Sunday, May 14, 2006

It Sucks to Be Bush Nowadays

[[P O L L S]] * With last week’s press revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been building up a massive database of domestic American phone calls, not just communications by suspected terrorist sympathizers--as George W. Bush previously claimed--it should come as no surprise that the prez’s word isn’t exactly received as gospel in the United States anymore. Over the last few years, as questions have been raised about Bush’s trustworthiness on every subject from the Iraq war to the government’s preparations for Hurricane Katrina to the prez’s selective and hypocritical leaking of classified intelligence information, citizens have grown to doubt the reality behind his “aw shucks, just trust me” persona. Now, it’s become pretty clear that Bush is no more to be trusted than Richard Nixon was.

Friday’s announcement of a new poll from CNN suggests that the 1960s adage, “Question Authority,” might be finding renewed meaning in the scandal-plagued Bush era. According to that survey, only 41 percent of Americans believe Bush is honest, compared with 46 percent who say the same thing about his immediate predecessor, Bill Clinton. In fact, Clinton outperforms his successor in almost every category:

Who did a better job at handling the economy? Clinton 63 percent, Bush 26 percent
Who did a better job of solving the problems of ordinary Americans? Clinton 62 percent, Bush 25 percent
Who did a better job of managing foreign affairs? Clinton 56 percent, Bush 32 percent
Who did a better job of handling taxes? Clinton 51 percent, Bush 35 percent
Who did a better job of handling natural disasters? Clinton 51 percent, Bush 30 percent
Who did a better job of handling national security? Clinton 46 percent, Bush 42 percent

In fact, the only polling category in which Bush beats Clinton is when people are asked which president did more to divide the country. Fifty-nine percent of respondents answered “Bush,” while a measly 27 percent said “Clinton.”

Author’s Note: The terrific artwork accompanying this post comes from a brand-new T-shirt offered by Café Press’ shop. Click here to buy one.

READ MORE:Clinton Outperforms Bush--in Everything,” by Steve Benen (The Carpetbagger Report); “The Question of Character,” by Dave Niewart (Orcinus).

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