While I would love to revel in Bush's latest and lowest poll numbers to date, I have to resist my schadenfreude instincts to focus on the great picture... We are in trouble. With either a 37% or 35% approval rating (depending on which poll you use), Bush is getting dangerously close to loosing support from all Americans with the exception of the 25-30% of Americans who could watch him eat a baby on live TV and somehow still blame it on the Democrats.
A president that has a 60% disapproval rating is a serious hindrance to the greater good of this country. So many people disapproving of the president leaves him impotent, not only domestically, but internationally as well. No foreign leader is going to want to seriously deal with a president that cannot muster even a 50-50 split.
The president has continually tried to lead through division of the nation. It not only hurts us as a unified nation, but, in the end, hurts his ability to be an effective leader. Bush needs to take corrective action immediately to bring this nation back together and to improve his own standing with the American people. If this means he goes out of office being viewed favorably, so be it. But Bush needs to start governing from the center, not the right. He needs to sweep clean his administration of the actual and perceived unethical actors and bring in new blood. He needs to sweep clean his administration of the cronies and sycophants that he has placed in top positions and replace them with experienced and intelligent individuals capable of doing the job they are assigned.
This will take a fundamental change in Bush's character. He will have to forego his absolute loyalty to his friends. He will have to admit to mistakes and missteps. He will have to govern as if he was elected by both the right and left, and not just the right. He will have to reach out to the opposition party to find common ground, and not just battle ground.
If he is to do this, Democrats will need to put aside their partisan differences and visceral distaste for Bush and work with him and support him. If the president puts out his hand, the left will need to extend their own. The right, in return will need to support Bush in reaching out and stop claiming they hold all the power and all the cards in the U.S. They will have to accpet compromise instead of absolutism.
Anyone can lead with division. It takes real leadership to lead by inclusion. It is time Bush becomes a real leader. And if he does, it is time for the left to accept him as one.
Bush's Popularity Reaches New Low
Bush Public Support at Lowest Level Yet