I am still very surprised at this:

“George W. Bush remains popular among conservative Republicans (72% approve of him) despite his low overall approval rating. Meanwhile, moderate and liberal Republicans are as likely to disapprove as to approve of the job he is doing, and Democrats of all political orientations hold Bush in low regard.”

It raises the question: Short of being caught in bed with a live boy or a dead girl, what does President Bush need to do for this group to disapprove of his performance? Is there anything?

Blind obsequiousness appears to be this group’s motto. 72% is a very strong rating — I’d like to ask what he would need to do to get this cohort’s approval rating even higher than 72%.  Asked another way, where does his record need improving?


Conservative Republicans Still Widely Support Bush
Jeffrey M. Jones
Gallup, December 11, 2008


Category: Politics, Psychology, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

79 Responses to “72% of Conservatives Still Support Bush”

  1. Lars39 says:

    Too bad Bush is not a conservative.

  2. Bob A says:

    Ever notice how people with bad breath, or body odor, don’t know they have it?

    It’s a survival mechanism. because if you didn’t adapt to the smell, you’d have to kill yourself.

  3. John_aka_bozo says:

    The actual number is (probably) 40%. That’s who voted “conservative” (really fascist) in the last election. But, 40% is (probably) the number that would always vote “liberal” (really socialist). Most people vote based on how their brain is configured to worship authority. As some dude put it “loyalty to power wins out over truth and doing what is right”. “Loyalty to power” is what the majority have always wanted; the only dispute is which power; the kick-ass daddy parties or the smothering mommy parties. ‘Loyalty to power” is why the US is the perfect corporate culture.

  4. Tom K says:

    The poll is meaningless because “conservative” isn’t defined. Fiscal (small government, low taxes)conservatives are not at all happy with Bush or most of the people in congress who go by label of Republican.


    BR: I believe the way Gallup polling method works, they are self-identified as Conservative, Liberal, GOP, Dem, etc.

  5. fenner says:


    I’m a liberal, knew Eugene McCarthy, Ella Grasso, met Hubert Humphrey to give you some dates. I’m surprised at the liberals blind support of Obama, whose record is in my opinion thus far almost as conservative as George Bush senior. There is blind love for this guy that is the converse of the adoration of Bush. Bush as it turns out is the biggest spender in history. As we know, he screwed up every thing he ever touched but was always bailed out by his father. Now he’s being bailed out by us, that is the taxpayers and the military in almost every endeavor he’s put his hands on. But to the ultra right wing, they still hold on to the notion that he’s somehow a conservative, free market thinker, ‘one of us.’ With Obama it’s only slightly different. Robert Gates, boosting the troops in Afghanistan, likely bailing out the ethanol industry despite its nonsense, Geitner. Go through the list of people he’s gathered around him, including Colin Powell. If you mention this to any given New York liberal, you’ll be told that he’s acting mainstream or even conservative while secretly plotting to put forth his liberal agenda. Unfortunately, you cannot send 30,000 more troops into a country like Afghanistan and secretly have a liberal agenda. He’s also well to the right of the health insurers who are now urging him to make health insurance a mandatory. Like Bush, he’ll throw the liberals a bone here and there, but at heart, he appears, thus far, part of the main stream machine and quite depressingly not any change at all. Just more of the same. Basically there is a huge faction of the country on both the right and the left that are akin to Moonies. How can anyone defend Bush? It’s beyond comprehension but ask a conservative and they’ll dream up something. How can anyone defend keeping Robert Gates on, the propagandist from the 80′s who is now spreading the same lies about Afghanisan as he did about the Russians’ advanced technology back then? Ask any liberal you meet. They’ll look at you just like the Moonies would do in any airport in America back then. “He’s one of us.”

  6. Winston Munn says:

    The interesting result is not the 72%, but that only 22% of self-proclaimed conservative Republicans are capable of rational thought.

  7. RW says:

    Can’t help it, the segue from above comments is a natural: It’s fascinating how many former fans now claim Bush wasn’t really a conservative, like people who want to create some distance or engage in vigorous hand waving so no one will think they were the ones who farted.

