Beware of Rightbloggers bearing gifts

It is the consensus of the Right Blogisphere (*), (**), (***) that:

1. The Democrats are acting suicidally by making personal attacks on a personally popular president.

2. The public doesn’t care about Weapons of Mass Destruction.

3. Trying to kick up a big fuss about sixteen words is futile.

Well, folks, thanks for all the good advice and stuff, but … ummmmmm…..

President George W. Bush’s job performance rating has slipped to 53% positive, his lowest since the terrorist attacks in 2001, according to a poll of 1,004 likely U.S. voters by Zogby International. His negative rating reached 46%, just under his pre-9/11 unfavorable.

Voters rate only President Bush’s performance in the war on terrorism positively, 59% – 40%. Opinion is split on foreign policy, 49% positive compared to 50% negative. His performance on health care is rated 36% positive, 61% negative; the environment, 31% positive, 65% negative; taxes, 45% positive, 54% negative; and jobs and the economy, 33% positive, 66% negative.

For the first time, more likely voters (47%) say it’s time for someone new in the White House, compared to 46% who said the President deserves to be re-elected.

“What has been propping up the President in the past few months is his personal favorability rating. To me, what is most ominous is this alone has slipped 9 points in the past month. If he cannot count on a large majority of Americans to like him personally, this could spell doom for his re-election hopes because he has little support for his overall performance and how he is rated on the issues.”

I remember reading how the attacks on Clinton were suicidal, too. Right. The Republicans suicided themselves into complete control of the Federal government.

If I had my wish, elections would be fought more on issues and less on character (not that either of those can be sensibly discussed in the course of a campaign). But my wishes and what is the case are two separate matters.

Bush, by campaigning on “honesty and integrity,” set himself up. Now it’s up to his opponents to knock him down. The press appears ready, at long last, to help.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: