My friend is a smug asshole. He likes to pick fights, masking his light-weight intellect with jarring sarcasm and wit. Here is why my friend is wrong about George Bush not caring about his sagging popularity.
Bush might not care about his popularity on a personal level. He probably goes to bed comforting himself on his inner strength and his unshakable moral center. Unfortunately, Bush isn't just the head of the Nation, he is also the head of, and the most visible representation of, the Republican Party. Those bearing the Republican brand are immediately associated with Bush, the War in Iraq and the varied scandals plaguing high-ranking Republicans. Like it or not, its one big Republican brush that paints them all.
As a result, Bush's agenda is stalled. Bush might sleep well with his moral center unswayed, but suburban Republicans in the outskirts of Philadelphia or New York, highly educated rich white moderates, don't like the Jesus bull-shit or the War in Iraq. Therein lies the vaunted 20% that Bush has lost since his re-election. At 40%, Bush is almost to the point that congressional Republicans in blue states dont want Bush campaigning on their behalf. There are lots of Republicans in suburban districts quietly distancing themselves from Bush or hiding under the radar, in places like New York, Philadelphia and Conneticut. They're not gonna stick their necks out for him because they don't want to be thrown to the curb. They're not going to advocate his agenda in Congress. Not popular? Not effective.
Consider the hallmark of this Presidential Campaign, social security reform. Bush can't even get it to the floor in Congress. Reference the Gang of 14. He has lost control of Congress inspite of his party's majorities in both houses. And reference his inability to get a bona-fide conservative on the court in the mould of his favored Thomas or Scalia. Instead he picks a guy that no one really knows... a guy with few rulings and even fewer pegged ideologies. Bush had to pick someone palatable to everyone because he doesn't have any power left.
I love a blog. You can't yell over me here, can you, you smug asshole.