Monday, August 16, 2004

Bush is dragging two huge weights -- and he has no one to blame but himself.


David Broder of the WaPo is the ultimate Washington insider and middle-of-the-road commentator/columnist. He is usually a strong advocate for the status-quo and a mouth piece for the power elite. If he is starting to bad mouth Bush, Dumbya is in real trouble.

The factors that make President Bush a vulnerable incumbent have almost nothing to do with his opponent, John F. Kerry. They stem directly from two closely linked, high-stakes policy gambles that Bush chose on his own. Neither has worked out as he hoped.

The first gamble was the decision to attack Iraq; the second, to avoid paying for the war. The rationale for the first decision was to remove the threat of a hostile dictator armed with weapons of mass destruction. The weapons were never found. The rationale for the second decision -- the determination to keep cutting taxes in the face of far higher spending for Iraq and the war on terrorism -- was to stimulate the American economy and end the drought of jobs. The deficits have accumulated, but the jobs have still not come back.

......
The president has suffered other blows to his credibility -- a survey of seniors earlier this month showed major doubts about his touted Medicare prescription drug plan. But they pale in importance compared with Iraq and the economy. In The Post's polls every month since January, more voters have voiced disapproval of his performance on those two issues than approval.

Time is short for changing people's minds. Bush is dragging two huge weights -- and he has no one to blame but himself.

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