Let it Be

Have you ever wondered what sort of impression the American people would have of President Bush if the media hadn't been on a constant Bush bashing excursion since he "stole" the election from Angel Al 8 years ago?
In a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, respondents were asked to volunteer their assessments of how Bush would be remembered after he leaves office.
Are any of his positive attributes revealed in news stories?
The most frequent response, from 56 people, was "incompetent," followed by "idiot," "arrogant," "ignorant," "stupid," and so on. Nine people volunteered a three-letter synonym for donkey.
Republicans should learn to demonize those who criticize their guys the way Democrats do. Will the GOP ever get to paint Barack in the negative manner that Democrats have sung the Bush Is Evil song for years? It's not likely - at least without calls of racism and bigotry being fired in response.
There were some kinder sentiments as well, including "honest," "honorable," and "dedicated." The number of participants who called Bush a "liar" also dropped from 18 in 2004 to just 4 this time around.
The news guys aren't into calling Bush a liar these days. That was so... 2004.
Overall, though, the Pew poll underscored the depth of public disdain for Bush, who now ranks as the most consistently unpopular president since the advent of modern political polling. He has not had the approval of a majority of Americans since the beginning of his second term, and has hovered in the 20s in most approval rankings for more than a year. An NBC-Wall Street Journal poll last week found that eight out of 10 Americans would not miss him once he's gone.
This will, of course, change one day. In fact, it seems to be changing already - now that the ferocious Bush Bashing Machine is ready for storage - and a "Let It Be" mood takes hold. It is a mood that will grow as the dramatic mantras against him are shown to have been overblown, and as the benefits of policies such as the Iraq war become apparent.
"The public's verdict on the Bush presidency is overwhelmingly negative," the Pew researchers write in a summary of their findings. "Just 11% said Bush will be remembered as an oustanding or above average president -- by far the lowest positive end-of-term rating for any of the past four presidents." In 2000, by comparison, the recently-impeached Bill Clinton scored 44 percent on the same measure. (Ronald Reagan got 59 percent, while Bush's father received 36 percent.)
It takes a well informed citizen, with incredible personal resolve, to maintain a positive attitude toward a leader so universally, and constantly, derided.
The Pew survey also found that 64 percent believe Bush will be remembered mostly for his failures, and 34 percent said he will go down in history as a poor president.