Saturday, May 13, 2006

Bush Does Wonders for Clinton's Reputation

Good post from Digby about the recent poll that found large majorities of Americans preferring Clinton to Bush in virtually every department, including foreign affairs, national security, and personal honesty (Bush's supposed strong suits). The longer Bush stays in office, the more nostalgic Americans are becoming for the Clinton years--or, as The Onion put it, "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity."

Here's a weird and disheartening angle: I saw Bill Schneider report this story on CNN's Headline News yesterday. When he tossed it back to the anchor (not sure which one of the station's interchangeable blonde news readers it was--might have been Christi Paul, but I didn't really catch the name), she responded by saying (I paraphrase), "To be fair, Bill Clinton didn't have to deal with things like 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Hurricane Katrina." And Bill Schneider agreed that this was so and that these factors must be taken into account in interpreting Bush's low approval ratings.

Good grief. Giving Bush a pass because of all the difficult problems he has had to deal with--and ignoring the fact that he either allowed them to happen (9/11), willfully created them (the wars), or needlessly worsened them (Katrina)--takes illogic to a new low. (Not unlike the guy in the old joke who is convicted of murdering his parents and asks for leniency on the grounds that he is an orphan.) Thank God the polls suggest that Americans are increasingly not buying it.

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