Bush the Unpopular and His Idiot Core

Political Wire:
A new Survey USA tracking poll suggests a "can't win" dynamic is unfolding for President Bush as he struggles to deal with the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"The number of Americans who now approve of the President's response to Hurricane Katrina is down: 40% today compared to 42% before he announced the Gulf Opportunity Zone" in a speech last week. "The number of Americans who disapprove of the President's response to Katrina is up: 56% today compared to 52% before the speech."

Key point: "The more cash President Bush throws on the fire, as compensation for what some see as an inadequate initial response, the more it antagonizes his core supporters."
Which just further reinforces my belief that the key attribute shared by Bush’s core supporters, be they anti-taxers, social conservatives, blood-lusting warmongers, or some ugly combination thereof, is a complete lack of understanding about what government is meant to do. And not just America’s government, or even just democratic governments, but all governments, each of which has a responsibility to protect and provide for its people. Every government defines those goals differently and meets them with varying degrees of success, and even within a nation’s population, we see different interpretations; in the US, conservatives tend to construe “protect” with heavy defense and individual property rights overtones, whereas liberals tend to lean toward allied relationships/diplomacy and social safety net considerations. Nevertheless, when an entire metropolis is lost, the government’s responsibility to protect and provide must kick into action.

People on either side should be able to agree that the Gulf Coast can’t just be left the way it is, and that it’s going to cost money that we have to spend. Many liberals feel that money should have been spent on preventative measures rather than chopped out of a budget to help pay for tax cuts, but either way, NOLA needed and needs help, so it was a pay then or pay later (or pay a little more then, a little less later) scenario. Bush’s core supporters, of course, seem to want a don’t pay then, don’t pay later, don’t pay ever, and keep giving us tax cuts kind of program, which is patently absurd. Just how absurd? If we left such decisions up to them, the trapped victims they’re so fond of blaming for not evacuating would have been joined by the rest of the population of New Orleans, since it’s pretty hard to leave if there are no roads. And hey—those evacuees wouldn’t have had so many problems if they’d only gotten a better education, although that would have been pretty hard for everyone if there were no schools. Etc.

Of course The-Government-Never-Gave-Me-Shit Brigade doesn’t understand government, and gets mad at President Sideshow for giving money toward the Gulf Coast’s reconstruction. Only someone who doesn’t understand the first thing about government could claim that they’ve never benefited from its obligation to protect and provide, or could suggest that no one else should.

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