December 19, 2005

Bush's approval rating is back up to 47%.

See? He just needs to keep talking to us, answering his critics. Standing by silent, hoping people will notice what you've done, unfortunately, doesn't work.


downtownlad said...

Except his critics have been criticizing him for not talking to the American people for over a year now.

So I would say the critics were right.

PatCA said...

Wow, a couple more good speeches and the Dems will faint dead away.

reader_iam said...

So, downtownlad, that means what?

He shouldn't start "talking to the American" people now because he's been criticized for not talking to them?

(I would question, assuming that the "over a year now" refers to not talking as opposed to critics criticizing, the accuracy of the time frame. I mean, he has talked to us, although maybe how and about what some people thinks he should have done.)

I mean, it seems to me that if someone does something you've been wanting them to do, that should be a step forward for you. But apparently not.

By the way, I don't think that Ann's words in this post actually addresses, either way, whether she thinks the critics are right or wrong, on any specific issue or the whole array. She's silent on that point here.

What is it that you're assuming and reading in?

reader_iam said...

"NOT how," not "how".

Mark said...

Yeah, and a Hotline poll has Bush at 50% I believe. However, the new CNN/Gallup poll showed only 1 point bounce for Bush to get him to 41% approval. Also, ARG group poll has Bush at 40%, and recent NBC/Wall Street Journal has him at 39%. Zogby also has Bush at 38%, but he lost a lot of credibility. Given that, it's not surprising that there may have been a minor rise in Bush's approval, given relatively successful elections in Iraq and drop in gasoline prices.
However, polls at this stage are almost meaningless. They become to get more important around summer, when the midterm elections are closer.

Ann Althouse said...

I was critical of him for not speaking more in the past. I think he was assuming people would judge him on his acts and look critically at what his opponents said, but that was overestimating us. So, yeah, I'm critical of his overestimating us.

downtownlad said...

Reader_iam - It means that many of Bush's critics were critics because he has not been levelling with us. Why exactly are we still in Iraq? What is the exit criteria? What does "victory" mean?

He's finally trying to address these issues.


AJD said...

"He just needs to keep talking to us.."

Oh, please. Nobody watched that speech. And he needs to learn to speak before be needs to keep speaking.

You live in a dream world if you think a 47% approval rating for a President during an actual war is somehow good. It is pathetically low.

Sloanasaurus said...

Bush implied in his interview with Brit Hume that he was trying to elevate the Iraq war above partisanship, which is why he didn't respond to the baseless attacks from the media and Democrats. That strategy obviously failed as the media did not lift a finger to question lies spewed by democrats.

Democrats will hate bush until they day they die just as Americans went to their graves hating James Madison, Lincoln, and FDR. Wars have a tendency to bring out the worst in people.

reader_iam said...

Ann: That, I got. I just didn't necessarily take it as your criticizing the critics, in this particular post.

But, as always (words I try to live by): I can be wrong.. And don't I know it! (Along with everyone else in my orbit. So it goes.)

: )

Mark said...


Please. Are you serious? Bush didn't want to be partisan?! Bush politicized this war from the very beginning. I am tired of citing Andrew Card's "marketing" quote. It's outrageous of Bush to claim that he was not more vocal because he wanted to be unpartisan. I think that he's the most partisan president in history. "Uniter, not a divider." What a cruel joke!

david bennett said...

I think you misread the situation. Bush's problem wasn't leftist critics. Half of the people who were critical had supported the war and were hopeful.

Many of them were tired of the trivialization of debate by left and right and felt Bush was believing the propaganda.

I think many became more hopeful because he stopped framing things in this simplistic model. He admirtted that most of the insurgency was local, that progress was uneven and that tens of thousands of Iraqis had died.

This and other decisions have convinced people that we might be seriously facing the problems and tryin to solve them. Even Colonel Lang has some warm words:

It is the ignoring of critics like Generala Zinni and Odom, pretending that all concern came from the M. Mooores that frustrated many of us. Even Senator Clinton who risked much to support the effort was classed with Ted Kennedy. The parodying of serious criticism for partisan game was wrong.

Bush seems to be moving away from it.

Sloanasaurus said...