    The truth of course is that Bush was the perfect movement conservative, quite literally the answer to their prayers, hence the survey results: Pro-God and guns, crony capitalist, incurious and disdainful of expertise or intellect, utterly certain of his own moral rectitude, anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-government (unless it supports cronies of course), contemptuous regarding most conceptions of a common good and generally indifferent to the fate of the poor or anyone else whose luck runs bad (negative outcomes are part of the self-affirming and self-righteous morality play, they are earned just like good outcomes are even if, or perhaps especially if, you were born into them).

  8. Winston Munn says:

    @ fenner,

    The breakdown is fairly simple. There is only one political party. In Congress it is the party of the incumbent. In the Executive, it is the party of the status quo.

    The elections are simply grand scale American Idol.

    God bless Amerika.

  9. fenner says:


    It’s taken many years and many disappointments to learn that…

  10. SWMOD52 says:

    I’m a conservative and I agree with my good friend who said “we had a chance and we s#@t the bed”. That said I like W as a person. Does that mean I support him as president not really.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong and it seems to me a lot has to do with non enforcement of regulation and some bad deregulation (ibanks) made what was already going to happen, deleveraging, much worse.

  11. VennData says:

    Genuflectors. GOP Genuflectors.

    It’s a religion. They do not look at all sides. They refuse to accept alternatives, they buy into the “fact” that the New York Times is biased and don’t listen to anything else. Then… when you get them into an argument and shred their facile FOX news position…

    Let me give you an example. Kasich, media-scrounging hog from Ohio said on FOX ( I had to watch I was on lay-over at DFW and all they had on the motel TV in Dallas was FOX… imagine that) said “all atheists are angry”

    “All Athesits are angry?” Really? All of them? Every one? You’ve tested each and every atheist and found they’re ALL angry? Really? What an insight. You should write a peer-reviewed academic paper.

    Oh.. you CAN”T prove what you said? You just “feel” it? How interesting to state on FOX news things that you can’t prove. What a novel concept. Kasich is a tool. Anyone in Ohio who voted for him is a tool. yes… you.

    Think critically before watching FOX. Think critically before voting. We are in a depression thanks to you.

  12. jwc says:

    I signed up just to comment on this… wanted to get in before the howls started.

    It amazes me. I have Repbulican members in my family. My SIL laughingly told me that Bush was an idiot, but voted for him again in ’04. My fundi brother thinks he is wonderful, and is probably among the conservatives who approve. My fundi son voted for him twice, and “feels sorry” for him, that things turned out so bad. (Probably, if asked he would have to admit that he disapproved of the job that he did.) He told me in ’08 that he knew that the Bush policies were probably not good for his middle class family, but since Kerry was a baby killer he just couldn’t vote for him. This year my son voted for Obama, cause his job was iffy and he was very concerned about health insurance – (He lost his job last week.)…

    Personally, I think he was the worst president I have seen in my years, and I remember Harry Truman. I’m worried about my son at almost 50, unemployed, and a wife with a chronic disease. But in the dark of the night, I remember that he and many others like him, voted for the “idiot” twice. First time I will give them a pass, but not the second.

  13. dss says:

    There is also a strange dichotomy among conservatives that I know; they love him for the tax cuts, still support the war, hate his big government spending and huge increase in the size of government, but the really crazy thing is if you ask if they would vote for him again, they said yes.

    Any conservative is better than any liberal or moderate, no matter how disastrous and damaging their administrations have been. Reagan worshipers fall into the same category.

    The same went for McCain, the conservatives hate, hate, hated him, but they voted for him anyway.

    Go figure.

  14. mhm says:

    Lou Reed had some wise words in Last Great American Whale [plus my comments]:

    They [Dem/Rep] say things are done for the majority
    don’t believe half of what you see and none of what you hear [CNN/FOX]
    It’s like what my painter friend Donald said to me [or most here]
    “Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done [americans]“

  15. AGG says:

    Often the government blames the previous, outgoing administration. However, consider that the incoming Bush administration replaced all the senior Clinton political appointees except: the Comptroller of the Currency, John D. Hawke; IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti (formerly of AMS); Comptroller General David Walker (Formerly of Arthur Andersen and CIA director George Tenet. In short, the key positions necessary for the control of the federal credit, financial control, audit and intelligence.

