Tuesday, May 08, 2007

political odds & ends

  • So according to Newsweek 28% of people still think Dubya's doing a heckuva job. Even now. Yikes. On the other hand, 39% of voters surveyed want him impeached. I'm not a big fan of purely symbolic actions, myself, but I still have to take that as an encouraging sign.

    Bush's numbers were hanging on in the low 30's for quite a while, so there must've been a recent something that was the last straw for another 3-4% of the population. That actually puzzles me quite a bit. They stood by the guy after Katrina, after four years of Mission Accomplished, after Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo and wiretaps, and cronies galore, and now they've come to the last straw. I really thought the remaining 30-some percent were all bitter-enders, diehard flat-earthers who will forever worship the ground Bush walks on, no matter what. I really figured the last clue train had left the station, but it looks like a few folks caught the redeye. Well, welcome aboard. Better late than never, I guess.

    The really fun bit about the polls is that Bush is still overwhelmingly popular among registered Republicans. It's just that there are far fewer registered Republicans than there once were. People who don't buy the party line are walking away from the party entirely, which may mean we're seeing a longer-term shift in allegiances. This also raises the odds that the remaining faithful will nominate a complete raving whackjob next year, and they'll be absolutely astonished when the rest of the country doesn't want to drink the Kool-Aid.

  • The Wolfie circus continues to entertain. It's fun to watch Bush, Cheney, and friends expending all that political capital on behalf of various bungling cronies. Everything's the Alamo with those guys anymore. All apparatchiks must be defended to the last, no matter how crooked or incompetent they are, because to do otherwise is a sign of weakness, the terrorists win, etc.

    In this case, it appears they might manage to keep Wolfie employed through January 2009, albeit to the great detriment of the World Bank as a whole. Since I'm not a big fan of the World Bank and IMF, this would actually be a positive outcome, as satisfying as it might be to see Wolfie get his walking papers.

  • The US media coverage of the French presidential election couldn't have been more predictable. Time's take: "A 'Pro-American' French President?". Seems like we're always being encouraged to root for far-right candidates in other countries' elections, on the vague grounds that they're friendly and "pro-American". Actually we're even told to root for dictators on those grounds (i.e. Musharraf). Do we really have no other standards for evaluating world leaders? Are we really so insecure and needy that the praise we get from the world's petty autocrats and assorted wingnuts really means something to us? That's.... awful.

  • Someone refresh my memory, has political analysis in this country always been this boneheaded? Apparently the French election result proves that Hillary's doomed too, just like Segolene Royal. You know, because both candidates are female.

    This is what passes for serious debate these days. Sure, it makes no logical sense whatsoever, and nobody's even trying to locate supporting evidence for it. But it's an extremely simple notion, easily grasped by extremely simple people, which makes it great fodder for the screaming-head cable shows.

  • Closer to home, the political saga in Gold Hill, OR continues. Chaotic council meetings, a disputed recall election that might end in a tie, a completely botched election a few years back, and on, and on. You just can't make this stuff up.

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