Matthew Mcglynn of debris.com has reiterated that the three major spikes in Bush’s popularity have come from the following:
- the 9/11 terrorist attacks
- the US invasion of Iraq
- the capture of Hussein
He even went so far as to mark them on a timeline graph (which I had failed to do):
Now, allow me to extrapolate and disagree with Matthew on a few points. First of all, there’s no way Bush could get enough support for another war in a mere four months, considering the damage that has been done by the promises of tons and tons of WMDs that have yet to surface. Granted, there have been one or two cases of small-arms with banned weapons, but it’s hardly anything that could have justified this invasion.
Secondly, it’s highly implausible that there will be another high-level capture prior to the election. That’s not to say that Osama bin-Laden may be paraded before the press in November, but the focus has been shifted away from him and the attitude of “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, has transformed into “Wanted: Valid information to tie Iraq to Al-Qaida”. It’s pitiful that the world’s most powerful military has let a single man evade it for so long, and it’s telling that they no longer seem to care.
And finally, we have the one other option that could boost Bush’s ratings: a terrorist attack on American soil. Already the rhetoric is trying to wash over what occured in Madrid and say “we won’t be like Spain”.
Interestingly enough, there’s a favorite qoute on the subject of terrorism that is actually repurposed from the IRA (Irish Republican Army): “The hard thing about terrorism is that they only have to be right once, and we have to be right 100 percent of the time.” The original qoute reads: “Today we were unlucky, but remember, we only have to be lucky once; you will have to be lucky always. Give Ireland peace and there will be no war.”
It’s interesting because it seems like a concerted effort to set the stage for a failure to stop an impending terrorist attack, and then push Bush back into the forefront as the man in charge of recovering. It would also herald a forewarning that we should not be like Spain and capitulate, thus the rhetoric that if we allow anyone but Bush to be elected, the terrorists will have won.
Bush approval ratings graph shows huge decline [Debris.com]
Iraq sarin shell is not part of a secret cache [CSMonitor]
From the White House, a nightmare scenario [USNews]
Transcript: Rice on ‘Fox News Sunday’ [FoxNews]
1984: Tory Cabinet in Brighton bomb blast [BBC]