    Comptroller of the Currency, John D. Hawke —->control of the federal credit
    IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti —-> financial control
    Comptroller General David Walker —-> audit ( resigned in 2007 after this article was written)
    CIA director George Tenet —-> intelligence
    This undisturbed transition from Democratic to Republican administrations represents a remarkable cross-party consensus, and highlights the real positions of power. With the exception of Rossotti, all these men are still in place in 2004. And Rossotti? He left the IRS to become a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group for information technology. A more richly symbolic and meaningful job move could scarcely be imagined. Carlyle’s business is global venture venture capital, which is to say it invests in corporate acquisitions all over the world with a speciality in arms manufacturers and technology. The large levels of undocumentable transactions at HUD and the Department of Defense inevitably inspire curiosity. Where is the money associated with those transactions? It is no great leap of imagination to wonder equally where the Carlyle Group raises the money with which to finance its acquisitions.

    Just when are you, the politically polarized people, going to wake up? If you don’t give a shit, be honest enough to admit it and get the hell outa here. This is a place for people looking for solutions, not sniper targets.

  16. km4 says:

    Cheney: ‘I Don’t Have Any Idea’ Why People Don’t Like Me
    Only 29 percent of Americans approve of the job Dick Cheney is doing as Vice President

    Cheney is still holding out hope, however, that the polls will turn his way. He said recently, “I’m personally persuaded that this president and this administration will look very good 20 or 30 years down the road in light of what we’ve been able to accomplish.”


    ‘Deluded reality’ is the glueware of conservative republican assclowns.

  17. Winston Munn says:

    First we had George I’m a uniter, not a divider Bush.
    Now we have Barrack I’m a changer, not a rearranger Obama.

    We haven’t been this polarized politically since the Civil War.
    And the more things change the more they stay the same.

    Go figure.

  18. gms777 says:

    Bush’s record in history hinges on whether Iraq becomes some sort of democracy. We may not know the answer to that question for 20 years or longer.

    Guys who win wars tend to do well in the history books.

    There is a noble streak in us Americans. We appear to have liberated 40 million people from a evil dictator.

    A lot of people thought the civil rights battles of the 1960s were mad foolishness. Forty years later we have an African-American president.

  19. Ramstone says:

    They self-identify as Conservatives, so of course it’s meaningful. If many of them mouth-breathe and “root for the team”, well, that’s your problem.

  20. neljmar says:

    Now do you see why you usually avoid partisan posts? The blather of politics, unrelated to economics, is blaaaaaaa. Thanks for the site and thanks to all who post on non-political themes.

  21. hswalj says:

    I reiterate: never vote for an incumbent.

  22. Tom K says:

    “The same went for McCain, the conservatives hate, hate, hated him, but they voted for him anyway. Go figure.”

    Wrong. Conservatives voted AGAINST Obama, not for McCain. Conservatives prefer incompetent, big government Republicans (McCain/Bush) over potentially competent, big government liberals. How is that hard to figure?

    The big lie being spread in the MSM and blogoshere is Bush was somehow a free-market capitalist, fiscal conservative, AND that the current financial and economic crisis is somehow the result of said ideology. RW, the historical record shows conservatives have repudiated Bush for his lack of conservative principles long before the economy went south:

    William Buckley – July 2006
    “I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress,”

    George Will – July 2003
    “Actually, the administration is eager to approve the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society 40 years ago.”

    Veronique de Rugy – August 2002
    “President Bush has signed a bill to regulate political speech, issued protectionist taxes on imported steel and lumber, backed big-spending education and farm bills, and endorsed massive new entitlements for mental health care and prescription drugs.”

    Clyde Prestowitz – May 2004
    “Historically, conservatism in the United States has meant support for small government, balanced budgets, fiscal prudence and great skepticism about overseas adventures. What I see now is an Administration that’s not for any of these things.”

