December 17, 2003

More Bad News For Dean

More Bad News For Dean

When Saddam was captured I told London acquaintances that I expected Dubya to get a five point boost in his approval ratings. It appears that I may have lowballed Dubya's boost in the polls a bit:

"In the most apparent demonstration of the shift, 47 percent of respondents said the war was going well for the United States in the poll that ended Saturday night. That number jumped to 64 percent in the second poll. Before the weekend, 47 percent of Americans disapproved of the way Mr. Bush was handling foreign policy, the worst rating of his presidency. After the weekend, that number had slid to 38 percent.

Mr. Bush's approval rating jumped to 58 percent after Mr. Hussein was captured, from 52 percent, and the number of Americans who disapproved of his performance fell to 33 percent, from 40 percent."

Now if we could just get our hands on UBL...I think, in downtown Manhattan alone, that might be worth another 1 million votes for the President. Best of luck finding this scum in his hole.

Note: The NYT, of course, did its best to pour some cold water on the story. The journalist was suprised that, "even" with regard to the economy, Bush's approval ratings were on an upward tick (why so surprised at the polling data, as a variety of economic indicators have been on the mend of late?)

And the intrepid Times correspondent finds a Republican who is eager to use the "V" word:

"Michael Grimaldi, 34, a Republican who is an ambulance dispatcher from Fairfield, N.Y., predicted that the capture of Mr. Hussein would result in a decrease in the bombings in Iraq. But Mr. Grimaldi said he was concerned that the United States was now stuck there.

"It seems to me that another Vietnam is happening," he said. "I'm just hoping that since we've caught him, we can get our soldiers back home and let them deal with their problems on their own."

And there is an odd focus on the whole "should Bush attend Iraq war dead funerals issue?"

Short answer: no. He can't attend all, and families so aggrieved should be able to mourn in private away from the press circus that accompanies the President's movements.

Why is this so hard for those pounding the lectern demanding that Dubya go to each and every funeral to understand?

Probably because it's another convenient visceral anti-Bush bromide to toss out.

Still, the Times ends the article with the key takeaway--that some independents (perhaps Sullivan's so-called 9/11 Republicans) are veering back towards Bush:

"Kim Baatz, 25, an independent voter from Sheldon, La., said in a follow-up interview that her opinion of Mr. Bush had shifted because of the success in Iraq this weekend.

"I was leaning away from approval until the capture because I felt like the progress in Iraq was going nowhere; there were so many of our military men getting killed," Ms. Baatz said, adding, "One of the goals has been achieved."

Close presidential elections are always won in the center. So this is very, very good news for Bush. No wonder the Indymedia crowd is so worried (in an astonishing display of their twisted, noxious priorities) that we may capture UBL.

Barring a) a major terror attack in the homeland that Dubya manifestly could have prevented, b) a massive economic meltdown, c) a series of marine Beirut marine barracks style bombings moving Iraq casualties into the 1,500-2,000 zone, or d) some terrible Rumsfeldian "unknown unknown"--Dubya, especially with UBL in hand, would be very, very hard to beat in '04.

Election politics aside, of course, and while capturing these individuals is of huge import and provides a major psychological boost, neither Saddam or UBL's (prospective) capture mean, by a long shot, that the war on terror is close to being won. The public, of course, rightly rewards the symbolism of such apprehensions. And, for my part at least, I probably can't overstate the joy that UBL's arrest or death would cause for me (a good deal more than Saddam's, it must be said).

But I'm not in the school of thought that thinks that merely decapitating the snake will kill off al-Q or all resistance in Iraq. More soon.

Posted by Gregory at December 17, 2003 08:50 AM
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