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April 11, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Bush earns lame duck status

Times are not pleasant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

With the sting from the Dubai Ports controversy still fresh in the minds of Americans, George W. Bush finds himself on the verge of being declared a lame-duck president that will be unable to do anything his final two years in office.

CNN brought the question up last week, but they didn’t have a very clear answer on it.

As an impartial observer to the situation, and a history nerd, I never expected to see the day where George W. Bush – the man who had little problem of getting done what he wanted – would be in danger of being a lame-duck

Only two years ago, President Bush was riding high. He had defeated John Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign and had the unanimous support of right-wing America.

Sure, there were controversies concerning the war in Iraq, and his approval rating was hovering just above 50 percent, but those seemed to be small issues to deal with. Bush had a majority-Republican Congress on his side, practically giving him the freedom to work on Social Security, national security, and reshaping the Supreme Court as conservatives wanted it to be.

Now here we are, two years later, and it’s clear to see that things have not gone as planned.

The debate over Iraq, the NSA wiretapping controversy, and a number of other controversies and scandals have clouded Bush’s once-bright picture. Until recently, his effort to fix Social Security had vanished completely, and Bush’s promise to replace Supreme Court vacancies with conservative judges did not go as expected.

John Roberts went through the nomination process easily. But when Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers, the conservative groups that so willingly threw him their support exploded in anger, demanding that Bush withdraw her nomination.

The recent Dubai Port fiasco was the final straw for conservative Republicans in Congress. Strains caused by the Miers nomination were further strengthened, eroding away at the president’s base.

The Republican-led House and Senate turned on President Bush over the port situation. In essence, they showed where the power currently lies, and it’s not in Bush’s hands.

His job rating has plummeted, with most recent polls finding that only 35 percent of Americans think Bush is doing a good job.

Thirty-five percent is good if it refers to your batting average or how much you’ll be saving at a sale.

The facts simply seem to add up to one thing: George W. Bush isn’t in danger of becoming a lame-duck president during his second term. He already is, and there is little he can do about it.

Bush’s biggest problem, and the reason he is a lame-duck, is because he does not follow the exact political beliefs of conservative America, the same beliefs many of his fellow Republicans follow.

He has broken with the party ranks on several occasions before, including his support of free market trade policies and allowing states to provide civil unions, which many conservative Republicans oppose.

The Dubai port controversy only further ruffled the feathers of the conservative base that had re-elected him in 2004 and gave his critics more fuel to add to the anti-Bush fire.

There are really only two options to remedy this situation. Option one would mean that the president would have to latch onto the strict beliefs of his conservative base.

However, with Bush’s past history of breaking with the party rank occasionally, there is some doubt in my mind he could do this. On top of that, it would make him a puppet rather than a leader, a label no President should ever want.

That leads us to the second option, that Bush must work with Congress to further his agenda, including his Social Security reform plan.

It’s a more moderate than conservative approach, but at this rate, it might be the only thing between this president and his lame duck status.

Send comments to Brian at [email protected].

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