Here’s George W. Bush’s problem. How does a president win re-election when all the news the voters are seeing is bad?
Polls show the president running even or slightly ahead of Senator John Kerry. But bad news is piling up like mounds of trash in a garbage strike, and that’s never good for an incumbent.
The war in Iraq is a mind-numbing tragedy with no end in sight. Dozens of Iraqi army recruits were slaughtered Saturday in one of the deadliest attacks yet against the Iraqi security forces. Yesterday an American diplomat was killed in a mortar attack near the Baghdad airport.
The latest horrific video to come out of the war zone shows the kidnapped British-Iraqi aid worker, Margaret Hassan, trembling, weeping and begging for her life. “Please help me,” she says. “This might be my last hours.”
American troops have fought valiantly, but cracks in their resolve are beginning to show. “This is Vietnam,” said Daniel Planalp, a 21-year-old Marine corporal from San Diego who was quoted in yesterday’s New York Times. “I don’t even know why we’re over here fighting.”
Here at home the stock market has tanked, in part because of record-high oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at its low for the year on Friday as world oil prices streaked ever higher. The cost of oil has jumped more than 75 percent in the past year. With the weather turning colder, the attention of homeowners – many of them voters – is being drawn to the price of home heating oil. What they’re seeing is not pretty.
Gee- I wonder who is responsible for the news? Why is it the unemployment rate is not mentioned more often. Why no mention of the tremendous gains in the economy over the past two years depsite what the country has been through (recession, 9/11, etc.). Travel and tourism still have not recovered, yet the economy grows. What about housing starts and durable goods orders? Consumer confidence? On and on and on.
Likewise, today we are greeted with two stories in Iraq, both of which I comment about below, but you have to almost google good news such as what Arthur Chrenkoff provides.
How much time will the talking heads spend today discussing the recent elections in Afghanistan, the outcome of which is now legitimate? Or the upcoming elections in Iraq?
John Stewart is right- the media is failing us. But it isn’t just Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala who should be blamed, and this is why, despite the daily fare from the media, that the election is as close as it is. What people are experiencing on a daily basis simply is not reflected in the headlines of our media. If things were as bad as they want us to believe, I would be voting for Kerry.
Stewart is right that Crossfire sucks but he’s late to the game on that one… his critique is more on the lines of Alterman and Krugman – he wants to know why ANYTHING good about the war on terror or Bush is EVER reported, as he is such a horrible person through and through.
Jorge Cruz Rodriguez
“Bob Herbert nails it:
Here’s George W. Bush’s problem. How does a president win re-election when all the news the voters are seeing is bad?”
The fact is, the facts don’t matter because Dub’s support is FAITH-based. Among the faithful, maintaining faith is considered a virtue in the face of a lack of evidence and reason, not an error or a weakness. We see this confirmed in recent stories that many people who say they intend to vote for Bush have contrafactual ideas about the famous WMD and Saddam Hussein’s supposed connections with Al-Qaeda. The ruling class is trying to get rid of Bush because they consider him to be a fuckup, and Kerry is more one of their own kind, but Bush has made an end run and gotten to the dumb people, who by far outvote the smart ones. And the r.c. doesn’t know how to get them back, because the d.p. don’t read the New York Times and if they did it wouldn’t make any difference — they don’t care about the facts or the issues and they certainly aren’t going to start thinking about them. They already know that Bush is one of their kind and represents their desire for mindless faith, endless war and repression of all forms of dissidence and nonconformity.