss of life. What was going on in former Yugoslavia threatened Europe’s stability and had been doing so for quite some time, and at a high cost of lives in Bosnia and Kosovo.

Iraq, on the other hand, is obviously not doable. Saddam had been in a box and wasn’t markedly contributing to regional instability. The cost in lives has been staggering. How many Iraqi civilians have died as a consequence? How many American troops? How many more maimed for life? And there is no end to it in sight.

July 29, 2005 @ 10:57 pm | Comment

Saddam had been in a box and wasn’t markedly contributing to regional instability.

Oh really? You don’t think that paying rewards to the families of homicide bombers to blow themselves up in Israel wasn’t contributing to regional instability?

interesting.

The cost in lives has been staggering. How many Iraqi civilians have died as a consequence? How many American troops? How many more maimed for life? And there is no end to it in sight.

That’s really kind of a moot point, Lisa. While I don’t like to see it happening, that is an unfortunate and unavoidable part of war and the fact is that it has been sharply minimized thanks to skill and precision technology.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:12 pm | Comment

Gordon, whatever Saddam was doing was not worth the response of an American invasion. We got into a situation that we could not control. And now, Iraq is two steps away from a civil war. What’s the exit strategy? What’s the plan?

And I’m not even going to get into how much money this is costing and what it’s doing to our national debt.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:17 pm | Comment

Aw, let ‘em rant, Gordon. It’s a harmless echo chamber, and a way to console themselves. From 2000 to 2008, eventually it might work. Here, we can even help: “Clinton was godlike, Bush is a putz, Hail, Hillary! And by the way, I coulda been a contenda!”
——
Hey, I’m on a mission. Will you help? I bet with enough voices we could get Bush to do something simple and effective to help the environment, oil dependency, and good health. It’s a small thing, but totally wholesome and non-partisan. Take a look at this Open Plea to George Bush, and if you could get behind it, put a YES in the comments. If it gets any support, I’ll get it into petition form and submit it where it might count.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

And how do car bombs and IEDs fit the definition of “skill and precision technology”?

We are reaping the whirlwind here, and I don’t see a good end to it. I don’t even see an end.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:26 pm | Comment

Saddam gave some widows of suicide bombers a gift. True. The suicide bombers are still doing just fine., their ranks replenished by eager new recruits. What did we achieve? Did we stop the suicide bombers? Was it worth all that loss of life for an impending civil war followed by a fiercely anti-Israel, anti-US theocracy in ther style of Iran. What a victory.

Sam, what I like about this site (if i sayu so myself) is that it’s not an echo chamber like Atrios or Green Cesspools. It gets conservative and liberal readers and they share their thoughts (though only the liberals are correct). That’s not an echo chamber.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:34 pm | Comment

OK, Richard, everything you ever said was absolutely brilliant and true. So go sign my petition now.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

I just hope the Kurds don’t get screwed again. They were doing pretty well in their adhoc, unofficial “Kurdistan.” They aren’t going to put up with being dominated by Sunnis OR Shiites, and Turkey isn’t going to put up with an independent Kurdistan.

It’s a real mess.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

What reason did we have for going into Kosovo? What did we gain from it? Was the genocide in Kosovo a threat to our national security and way of life?

I believe in stopp-ing genocide if we can, maybe not at any and all costs, but in Kosovo we saw we could do it and we did it. Mission accomplished — really accomplished, with no codpiece or flight suit. It may bug you a lot that Clinton succeeded while Bush failed miserably, but over time you will get over it. You may not think the Kosovo war was justified, but you can;t deny it went a hell of a lot better than Iraq, while causing the world, ourt reputation and our pocketbooks a whole lot less. America came out looking better, stronger and more respected. All in a relatively short time with relatively minor losses. We may never get out of Iraq, and when we do it will be Vietnam style, claiming victory while defeat and chaos loom right behind us.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:41 pm | Comment

Thanks Sam, I knew you’d come around!

July 29, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

Y’know, between Bosnia and Kosovo, we actually had some Muslim goodwill for a little while.

I agree, and Richard sums up what I’ve been trying to say – I think if you can stop a genocide, you should. And you have to weigh the costs against the likelihood of success.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:45 pm | Comment

By the way, are you guys watching that top thread? It’s Bingfeng fighting mano a mano against the Japanese army.

July 29, 2005 @ 11:47 pm | Comment

Bingfeng seems to think one of the Japanese is AM. He could be right!

July 29, 2005 @ 11:49 pm | Comment

I suspect he’s right….

July 29, 2005 @ 11:54 pm | Comment

I agree, and Richard sums up what I’ve been trying to say – I think if you can stop a genocide, you should. And you have to weigh the costs against the likelihood of success.

I’ll say it again. Military troops should not be used for humanitarian purposes.

Genocide is wrong, but it was the internal affair of a sovereign nation.