Mark, you think Bush is the "most" everything. Your hatred of him is so obvious in everything that you write, I am surprised your head hasn't blown off. You can't help yourself from hating him. It's hilarious...the emperor would be pleased with you.

And to say Bush is the most partisan? Go read a book on American history and report back.

Mark said...


I don't hate Bush. I hate his policies. And I suggest that your arrogant directions to go read books on American history are pretentious and don't help your argument. You, on the contrary, seem to invent any possible justification to support whatever Bush's doing. I submit that at least in the XXth century no President has been as nakedly partisan as this one.

Sloanasaurus said...

The democrats are the partisan ones. The Senate and house democrats are the most obstructionist since the civil war. They are the ones filibustering judges and threatening to surrender. Now they are threatening to filibuster a defense bill becuase it includes the ANWR amendment. Even though the ANWR amendment recently passed in the Senate as a stand alone amendment. Now they are filbustering the patriot act, an act that has majorty support in both houses an act that passed with 99 votes only 4 years ago. Can't they accept an election? They hold a press conference every day to explain why they think Bush lied or cheated or defrauded etc...they compare American soliders to Nazi's and Saddam.

Bush is unfortunate that he has to deal with such rabble.

Who are the partisans?

Mark said...


Don't you see that for every issue you bring up Bush has been even more partisan than Democrats? You basically proved my point, so thanks.

Obstructionist? Talk about ramming through an extreme agenda when the country is very narrowly divided.

Filibusteribg judges? Yes, the most extreme ones. 95%+ are confirmed, which is unlike what Republicans did to Clinton's nominees.

Threatening to surrender? Ridiculous on its face.

ANWR in defense bill? The dirtiest political trick; for all the macho talk of supporting the troops, Republicans are holding the troops hostage by inserting a very controversial and completely irrelevant to the defense appropriations bill issue. Why? Because enough moderate Republicans rebelled in the House. Shame.

Filibustering Patriot Act? Because Bush and the House Republicans rejected a version which was unanimously passed by the Senate and which contained very modest safeguards on civil liberties. Very modest! That's why 4 Republicans and 43 Democrats demand that these modest safeguards be preserved. And Bush, engaging in the very partisanship you decry, holds the Patriot Act hostage, hoping to blame Democrats in the midterms. How is it not a partisanship?

Comparing American soldiers to Nazis or Saddamists? Only in some Republican heads.

EddieP said...

I think Bush was trying to walk a fine line. If he responded to every attack, he would be on TV everyday defending himself. That would get old real quick. On the other hand he hasn't been as upfront with us as he might have been.

If he had a somewhat neutral press actually seeking information instead of a hostile, partisan one, he might be more open. Some of the questions today were the same old gotchas the press pulls on him every time. He needed some successes under his belt and when he got them he was ready to roll.

I think we'll be seeing more of him in the future. I love this man and what he is doing to restore the tarnished image of America he inherited from his predecessor.

Henry said...

Most partisan president in history?

I think maybe Abraham Lincoln. Outside of the civil war, maybe Andrew Jackson. Good company.

Most partisan president in the XXth century? How about Reagan. Or FDR.

Bush, however, is definitely the most partisan president of the XXIst century.

Whatever the hell that means.

Sloanasaurus said...

Mark, cite me a specific example where Bush has been partisan solely for political reasons. The examples you give are not good examples.

You talk about the extreme agenda? What about the Bush agenda is extreme? I don't understand this. Is it the war in Iraq where 25 Democratic Senators supported?

Filbustering judges? I don't recall republicans filibustering judges. Yet you imply they did. Remember, Justice Ginsberg, the former head lawyer for the ACLU was allowed a vote in the US Senate and was overwhelmingly supported because she appeared qualified. Would Democrats allow a vote to the chief lawyer for "Focus on the Family" if he or she were nominated? That to me is the conservative alternative to ginsberg.

ANWR in the defense bill? How is that "dirty" when ANWR has been specifically voted on and already passed the Senate just last month (See Senate Roll Call Vote 288) It's in the defense bill because of a compromise between house and senate conferees. At this point both houses have voted in favor of it. How does this matter impune partisanship on Bush?

