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Friday, May 28, 2004

Blumenthal



I guess money is on something interesting happening and giving his rather wonderful final paragraph a bit of historical resonance (kinda like David Halberstam's writing on Vietnam now has):

Washington, which was just weeks ago in the grip of neoconservative orthodoxy and absolute belief in Bush's inevitability and righteousness, is now in the throes of agonizing events and being ripped apart by investigations. Things fall apart; all that was hidden is revealed; all sacred exposed as profane: the military, loyal and lumbering, betrayed and embittered; the general in the field, Lt. Gen. Sanchez, disgraced and cashiered; and the most respected retired generals training their artillery on those who have ill-used the troops, still dying in the field; the intelligence agencies, a nautilus of chambers, abused and angry, its retired operatives plying their craft with the press corps, seeping dangerous truths; the press, hesitatingly and wobbly, investigating its own falsehoods; the neocons, publicly redoubling their passionate intensity, defending their hero and deceiver Chalabi, privately squabbling, anxiously awaiting the footsteps of FBI agents; Colin Powell, once the most acclaimed man in America, embarked on an endless quest to restore his reputation, damaged above all by his failure of nerve; everyone in the line of fire motioning toward the chain of command, spiraling upward and sideways, until the finger pointing in a phalanx is directed at the hollow crown.



Monday, May 24, 2004

Not so much fly, as plummet



The most up-to-date version of my Bush approval spreadsheet snitched from Polling Report and graphed here previously, as relied on by Crooked Timber's resident financier, Dsquared, to make his fortune, is below:





There seems to me to be a limited but dramatic Abu Ghraib effect (pushing the rolling average down very close to 45%; the last eleven polls have all had Bush's approval ratings below 50%). This is, I think, the first really identifiable event to have a downward effect on Bush's ratings; all the other events having a visible impact had strong upward effects. I think it probably follows that just as his unusually high ratings recovered down, the current unusually low ratings might well recover up.

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