George Bush’s presidency still hasn’t hit rock bottom. If anything, it seems like the floor has collapsed. Bush now rates at 31% approval, matching his father’s lowest rating, outdone in modern history only by the darkest days of the Nixon and Carter administrations. And we’ve still got two-and-a-half years left.
Andrew Sullivan has a smart take on this, imagining the pain we’d all be going through if Kerry were president, reaping what Bush sowed in his first term:
Can you imagine how battered a president Kerry would have been by now? He’d be stuck with Bush’s Iraq mess; he’d be constantly told he’s Neville Chamberlain on Iran for doing exactly what Bush has been doing; he’d be ruthlessly attacked by the Hannity right over Teresa, immigration, gays, and any other cultural issue they could exploit. And the GOP would have escaped the responsibility for their fiscal insanity, while Kerry took lumps for raising taxes. In the sweep of history, it is fitting that Bush, for the first time in his entire life, actually face the consequences of his own recklessness. It is also important for conservatives to see up-front what abandoning limited government and embracing fundamentalism leads to: the collapse of a coherent conservatism. There was a silver lining in Bush’s re-election: the unsentimental education of conservative triumphalists.