Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Hardcore Quarter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deepening unhappiness with President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress soured the mood of Americans and sent Bush's approval rating to another record low this month, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, also fell from 98.8 to 96 -- the second consecutive month it has dropped. The number of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track jumped four points to 66 percent.

Bush's job approval rating fell to 24 percent from last month's record low for a Zogby poll of 29 percent. A paltry 11 percent gave Congress a positive grade, tying last month's record low.
Well, that's good news for Congress...apparently, as many people who are going to blame Congress for the nation's problems have already blamed them *snark*

Bush's approval drop seems to be tied to the veto of S-CHIP legislation, which explains why the Republican right wing attempts to smear a twelve year old (and now a TWO year old! I thought Republicans were against killing fetuses?) failed so miserably.

With Bush's depature a known quantity, and the overwhelming "throw the bums" out mentality in the nation, can we truly expect to see a Democratic Congress AND President?

Short answer, yes. Long answer, yer damned right!

While a third party effort (sorry, folks, Gore has said no. Again.) for the Presidency could conceivably gain some traction this time around, just as it did after the last Bush presidency, it's highly unlikely a rabble effort like that would do anything except solidify the Presidency for Hillary Clinton, which is pretty much a foregone conclusion as it stands.

Further, a grass roots movement to install third party candidates in Congress might garner a few maverick districts (much like Bernie Sanders in Vermont), but these mavericks would likely end up caucusing with Democrats anyway, so what's the point?

Duverger's Law is intact, for at least one more election cycle.

I can forsee no scenario which unfolds where anybody BUT a Democrat (and frankly, anybody but Hillary Clinton) ends up as President and any party BUT the Democrats control a (now-unnecessary) veto-proof Congress. The forces of history are stacked high against Republicans (which is likely why some half dozen have announced their retirement from Congress with next year's election), and even higher against an insurgent candidacy.

24% is hardly a base anymore, it's more of a foolish consistency, a shadow of cognitive dissonance. Sadly, that 24% who still support Bush, even at this late date, is still a bigger number than currently support any Republican candidate to replace him.

That, among all the numbers and wonkitude I've thrown out here, may be the saddest commentary of all on the 2008 Presidential Elections.