Friday, September 09, 2005

Sinking Poll Numbers

The folks at Powerline have analyzed the sinking poll numbers for President Bush following Hurricane Katrina... and they aren't pretty.

But could anyone think the poll numbers would be otherwise? For nearly 2 weeks the floodgates have been open (forgive the pun) with the Mainstream Media unleashing damning story after damning story (again, forgive the near pun), brazenly criticizing the President's performance from their anchor chairs, interviewing angry survivors, and airing unchallenged interviews from political opponents, all while failing to analyze the responsibility and failures of the local and state governments to minimize Katrina's harmful effects.

In fact, the arrival of Katrina signalled the opening of hunting season for the Mainstream Media, which perceived a weakness that it could finally hammer the President on with impunity. Finding that their efforts to derail the Bush presidency failed to gain traction on the issues of the Iraq War, the economy, or the President's service in the military, the media has seized on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina as its issue to bring down the Bush presidency. Of course it helps that the role of the federal government in bringing aid to New Orleans is complicated and not easily communicated on television. Most certainly, an explanation of the federal government's subordinate role in bringing succor to New Orleans is easily dismissed when the footage flashed into our living room so vividly brings home the horrible conditions that arose in the Hurricane's aftermath.

Indeed, the raw video of the disaster of New Orleans now serves as the ammunition for the media's relentless assault on the Bush presidency. And no matter how strongly charges of mismanagement or malfeasance are rebutted, Bush still loses in the end simply because terrible events were caught on video, and in this day and age, bad things, even the destruction wrought by a category 5 hurricane, should not happen if only a responsible federal government were in place.

Add to that mix the fact that the President has been unable to respond to the charges without appearing insensitive or un-presidential.

Afterall, President Bush couldn't publicly rebut the outlandish charges of a weeping family struggling for its survival in flooded New Orleans since that would certainly be unseemly. Nor, for that matter, could the President take to the television airwaves to counter the hysterical charges of New Orleans' mayor since that would of course be un-presidential.

No, President Bush was forced to take all of the attacks, some valid, most scurrilous, without the luxury of being able to respond. Instead, the President's only hope is that the media, perhaps eventually prompted by the blogosphere, finally begins to provide fair coverage to the actual events that transpired after Katrina made land fall over the Mississippi coast.

So yes, President Bush's poll numbers have fallen dramatically... as would the popularity of any president who had to withstand the blistering and baseless charges that have been leveled the past two weeks.

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