Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Polls - koolaid wearing off?

From today's WashPost:

A month ago Bush's job approval rating stood at 51 percent, and virtually all of the decline since then is attributable to a drop of 7 percentage points among Republicans. Just 20 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents approve of how he is handling the presidency.

Le Mot Juste du Jour

From EJ. Dionne on touchscreen voting anomalies: "This would be about the worst moment in our history to have the Supreme Court pick the president two times in a row."

Truly no shit, sherlock.

More signs of sanity returning

From today's NYT editorial on Bush's speech:

If President Bush had been talking a year ago, after the fall of Baghdad, his speech at the Army War College last night might have sounded like a plan for moving forward. He was able to point to a new United Nations resolution being developed in consultation with American allies, not imposed in defiance of them, and to a timetable for moving Iraq toward elected self-government. He talked in general terms of expanding international involvement and stabilizing Iraq. But Mr. Bush was not starting fresh. He spoke after nearly 14 months of policy failures, none of them acknowledged by the president, which have left Iraq increasingly violent and drained Washington's credibility with the Iraqi people and the international community. They have been waiting for Mr. Bush to make a clean break with those policies. He did not do that last night. The speech reflected the fact that Mr. Bush has been backtracking lately, but he did not come close to charting the new course he needs to take. His "five steps" toward Iraqi independence were merely a recitation of the tasks ahead.


It's regrettable that this president is never going to admit any shortcomings, much less failure. That's an aspect of Mr. Bush's character that we have to live with. But we cannot live without a serious plan for doing more than just getting through the June 30 transition and then muddling along until the November elections in the United States. Mr. Bush has yet to come up with a realistic way to internationalize the military operation and to get Iraq's political groups beyond their current game of jockeying for power and into a real process of drafting a workable constitution.


The president still has a number of speeches left to deliver before June 30. We hope he will use them to come up with a more specific plan, to stop listing the things we already knew needed to be done and to explain to us how he intends to do them. An acknowledgment of past mistakes would be nice.

Memo to NYT: don't hold your breath.

Nothing like cutting to the chase:

Tom Shales, WashPost TV critic, on the speech:

"We're makin' progress," Bush said in his colloquial way. "You're makin' speeches," a skeptic might justifiably have retorted.

Scaring up recruits

Reports that inactive reservists are being threatened with Iraq if they don't re-enlist in the reserves can be found here: link.

Misc Readings

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo gives Mitch McConnell a well served set-down.

Atrios of Eschaton points to a blog that reports that Texas has reverses themselves on the previously reported ruling that Unitarians aren't a religion.

Loudoun County (my Home of Record) is on the lure for a baseball team? read this: link.


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