July 30, 2005 @ 2:04 am | Comment

Why do all american presidents have pets?

July 30, 2005 @ 3:23 am | Comment

It’s a gimmick to make them seem like every other American.

July 30, 2005 @ 4:17 am | Comment

Genocide is wrong, but it was the internal affair of a sovereign nation.

This seems slightly hypocritical to me. You claim genocide is wrong, but then suggest that we should not do anything about it.

July 30, 2005 @ 4:20 am | Comment

“…the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and…regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”

July 30, 2005 @ 5:12 am | Comment

Bingfeng, Never right always wrong. AM shit man! He shit man!

July 30, 2005 @ 5:54 am | Comment

” and the kids are alright.. the kids are alright…”

July 30, 2005 @ 5:55 am | Comment

How comes nobodies told mees da party wuz down here? Tryin’ to git rid o’ me. Huh!

July 30, 2005 @ 6:03 am | Comment

This seems slightly hypocritical to me. You claim genocide is wrong, but then suggest that we should not do anything about it.

Just because something is wrong, doesn’t mean that it’s our place to use our military to fix it.

I think the way the Chinese government abuses its own people is wrong, but that doesn’t mean I think we should send our military in after them.

July 30, 2005 @ 6:09 am | Comment

Unless there’s oil of course! Or really fine, cheap maidens.

July 30, 2005 @ 7:56 am | Comment

I guess since he is so hated and despised, that is why he got elected.

July 30, 2005 @ 10:55 am | Comment

His popularity has plunged since he got elected and continues to fall at unprecedented levels. Schwartzenegger got elected, too. Do you think he is popular now? We Americans have litttle patience for miserable failures.

July 30, 2005 @ 10:57 am | Comment

Yes, But unfortunately he’s still calling the shots.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:09 am | Comment

You know, Gordon, I find it really fascinating that one of your most strenuous complaints against the great Bill Clinton is that he successfully fought a war that ended genocide. Most people, even those who say we shouldn’t use the military to end genocide, would have to say there was something good about this. The worst you can say is you disagree with his philosophy of saving defenseless victims of ethnic cleansing, but can’t you praise him for a job well done, of securing peace and ending the slaughter of innocents. Now compare with our current war, re-labelled by the bushies as a war of liberation and freedom. You’ve now got the same Clinton rationale of liberating the oppressed, but you’ve got none of the success, none of the good planning, none of the promises kept. Yet it’s Clinton you rip. Clinton never touched down on an aircraft carrier donning an idiotic codpiece-enabled flightsuit to declare with grotesque hubris that the mission was accomplished. He never sneered that the Serbs should “bring ‘em on.” He was a real leader, a real man, flaws and all, and there is good reason he remains universally beloved, much to the teeth-gnashing chagrin of the Rush Limbaugh crowd that so badly wants to see him demonized. When Hillary is sworn in as our first female president, maybe we can get back to being a real country again, and not a chest-thumping gorilla full of sound and fury, failing at virtually all we do.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:19 am | Comment

Richard,

It’s 1:30 in the morning here.

I’ll get back to your failed explanation after I’ve waken up and recovered from my extra-curricular activities.

In the meantime..eat my short.

At least Bush hasn’t sold national security to the Chinese! doht!

July 30, 2005 @ 11:25 am | Comment

I think you’re missing the point of all this. He’s a Democrat.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:25 am | Comment

Gordon, you’re fantasizing. I only hear this from you and the Rush corner. There is a reason Clinton is so beloved by Americans, just as there’s a reason Bush’s popularity is in the low 40s. Everone loves Clinton and you can’t deal with that. Get a hold of yourself and try to hold in the hatred. Just because he succeeded and made America beloved and rich is no reason to foam at the mouth.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:28 am | Comment

Xena, I think you have hit the nail on the head!

July 30, 2005 @ 11:29 am | Comment

Clinton loves poontang! I knew it!Sorry Richard.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:31 am | Comment

Don’t git me wrong now.I loves poooontang too.I am a man.I’m an American Man.Dagnubittt!

July 30, 2005 @ 11:35 am | Comment

America Man, I though you were going to tone it down.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:36 am | Comment

What is poontang? I’m lost. So much yet to learn, sigh.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:38 am | Comment

Don’t worry Bing, I don’t know what poontang is either. It is not an English word (is it, AM?).

July 30, 2005 @ 11:41 am | Comment

Zimbabwean(sic)?

July 30, 2005 @ 11:43 am | Comment

And why does everyone assume i’m AM?

July 30, 2005 @ 11:44 am | Comment

poontang {mildly vulgar} (n)
y;o7m r b W?@ Female genitalia. Eg., A girl might say, “He wants the poontang.” [California State University, Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA, 1998]

July 30, 2005 @ 11:45 am | Comment

Bing,you’re alright.Again.

