Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poll: 75% glad Bush is done.

He may have decided that we are all too thick to judge his time in office and insisted that it will be for future historians to work out whether he was a good or a bad president, but already most Americans are expressing their joy that the days of the Bush administration are coming to close.

A new national poll suggests that three out of four Americans feel President Bush's departure from office is coming not a moment too soon.

Seventy-five percent of those questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday said they're glad Bush is going; 23 percent indicated they'll miss him.

"Earlier this year, Bush scored some of the lowest presidential approval ratings we've seen in half a century, so it's understandable that the public is eager for a new president to step in," said Keating Holland, CNN polling director.

CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider added, "As President Bush prepares to leave office, the American public has a parting thought: Good riddance. At least that's the way three-quarters feel."
And that's a feeling that is replicated all over the planet. The mixture of arrogance, complacency and stunning incompetence which have defined the Bush White House have been loathed everywhere.

The drop in US popularity across the globe has been almost unprecedented. Indeed, it's been strange, sitting outside the US, to watch how long it has taken many Americans to come to the same realisation as the rest of the planet. That's why people outside the US were so shocked when America re-elected him.

Now, however, it appears that the majority of Americans simply want the guy to go to Hell.

The poll indicates that Bush compares poorly with his presidential predecessors, with 28 percent saying that he's the worst ever. Forty percent rate Bush's presidency as poor, and 31 percent say he's been a good president.

Only a third of those polled said they want Bush to remain active in public life after he leaves the White House. That 33 percent figure is 22 points lower than those in 2001 who wanted Bill Clinton to retain a public role.

That's extraordinary. More than two thirds of Americans don't want him to have any public role once he leaves office, they simply want him to bugger off into the sunset.

"It's been like a failed marriage," Schneider said.

"Things started out well. When President Bush first took office in 2001, more than 60 percent saw him as strong and decisive. That impression was confirmed after the September 11th attacks. The public still saw Bush as strong and decisive when he took office a second time in 2005.

"But no more. The public has completely lost confidence in this president," Schneider said.

Bush has dropped on a number of measures, but possibly the biggest is that only 20 percent say he inspires confidence, Holland said.

"That's an important figure when the country is facing its biggest economic crisis in a generation," he added.

And one of the main reasons that Bush is rejected is because of his utter failure to fulfill his campaign promise "to be a uniter and not a divider". I find it hard to think of any president who was more partisan than Bush and who did less to unify.

"The vast majority of Americans believe he betrayed his promise to unite the country," Schneider said. "He took a country that was divided under President Clinton and he divided it worse."

Only 27 percent of those questioned in the poll approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president; 72 percent disapprove.

"President Bush's job approval rating has been at or below freezing since the beginning of the year," Schneider said. "The current 27 percent approval rating is one of the lowest ratings for any president, ever."
Bush has always claimed that he had no interest in opinion polls, which was simply his way of justifying pushing through a radical right wing agenda for which there was no popular mandate.

The end result has almost crippled the Republican movement, which will now fracture further with the moderates hoping to reign back their party's propensity for a style of governing which took the US way outside of international norms and the rule of law; and the Malkin wing of the party, which believes that the Republicans lost because McCain was not right wing enough.

If he's crippled their party for a decade it will still be little compensation for the havoc he has caused or for the tens of thousands of innocent people who are dead because this intellectual pygmy was ever allowed to hold the highest office in the world.

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