Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Bush’s poll numbers and the liberal media

Bush’s poll numbers are down, according to this Washington Post-ABC News poll. You can look at the details yourself, but I just want to point to two things. First, such poll numbers some eight months before the election are not that important. Indeed, it is arguably the case that given the two month-plus hammering Bush has taken from the Demos, these numbers are not too bad. Also, if you are going to be down, now is a good time, not September. Two, these numbers also reflect the pounding that the administration has been taking from the press. With my trusty XM radio I get a chance to listen a lot to CNN and I can tell you that--in my humble opinion--CNN’s attacks on the President are relentless and naked. This compares favorably to the 1980’s when, in the midst of a great economic boom, Dan Rather of CBS would--every single night of the week--talk about how bad things are, etc. It was amazing, and amazingly stupid, and, in the end, the American people weren’t fooled. It is the same now. The economy is on a roll, yet not enough jobs are being created, says CNN; sure the Iraqis just signed an amazing constitution, but bombs are going off, they’re really looking for security, not freedom, says our Socratic CNN reporter; Kerry is campiagning in Texas, Bush is meeting with the president of Mexico, so, of course, CNN says that Bush is also campaigning in Texas. It goes on. I am betting that the American people are much smarter than these fools think. So don’t panic.

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You can look at the details yourself, but I just want to point to two things. First, it is arguably the case that given the two month-plus hammering Bush has taken from the Demos, these numbers are not too bad. Two, these numbers also reflect the pounding that the administration has been taking from the press.

The Demos and the press? What’s the difference? The two feed on bad news (which is good news for them, both in terms of profit and votes). Unfortunately, as has been the case so far (at least domestically), this has the effect of driving conservatives to the left. It is sad, but true, that conservative Beltway-types fear WaPo and NYT much more than they fear their own base. While I do not doubt that Bush, like Reagan did, will "stay the course" wrt WOT and foreign policy, but the price on the homefront could prove nasty in almost the reverse way that it undid Johnson in the sixties. LBJ’s foreign policy hubris cost him dearly with his liberal base, who were losing their nerve wrt the Cold War. Bush, in seeking to silence (or create a new realigned base) may very well go overboard on the domestic stuff.

The rumblings are already being heard. And that will be the big story (not reported by the mainstream press of course) during this campaign season: how much farther to the left will Bush go to win?

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