    Jacob Sullum – Reason Magazine – November 2003
    “Looking at the president’s record during the last three years, one is hard-pressed to see any affinity between his agenda and that of conservatives who respect the Constitution and believe in limited government. In particular, Bush repeatedly has forsaken the conservative principles of fiscal restraint, free trade, and federalism.”

    - Harry Browne on Bush in 2004: http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/fiscalconservative.htm

    - Bruce Barlett’s book from early 2006: Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy

    - Richard Viguerie’s 2006 book: Conservatives Betrayed: How George W. Bush and Other Big Government Republicans Hijacked the Conservative Cause

    - Tanner’s book: Leviathan on the Right: How Big-Government Conservativism Brought Down the Republican Revolution

  23. JohnB says:

    Barry -

    I hope you will leave pointless politics off your site in the future.

  24. Lynn says:

    I once read that, regardless of the situation, 20% of people will disapprove of war and 30% will always approve. It’s the middle 50% that take the facts into account before making up their minds. I guess it’s the same in politics, a percentage of people will always approve of the president, regardless of his actions (or inactions).

  25. equiv says:

    Lars39 Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 4:41 pm
    Too bad Bush is not a conservative.

    All that needs to be said….

  26. donna says:

    I’m amazed at the conservatives like those above who don’t realize it wasn’t Bush that was the problem, but their own ideology.

  27. BG says:

    The fact that 72% of Republicans would probably vote for Bush again reminds me that the people of this Country are no longer doers of anything of any significance; but, rather artful debaters of most any given topic. They spare with each other all in hopes of winning the debate. It doesn’t matter if they are actually right in their opinion, only that they win their sparring match with their opponent. Continued support of Bush is along these same lines.

    We have become so singular in our views, we have become a society who no longer has any common sense and instead rely on who ever can provide the best-sounding position on the issue regardless of whether it contains one shred of truth or accuracy.

    It seems to me that we make issues overly complicated than is actually necessary in many cases. Many topics are shades of gray, true; but, even the ones which are clearly black and white we still argue about their merits. We have reached the point to where we as a people are unable to do or agree on anything. Our enemies must be truly amazed at how the US has imploded in almost every area in the last 10 years. I think it is going to take a massive shock to ever bring the conscience of the US people back to reality.

  28. Marcus Aurelius says:

    To conservatives, this is a question about their own intelligence and self-esteem. Similar to people who will hold a stock to the bitter end on the logic that they chose it, so it must be good. They will never accept the idea that they’ve been had.

    The first rule of Republicanism: Never admit you are wrong – even when that fact is painfully apparent to everyone.

  29. Marcus Aurelius says:

    equiv Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 7:41 pm
    Lars39 Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 4:41 pm
    Too bad Bush is not a conservative.

    All that needs to be said….


    …is that conservative Republicans elected him (twice), and championed his every crime.


  30. Mannwich says:

    Not that surprising to me. A good solid portion of this country is clearly still in denial about a lot of things, one of them being the truly dismal record of the fiasco that is Bush.

  31. Marcus Aurelius says:

    gms777 Says:
    December 28th, 2008 at 6:55 pm
    Bush’s record in history hinges on whether Iraq becomes some sort of democracy. We may not know the answer to that question for 20 years or longer.



    Bush’s record in history hinges on whether America reclaims some sort of democracy. We may not know the answer to that question for 20 years or longer.

  32. Carol says:

    It is certainly the fashionable pose to ridicule the outgoing President, and any who might support him. Lord knows this open-minded non-Christian has had her frustrations with him. The worst has been his latest role in the financial meltdown where he’s acting like a Democrat!

    But if you have been paying attention lately, surely you wonder who indeed has been hoodwinked by lies and rabid partisanship.

    Try to keep your eye on shell that holds the prize:

    * Item 1: FISA, the foreign phone call listening issue so shrilly denounced, was passed this summer by Dems with barely a whisper.

    * Item 2: Guantanamo detentions, that “shameful shredding of the constitution” according to the New York Times in countless articles and editorials, is now Vital and Necessary, according to the front page analysis in — the New York Times! — of Nov. 3 (interesting timing, and “never mind about all that we said before”).

