The Forgotten Reason Behind Bush's Unpopularity

By: Inoljt,

Memory fades quickly in politics; less than a year ago George W. Bush was president, and already the man is halfway forgotten (something due in no small part to Bush's self-enforced media silence).

Many, of course, remember that former President George W. Bush became distinctly unpopular during his second term. Liberals will explain this as a product of Mr. Bush's stance on Iraq, civil liberties, the environment everything. Conservatives will point to his "betrayal of the cause" - the deficits and his moderate stance on immigration.

The average person might, if asked, talk about Bush's poor handling of the Iraq War and the economy's weak performance during his term.

These explanations all ring true enough. But there is a giant element which they do not account for. Nobody talks about this thing - this event. It is only when one reads George W. Bush's wikipedia article, that one goes - "Ah! I remember that. He really failed on that."
More below.

Think back to 2005. President George W. Bush has recently won a close re-election. The president has long ago lost the support of the America intelligentsia and the left (along with the world). But, according to polls, half the country still supports him; his approval ratings are in the high 40s.

It is late August now, and reports are coming in of a hurricane headed directly at a major American city. Scientists name it Katrina.

I think you can finish the story - of how the levees fell, of Mike Brown and "heck of a job", of the death of an American city and how the word "incompetence" became permanently associated with Bush's administration.

Hurricane Katrine constituted a tipping point from which Bush's presidency never recovered. It summed up all of Bush's weaknesses and failures in one illuminating moment. After that momentous failure, Bush's approval ratings never again entered positive territory; he spent the remainder of his second term a premature lame duck, especially after Democrats retook control of Congress.

That is fairly ironic, because in many ways the man made far better decisions in his last four years.

Tags: George W. Bush, Hurrican Katrina, Politics, second term, tipping point (all tags)



Re: The Forgotten Reason

People have forgotten this?!

by Steve M 2009-12-19 03:57PM | 0 recs
I think so.

Good point, author.

by chrisblask 2009-12-19 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I think so.

I remember Katrina as the turning point when ordinary folk, rather than merely the right-wing base - lost faith in Bush.

Hellofa job Brownie!

by vecky 2009-12-19 10:53PM | 0 recs
this diary provides a convenient excuse

to link to my all-time favorite rant by Steve Gilliard: We Told You So (from September 3, 2005).

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-20 04:23AM | 0 recs


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