In last month 's Survey USA poll, only three of the 50 states show a majority of residents approving the job being done by George W. Bush. Those three states are Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Utah and Idaho lead the pack, with a 59% approval rating. In 42 states, a majority of Americans disapprove of the president.
Do Utah and Idaho have an intellectual edge over the rest of the country? I was unable to unearth any facts to support this supposition. Could it be the thin air in these mountain states naturally restricts the process of thought? Well, Colorado is every bit as high, and only 35% of their population approves of Dubya. Go figure!
When historians look back at the failed presidency of George W. Bush, as they will, the last week of October of this year will signal the beginning of the end for a president who successfully hid his incompetence behind the trauma of the World Trade Center bombings on 9-11, for over five years. Those days are gone, never to return.
• On October 25th, the body count of American soldiers killed in Iraq numbered 2,000.
• On October 28th, Vice President Cheney 's number one man, Lewis Libby was indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice, perjury, and false statements, causing him to resign his position.
In less than two weeks, the American people 's opinion of this administration plummeted to less than 40% approval in virtually every poll. By mid-November, his approval rating had dropped another two points, to 37%. George Gallup shows that 52% of all Americans now consider Bush to be dishonest and untrustworthy, as against 46% who still trust him. The Wall Street Journal, an always safe harbor for Mr. Bush, reported that 64% of Americans now believe that Bush 's administration "generally misleads the American public on current issues to achieve its own ends. "
Compared to his vice president, however, Bush actually fares better. Newsweek magazine shows a miserly 29% of Americans now consider Cheney to be honest and ethical. Along with Karl Rove, Cheney is the co-author of almost every word Bush has spoken over the past five years.
According to Newsweek 's Eleanor Clift, "Friends of (George Herbert Walker Bush) are blaming Cheney for usurping too much power, but that 's why they wanted him there, as a minder for the man-child who never should have been made president. " An anonymous conservative friend of Cheney 's added, "Cheney 's war is swallowing Bush 's presidency ...The cost of Iraq is everything else Bush wanted to do. "
This administration 's standard response to any critic of Bush 's war has been to launch scathing attacks upon that critic 's patriotism, in the style of Joseph McCarthy. Bolstered by a carefully selected audience in Tobyhanna, PA on Veteran 's Day, the president lashed out at critics, saying, "It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began ...These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America 's will. "
Not to be outdone, Cheney weighed in with "Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, or fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false " ...accusing critics of engaging in "revisionism of the most corrupt and shameless variety. "
Following the Democratic assault on the Senate Republicans through rule 21, a chastened Pat Roberts, (R., Kansas), and chairperson of the moribund Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed to initiate the long-stonewalled second phase of the Senate investigation into pre-war intelligence. Roberts had manipulated his majority power to focus his investigation upon only the quality of pre-war intelligence itself, and not whether it was distorted to accommodate the administration 's lust for invading Iraq. Using this majority to screen against transparency, Roberts had bullied the Senate into holding off on phase two until after the last election, to assure Mr. Bush 's victory.
Now singing a different tune, Roberts told Fox News that, "I think a lot of us would really stop and think a moment before we would ever vote for war or to go and take military action ...we don 't accept this intelligence at face value anymore ...we get into preemptive oversight and do digging in regards to our hard targets. "