The President of the United States straightened his tie, smoothed his lapel, and at the signal strode smoothly down the aisle to the podium to face the assembled houses of Congress, to deliver the State of the Union Address. Polls showed President Bush's approval rating at an all-time high between 92 and 93 percent approval, and the packed chamber roared with applause and cheers as the various Senators and Representatives vied to prove that they were among the closest to the nation's champion.
But a year and a half later, President G.H.W. Bush barely cleared 37% of the Popular Vote, losing his bid for re-election to a dishonest con man from Arkansas. If there is any doubt about the sheer foolishness of connecting Job Approval of a moment to election results, that piece of history should slap you awake. Job Approval numbers are nothing more than a barometer of the moment, and not of the man. Anyone who believes that low Job Approval numbers, polled from people who in many cases are not even asked if they are registered to vote, are somehow indicative of the President's qualifications and credibility, is either someone who has been lied to or who wants to perpetuate that fraud. George Walker Bush is not running for another term anyway, so whatever you think of the Job Approval numbers, you are wrong to pay them any more attention than you do a single day's hockey scores.
The MSM is playing up the story of the low numbers, of course. Not much else they can really use against the President, actually. If a reporter was honest, they'd have to let go of trying to paint President Bush with every blunder by a local or state official, or the continuing soap opera which is Congress. And on the most important issues - Iraq, Terrorism, Taxes, Judges - Bush has done very well indeed, something no MSM reporter wants to have anyone notice. This is because, no surprise, the MSM is still working hard to get the Democrats back in power, and the Democrats know the secret to that is to get the President cut off from his party. This was one of the secrets to FDR's success; he argued with Congress on many issues, but never deserted his party, and he made sure his party never deserted him. This created the sense of the Democratic Party as the governing party during his terms, and left the Republican Party as the outside. When Harry Truman became President, the Democrats no longer felt bound to support him, and he nearly lost in 1948, and did lose support to such a degree that he chose not to run in 1952. The defection of Democrats from Truman took a little while to have their effect, but it led to the loss of the White House and Congress to the Republicans. Only because the Republicans also failed to stand with President Eisenhower, did the door open for the Democrats to reclaim both prizes.
But the Democrats did not learn the lesson at that time. By 1968, the Democratic Party was a fractious mess, with no allegiance by leading Donks to anyone but themselves. A bold opportunity through the Civil Rights Act, had instead set North Democrat against South Democrat, and Vietnam set East against West, Old against Young. Richard Nixon was able to claim the White House in 1968 with just 43% of the Popular Vote, in some part because the Democrats refused to unify at any cost. Nixon won a thorough landslide in 1972, yet by 1973 his party had already cast him aside, some for being too conservative, others for being not conservative enough, and when the Democrats laid Watergate at his door, no defense was made for him. We may argue in another place whether he should have been defended, but it should be understood that many abandoned him not on principle, but on politics.
Having found themselves content to build little fiefdoms instead of a national party, the Republicans were hopelessly divided by 1976, and many refused to support President Ford's campaign, preferring to see the Democrat win than a Republican they could not dictate terms to. Then as now, when the Carter Administration began to erode the military, make a mockery of our international doctrines, and corrode the foundation of our economic functions, these stalwarts refused to accept the responsibility their defection had caused, and instead tried to place the blame on those in the Republican Party who had tried to do the right thing; cowardice is the hallmark of the fanatic. And these same self-pronounced rulers of the Republican Party tried to do the same thing to Reagan in 1986, when they became unhappy with practical proposals and decided they'd rather derail the President and get no loaf but keep their own bitter pride, than get half a loaf and have to live in the real world. This not only weakened the Republican power in government, but diluted confidence in the Republican Party, which made Democrats look more attractive to most Americans.
A clear example of how My-Way-Only Republicans could poison their own well was the Administration of G.H.W. Bush. Elected in 1988, he chose to press forward with policies very much like those of Reagan. But because they were not 100% hard-line, certain leaders and spokesman for the Right refused to support him, and the party fractured. Good governance was abandoned, because the President attempted to build agreement rather than play personal destruction. By the spring of 1992, Republicans had allowed a good economy to be falsely portrayed as a weak one, a mild recession to be compared to the Great Depression, and no major Republican stood with the President at any time on any issue, even though a good number of them had depended on G.H.W. Bush for their own political success in years before. Even Ronald Reagan could not sway the rabid radicals to do the right thing, and in the fall they preferred insolence to meeting their responsibility to vote. The result was eight years of Clintons, with military, moral, and judicial decay on a scale which should have been anticipated, but which again the radicals refused to acknowledge as the bitter harvest of their own spite.
Here in 2006, the utter stupidity of the Rabies wing of the Republican Party is more pronounced than ever. The repeated tactics of the Left are no different than before, yet again these fools prefer to blame their leader instead of the enemy. They again refuse to point out the success which Republican leadership has brought, because it might cast some honor on a man who deserves it, but they will not abide by their duty. They refuse to highlight the scale of our victories in the Middle East, preferring to let the enemy's lies stand than make Dubya look good. They refuse to work on functional solutions, preferring to do nothing and blame the President for their own failure. Nothing, to them, is the fault of Congress; nothing is the fault of their deliberate insult of a man two-thirds of a hundred million people chose as the leader of the party and the nation; nothing is their responsibility. They openly talk about how giving power to the Democrats might somehow be desirable. A little strychnine for the country, a bullet in the head, no problem they say. Such talk is treasonous, but all too common.
I used to wonder why the Republican Party was not the majority party in America. We are the party of reform, or cutting taxes, of defending Americans and our doctrines of liberty. We are the party which stands for all races, both sexes, all ages and places, and we do not need token spokesmen to cast a fake image for us. But I see that whenever a Republican President accomplishes something and the party gains from his work, many in the party are made jealous and covetous, and they would rather diminish the party and sully the nation itself than give up the chance to steal away power for their own right. We see, all too often, men like Trent Lott and John McCain, men capable of doing the right thing only when they see a large bonus for themselves in it, but who cannot find it within themselves to support a leader, no matter how right he may be on a matter. We see men like Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist, well-meaning as they seem, who will run from a fight rather than stand by a bold leader, no matter how true his voice. Until the majority of us make plain to Congressmen and Senators that our President speaks with authority, and that the GOP must follow their leaders instead of aiming knives for his back; we will not countenance mutiny, especially on such puerile inspiration as we see in the most recent examples.
The most recent fools on the Right are fools indeed. George W. Bush is not running for office again; I suspect he is already looking forward to his retirement in Crawford with some enthusiasm. He is working to finish what he started and for the good of America, as he always has, but if his own party refuses to back him up when he asks, they are only putting the knife to their own throat. As biased as the current polls are, those which examine the matter in broad context always, without exception, show that the public's approval of President Bush is far greater than their approval of Congress, especially the Senate. And the last three elections should remind these narcissists, that they need the help of the President a great deal; indeed, many of them would not be in office at all except for the efforts of George W. Bush. Strange how poor their memory is on that point, to say nothing of how they repay that debt. President Bush, distinctly better in character and honor than his enemies can hope to claim, wants the Republican Party to make gains in this fall's elections, because he loves the GOP and he knows that Democrats as they are presently composed, would not serve the nation's interests well at all. But in the end, it all depends on those fools who claim to speak for the Conservative cause but who will not back the leader who has done the most for them, to wake up and stop attacking their own Commander.