The eerie parallels between Bush and Nixon continue. Bush has finally achieved Nixon's resignation popularity--24% according to a Zogby poll.(1) Other polls show Bush in the higher 20s.
The most recent Harris poll shows that there is only one figure in Washington DC above 40% approval--Secretary of State Rice with 42%. John Boehner, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives has a 16% positive rating. The Democratic leader in the House and perhaps the second- most powerful persyn in the country, Nancy Pelosi has a 29% positive rating.(2)
Part of the reason for Democrats' lack of popularity is the perception that they take no action against the Republicans who are continuing the Iraq War. On the other hand, there are those who see that Bush has failed them but cannot come up with anything more than wanting a competent version of Bush to replace him.
It would be a mistake to read these sorts of numbers as meaning an imminent revolution in the united $tates against both parties. Rather what we see is a very typical petty-bourgeois sort of discontent, which is unwilling to embrace the proletarian interpretation of the political impasse and yet incapable of coming up with another answer. The Amerikan petty-bourgeoisie will reach for a wide variety of inept answers that covers up its own exploiter character and the oppressive character of the united $tates.
Those who live in unrepresentative areas of the country may not understand why Democrats cannot take more determined positions. In addition to the fact that Democrats raise their money for petty and local issues, often from corporate coffers, the average suburban opinion on the big overriding issues just is not that firm. Democrats cannot be that much different from Republicans. The motivations for peace are there especially in chaotic, expensive and pointless wars like those in Afghanistan and Iraq. On the other hand, before there was a Bin Laden, it was always politically easy to rally fear among the suburban white voters. That is why it is difficult to pick up any clear and overwhelming direction against the Iraq War.
Oddly enough, among the upcoming candidates for president, Hillary Clinton has the highest negative rating with 50% saying they would never vote for her.(3) It goes to show that one should not make too much of the Iraq issue in the Amerikan public. It is a high priority but not so high that candidates favoring continuation of the Iraq War quite openly have higher negative ratings than Clinton. McCain is campaigning for "victory" in Iraq, and his negative rating is only 45%.(3) Kucinich opposed the Iraq War from the beginning and voted against it, but his negative rating is 49%. This again points to the petty-bourgeois nature of the discontent--half-assed from the proletarian perspective. The Iraqi insurgents created this situation where Democrats thrive as the lesser evil, but the political situation does not express itself in clear terms of for and against the war.
The results among the presidential candidates are close, but it is not the Iraq War that is creating what small differences there are in the candidates' negatives. Persynal demographic and lifestyle differences are what the U.$. public is picking up on in giving Huckabee, Richardson and Obama the least negative scores, the only ones below 40%.
As MIM has said before, we can make the imperialist population chew on something, that is about all. Trying to go to Amerikan public opinion for some kind of decisive impetus against imperialist war is hopeless. The true persyn on the margin, the "middle forces" are the Third World bourgeoisie. If we should water something down, it should be for them, not imperialist country populations.