The Patriot act that was just filibustered was a compromise between the House and Senate Conferees. The Senate Democrats filibustered. Why are they filibustering the bill? They can cite a single instance of abuse they claim to be protecting?

Too Many Jims said...

His approval ratings had better go up. With the completion of the recent elections in Iraq there are only two forseeable positive PR events left in Iraq: the conviction of Saddam and the installation of the new government. And the installation of the new government will only be a positive PR event if the PM is wearing a suit rather than a robe and Islamic head wear.

While there will be many other "successes" in Iraq, they will be overshadowed by bombings and killings. Success will not be fast. If American troops aren't coming home in 6 to 9 months, his approval ratings will be even below they were last month.

Sloanasaurus said...

"....If American troops aren't coming home in 6 to 9 months, his approval ratings will be even below they were last month...."

Oh the negativity! The despair! I can't wait to hear the critics... "Bush is only bringing troops home for political reasons..."

Too Many Jims said...


I wasn't trying to express negativity nor despair. I was describing things as I think they are and will be.

Personally, I think our troops need to be there for several years if we are to achieve the success that our investment deserves because nation building (particular for democracies) takes time. Unfortunately, I do not think public support for that either in this country or in Iraq will allow us to stay for the requisite amount of time.

AJD said...

Bubble burst a day later:

Tuesday, December 20, 2005; Posted: 12:56 a.m. EST (05:56 GMT)

CNN -- President Bush's approval ratings do not appear to have changed significantly, despite a number of recent speeches he's given to shore up public support for the war in Iraq and its historic elections on Thursday.

A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll conducted over the weekend found his approval rating stood at 41 percent, while more than half, or 56 percent, disapprove of how the president is handling his job. A majority, or 52 percent, say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, and 61 percent say they disapprove of how he is handling Iraq specifically. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

PatCA said...

From another observer, you do seem a bit over the top. Bush is always the "worst" whatever, and every post strives to prove that what you see is not what you get. Bush's policies resemble more LBJ than Hitler--and I lived through LBJ.

As for slurring the troops, how about Durbin's and Kerry's remarks? People are tired of bilious sound bytes from these guys--what exactly are the policies of the 'loyal' opposition?

knoxgirl said...

"What does "victory" mean?"


Sloanasaurus said...

"....A majority, or 52 percent, say it was a mistake to send troops to Iraq, and 61 percent say they disapprove of how he is handling Iraq specifically...."

Funny that in 1952 some 75% of the American public said sending troops to Korea was a mistake. Yet today, 75% said it was worth it.

It's funny how victory changes peoples minds.

AJ Lynch said...

Well said Ann. Actually it's good career advice too.

brylin said...

Maybe Ann Richards? Nope. Maybe Al Gore? Nope. Maybe John Kerry? Nope.

Misunderestimation gone wild!

Bush's popularity low? Compared to what? Anyone looked at the Dems popularity lately?

From today's Washington Post (see the last paragraph):

"Americans still express doubts about aspects of Bush's handling of Iraq. Sixty percent said they do not believe he has adequately explained why the United States is in Iraq, and almost the same percentage said the administration does not have a clear plan for success there. But even more Americans (74 percent) said the Democrats in Congress do not have a plan either."

Bush is ahead of the Dems by 14 points!

DJ Ninja said...

Ms. Althouse--it seems that Bruce Reed at Slate disagrees with you--see

brylin said...

DJ Ninja: Surprise, surprise. Clinton's former domestic policy advisor and current president of the Democratic Leadership Council Bruce Reed misunderestimates Bush.

You didn't disclose to us that he is a partisan! And we were discussing objective scientific polling.

But perhaps I'm mistaken. Maybe you're referring to this Bruce Reed?

rain_rain said...

"Standing by silent, hoping people will notice what you've done...?"

Funny, I would have described his strategy as "Making a lot of irrelevant noise to divert attention, hoping people won't notice what you've done."

I'm glad someone (I doubt it was Bush himself) has decided that the strategy needed changing. Muzzle Cheney, start taking unscripted questions at public appearances, and admit there are problems, or at least issues. How hard was that? It's what he should have been doing for the past three years.

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