Friday, January 14, 2005

Where does Bush find his support?
Read this story in the Times from yesterday, in which Bush pushes a new education initiative based on, you guessed it, more testing. This time, he promises, it will be funded. He also took the time to tout his social security initiative, trying to convince kids that the "crisis" course we're on will leave them with no retirement if we don't let them put some of it in the stock market right away.

But there's no support. He's lost Kennedy, of course, on the education issue--where he had his support in term #1. He lost the 16-year-old they interviewed who thought that national education proposals didn't jive jibe (yes, jibe! My mistake. More on that later) with what he had just learned in government class. And he lost the Virginia Senator, Republican Allen. The social security part of the story is seasoned with a grumbling Republican congressman who clearly wishes the President would use his political capital on some other issue.

Plus, you can hardly find anyone, on either side of the aisle, saying anything good about Iraq. Even Republicans are pushing the quiet retreat strategy. Is there much of anyone on his side on really anything, except for the usual leadership suspects? And yet his approval rating stays around 50%. I'm confused as to how it is even that high.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid, who I still do not like as Senate leader, seems to have the Democratic response team up and running. And Rahm Emanuel, picked to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, is being applauded as a good choice. Until we get some victories, in legislation, in judicial appointments, and then in elections, it won't mean squat. But the pathway there would seem to at least have an opening.

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