July 30, 2005 @ 11:51 am | Comment

AM

You have to be AM

July 30, 2005 @ 11:52 am | Comment

Bing I still love you, you commie you!

July 30, 2005 @ 11:56 am | Comment

I told you you could call me Xeno, if you like.

July 30, 2005 @ 12:00 pm | Comment

And I’m not a commie anymore.

I haven’t paid my membership for a long time.

July 30, 2005 @ 12:06 pm | Comment

Amway’s calling………

July 30, 2005 @ 12:10 pm | Comment

Xeno!

July 30, 2005 @ 12:10 pm | Comment

I’ve never had an ex-CCP Member. Only current Members.How exciting!

July 30, 2005 @ 12:14 pm | Comment

Bing are you there? Bing…..?

July 30, 2005 @ 12:47 pm | Comment

E.L. Doctorow:

I fault this president (George W. Bush) for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our twenty-one year olds who wanted to be what they could be.

On the eve of D-day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn’t the mind for it.
You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the WMDs he can’t seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man. He does not mourn. He doesn’t understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young
Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the thousand dead young men and women who wanted be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life…. They come to his desk as a political liability which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq. How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew,
unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war’s aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that rather than controlling terrorism his war in Iraq has licensed it.

So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice. He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options, but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

This president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing — to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends. A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children.

He is the President who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead; he does not feel for the thirty five million of us who live in poverty; he does not feel for the forty percent who cannot afford health insurance; he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills — it is amazing for how many people in this country this President does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest one percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the safety regulations for coal mines to save the coal miners’ jobs, and that he is depriving
workers of their time-and-a- half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneously aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over the world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail: How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

July 30, 2005 @ 12:56 pm | Comment

A for Effort! Gordon?

July 30, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Just hope the past and forthcoming several years is only a glitch other than a trend for the greatest democracy in history.

Will the fall of a great empire and the rise of new powers always end up with a World Wide War? You never know.

July 30, 2005 @ 1:37 pm | Comment

You better hope not!

July 30, 2005 @ 1:44 pm | Comment

Earth to Bing, Your’s is not a rising power.A malfunctioning toaster oven does not make China a World Power. Maybe in Asia, but not the world.Now,Where aaaaarre those Fortune cookies?

July 30, 2005 @ 1:48 pm | Comment

AM

You are right, China is at most a World factory.

Taiwan is, however, a veritable World powerhouse.

They are not yet a complete one, but much much more than two trading partners.

Besides, what is a superpower?

Essentially, that is defined by the manpower, resources and millitary/political/economic clout, i.e., comprehensive national strength.

There are countless examples in history on how barbarian conquered civilised. Why and how? Check youself.

Again, things always change so quick and so much, you just never know.

July 30, 2005 @ 2:05 pm | Comment

Bing, Ghana has about the same chance as China of becoming a superpower. If I lived in America I would probably believe all this China Hype.Unfortunately, I’ve seen it ALL first hand.China ain’t going anywhere. My money’s on India.

July 30, 2005 @ 8:27 pm | Comment

I disagree. China can become a superpower in she short run (a few decades), but they don’t have a solid foundation to lead on…meaning they can’t lead other countries past promises of money, markets or anything else. And once the Chinese economic engine slows, they will certainly still be powerful…I just doubt they will dominate more then themselves and their immediate neighbors. As the world starts to learn more about China, the country will need a major face-lift both culturally and aesthetically to appeal to the masses of other countries. If this is done…then we’ll see…

July 30, 2005 @ 10:04 pm | Comment

See the new post I just put up on China’s “upper hand.” It touches on your points, Thomas.

July 30, 2005 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

Don’t worry Bing, I don’t know what poontang is either.

Surely you see the humor in that remark?

July 31, 2005 @ 8:43 am | Comment

There is a reason Clinton is so beloved by Americans, just as there’s a reason Bush’s popularity is in the low 40s. Everyone loves Clinton and you can’t deal with that. Get a hold of yourself and try to hold in the hatred. Just because he succeeded and made America beloved and rich is no reason to foam at the mouth.

Richard, Richard, Richard,…

I really don’t care if people love Clinton. Hell, I like the guy now that he is out of the White House..I mean he is the most entertaining character since ..well..Robert Downey Junior, I guess. (did they ever do coke together?)

Despite your beliefs, I’m not Bush’s biggest fan. I would have much rather seen him deal with the issue of illegal immigration over the Mexican border, the kidnapping of American citizens (on American soil) by Mexican gangs, the shooting of American border patrol agents by fully armed Mexican soldiers as well as several other issues before going after Iraq.

Hell, why go several thousand miles away to fight a war when there’s one in your own back yard?

My point is (and I know you just can’t admit it), though the military action in Kosovo went as planned and the Iraq war hasn’t (if it was even planned) Iraq posed a risk to national security interests….Kosovo didn’t.

