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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Neck and Neck

The race to the bottom is on! Bush is on his way to breaking a record, and only one man stands in his way--Richard M. Nixon. Yes, our current president's approval rating has fallen again (31% today!), and he may yet break the record (lows) set by his predecessor in 1974.

Here we see approval:

And here, disapproval:

The parallels are eerie. We can only hope for the same endpoint.

There ae thosee who will support him to the end no doubt, the die hards,his natural constituencey. What did he call them? Ah, yes, the "haves and have-mores."

A friend sent me this wistful stroll down memory lane:
Our summer softball game held its 30th anniversary dinner the other night. To let the younger players know how different America was when the game began, we offered this summary of important events in 1976:

The president was a not-very-articulate and not-very-popular Republican, derided by some opponents for being "appointed, not elected."

Democrats were unusually restive, having controlled the White House for only eight years of the entire preceding generation.

When controversy blew up about the administration's practice of conducting warrantless surveillance, the Justice Department put out a statement declaring that authority for such surveillance is inherent in the office of the presidency.

The administration seriously considered going after a New York Times reporter (Sy Hersh) after the disclosure of sensitive classified information.

A key White House official was Dick Cheney (chief of staff).

The secretary of defense was Donald Rumsfeld.

Neocons were arguing that the United States had to bring more diplomatic pressure, and perhaps military pressure, to bear in the Middle East.

The United States offered aid to Iran in developing nuclear power but expressed concern over the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon.

Some scientists warned about the threat of global warming. Other scientists were deeply worried about a possible worldwide pandemic of animal-borne influenza that had jumped to humans (swine flu).

A bitter controversy arose over whether to pull the plug on a woman who had lapsed into a persistent vegetative state (Karen Ann Quinlan).

Heavy Muslim immigration was transforming Europe's workforce.

In entertainment, Americans were checking out the new remake of "King Kong" and a new kind of popular music, called rap.

Concern about the crumbling wall between news and entertainment became part of the national consciousness (thanks in part to the movie "Network").

Apprehension over the rising use of steroids by athletes led to pre-event testing (at the Olympics in Montreal).

The Steelers won the Super Bowl.

Yes, how distant, how different.

(From John Leo's blog, usnews.com/usnews/opinion/leoblog/.)
The more things change and all that......


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