Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Dead Cat Splat

I suspect this is the beginning of the end for whatever small chance Bush had for a legacy:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Opposition to the Iraq war has climbed to a record high and President George W. Bush's approval rating dropped to a new low amid growing dissent from members of his own Republican party over his war strategy, according to a new USAToday/Gallup poll.
Which is a slightly misleading statement, since in truth, the opposition from within the Republican party is...
According to the report, nearly four in 10 Republicans cited the immigration debate, which ended in defeat for Bush's overhaul proposal, as the reason for losing confidence in him.
Mind you, this poll was taken well after the Libby commutation occured, something the White House felt would shore up his standing with the Republican base. His approval ratings amongst Republicans had never been below 80% until this poll, where it dropped dramatically to 62%.

So where does he go from here? Well, "jail", in my opinion, but that's not likely to happen. Even Nixon never seriously faced jail time.

I mentioned last March that the pieces were in place for Bush to simply run out the clock. Events over the weekend have strengthened my belief that this is the only option left to him, barring another terrorist strike (which carries its own baggage of failure, should it occur). Bush has refused to let Congress have access to his aides, citing executive privilege, and of course, with essentially three of the SCOTUS justices Bush appointees (Thomas was Daddy's) he stands a good chance of prevailing. Or maybe not. Even in poker, there's no such thing as a sure thing. You calculate your risks and hope for the best.

We're also already seeing trial balloons regarding concessions made on issues that anger the American people: the Iraq invasion, Guantanamo, even Alberto Gonzales may be on the negotiating table. Bush has made a particular effort to reach out to Democrats lately, inviting them to bipartisan private dinners at the White House. Given the disturbing news coming out of Iraq that the government has failed to hit even one benchmark, six months after the surge, Bush has no place to run, no place to hide, despite the tortured arguments of Dick Cheney that he is neither executive nor legislative branch, leaving Bush a temporary place to stash his hoard of political capital.

Oh well...he could always move to Libya...