Kosovo was a military action fought for humanitarian reasons (such a liberal thing and French whining).

Clinton really had no reason to take us into Kosovo and it was a totally different situation than Iraq is. In fact, it’s basically comparing apples to oranges except that there was no justifiable reason for sending our troops there.

July 31, 2005 @ 9:01 am | Comment

We will never agree on this I’m afraid. Iraq was run by an impotent tyrant in the twilight of his crue reign. He had no weapons. He gave some gifts to suicide bomber families whose relatives blew themselves up attacking Israel — how was that a national security issue to America, in the wake of REAL threats, like Pakistan selling nukes to the highest bidders, Kim Jong Il, Saudi Arabia and Iran – a country with real weapons? The rhetoric that “the world is safer without Saddam Hussein” rings embarrassingly hollow. Was it worth the deaths of the scores of thousands, which only resulted in a new rush to join the terrorists? Was there some specific threat that Saddam posed for which you wouild give up your own life to fight, or the life of your child or spouse? I wouldn’t. I would have been the first to enlist in WWII. Not in Iraq. A total waste based on old family grudges.

Bottom line: Clinton made our lives better. Bush made them worse. And most people applaud the Kosovo mission and point to it as America at its very best, working with the global community and doing its job well. Iraq is the exact opposite and has left us disgraced, maybe for generations. All we have to show for it is higher gas prices and a big boost in profits for prosthetic limb companies.

July 31, 2005 @ 12:58 pm | Comment

Yes, actually I would. In fact, in 2003 I re-enlisted in the Marines so that I could be on the front lines, but in March of that year I sustained a knee injury on my mountain bike that prevented me from going.

You keep side-skating the main point here by reflecting on the issue of success / failure.

My point, the point I’ve been making a ll along, is that you said Bush led us into an illegal war. He didn’t and if he didn’t have the full support of Congress it couldn’t have lasted any longer than 90 days because that is the length of time that a President can commit military troops before it falls under the scrutiny of Congress.

If you don’t think rewarding the families of homicide bombers is contributing to regional instability, then you’re missing something and that falls under our national security because the rest of the world, especially the Middle-East, look to the US to solve the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. Something that is finally making progress…

You think he was a God when in fact he was just an accident that happened to get elected at the right time – enabling him to ride in on a paved road.

July 31, 2005 @ 7:23 pm | Comment

I’m willing to forget the word “illegal” and put it to the side. It’s a minor point. Thepoint is he led us into a war, legal or not, based on either monumentally bad intelligence or, more likely, a conscious pattern of lies epitomized by his BS yellowcake assertion. But even that I am willing to put aside. It was a poorly planned war. No goals were attained. All the promises of being greeted as liberators, of paying for it all with Iraq oil, of setting up a beacon of democracy — one by one, each promise was broken. And then the casualties started coming in following his idiotic strutting across the aircrafty carrier. Forget whether it was illegal. Forget whether it was justified. For sheer bungling alone, and failure to protect our troops and for aloientating so many Iraqis — for these things alone Bush ranks as our most miserable war leader ever, right alongside his Vietnam-era predecessors. Now, combine the intelligence incompetence and the charges from his own staff, like Paul O’Neil and Richard Clarke that he intended from the onset of his presidencey to invade Iraq and we have a picture not only of gross incompetency but of petty lust for vengeance, an obsessive hatred based on family feuds (much discussed in the book by former Nixon advisor Kevin Johnson, American Dynasty) and a little man who has noright being president, dragging our nation into war, which sould always be the very last resort, for nothing. Under the mantra that Iraq was linked to Al Qaeda. It was insanity. Admire it all you want, but I maintain that one day the families of those dead soldiers – even the ones who are today most supportive of our “president” – will look on their deaths almost as an act of murder, as unnecessary casualties for a trigger-happy, power-drunk idiot who conned us into a war. To hell with him.

July 31, 2005 @ 7:37 pm | Comment

You’ll get no arguments from me about this being a poorly planned war. I think that’s one of the things that gets under my skin the most.

We were welcomed as liberators to some degree when we first moved in, but thanks to poor planning things haven’t been going so well.

Unfortunately, I don’t see any other options other than seeing it through.

July 31, 2005 @ 7:55 pm | Comment

Okay, we agree on something, so let’s leave it there. I was so hopeful when we went in. You may know, I supported the warm and got into some bitter fights about it here. I stood by Bush after 911. Again, he had so much political and human capital, and he squandered it. It didn’t have to be this way. It’s like when I think what other countries could have been if only a foolish leader hadn’ty fucked up so badly. It’s not as bad as the Great Leap Backward or the Cultural Revolution. But for America, it’s right up there with the worst tragedies we’ve ever faced.

July 31, 2005 @ 8:05 pm | Comment

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