    * Item 3: The Iraq War is over. (we’ve won, and the world is a much healthier place for it. The new administration and Congressional majority will change some t’s and dot some i’s, do some throat-clearing and fussy-butting, but then continue in the direction we have been moving in for the last 20 years — bully for Bush that he got it done).

    * Item 4: Dec. 27, “Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit harshly censured Hamas today placing responsibility for the current situation on Hamas.” (hat tip, Instapundit) Wow, that’s different. How can that be? See item 3, and consider the formidable shift in awareness and possibility for millions in the Middle East because of George Bush.

    As Jules Crittendon blogs in reference to item 4, this “could be another promising area of foreign policy for Obama to lift wholesale from the Bush admin.”

    Read that quote again, because that’s how the pea is moving under those shells, dear righteous ones.

    I pray Obama will be a great president. I believe George Bush has achieved it already.


    BR: Alex, I’ll take Cognitive Dissonance for $100 . . .

  33. bobby says:

    maybe it’s because people are kinda funny….

    Dictator Stalin voted third-greatest Russian (headline on MSN)

  34. Winston Munn says:

    “There is a noble streak in us Americans. We appear to have liberated 40 million people from a evil dictator.”

    There it goes again – that we-wear-the-white-hat exceptionalsim that justifies murder and war crimes in the name of the Holy Rightness of Me-Ism.

    “Bush’s record in history hinges on whether Iraq becomes some sort of democracy.”

    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Addington, et al, – their record in history will depend on whether it is written by historians who abhor war crimes or by the Ministry of Truth, who sees all conquests as liberation.

  35. Mannwich says:

    Not even sure why I’m wasting my time pointing this out, but our “liberating Iraq” had little to nothing to do with any such “noble streak” in the U.S. It’s time that everyone in this country grow up a little and stop painting everything with a “good guy/bad guy” Disney-ified brush. Please grow up. Please…….

  36. Winnie,

    with this: “whether it is written by historians who abhor war crimes or by the Ministry of Truth, who sees all conquests as liberation.”…. no kidding.

    obviously, Cheney is betting on the “Ministry of Truth”-version of events to hold sway..

    Bush’s record in history hinges on whether America reclaims some sort of democracy. We may not know the answer to that question for 20 years or longer.”–Marcus Aurelius, above..

    No Doubt.

  37. Winston Munn says:

    “Item 3: The Iraq War is over. (we’ve won, and the world is a much healthier place for it.”

    O.K. New lifetime goal Find me a connection for that shit you been smokin’. Goddam! I just got back from Amsterdam, but that is some serious shit, there…..

  38. Carol says:

    Sure, Winston, meet me out back in

  39. harold hecuba says:

    why even wonder? look at the polls of the latest election. it is not exactly a runaway for the new president elect. quite frankly it was like a bit more than 6% difference in popular vote. don’t tell me that the country is all gung ho this obama guy. this country is DEEPLY divided.

  40. usphoenix says:


    @BR Thanks for the bait. I am enjoying this, as long as there’s a certain dose of smart, logic and food for common thought.

    @JohnB If you can find a way to separate politics from economics, and economics from society, I’d love to hear it. That’s the short comment. Would you like the long? When you can report a stock market day that does not pivot on politics and D. C., please email me.

    @BG agree.

    Has anyone ever read Lakoff? Liberal effete that he is. He solved the puzzle, kind of, for the Dems.

    Word play. And whose words.

    The REPS did a great job of merging conservative with FUNDAMENTALIST. And GW was their tool, because he had failed at everything but drinking, drugs and cheer leading. Ooops. Sorry. He did a great job of picking his father. And Cheney is not so good at hunting from what I’ve heard. When you exclude fundamentalism, conservatism is just a bunch of good old rich boys drinking at their business club, and ##### . So, regardless of what they do during the week, as long as they’re contritely at church on Sunday, they can appeal to truly religious poor people. This works for Dems as well. (for a limited relevant history of our leaders try USPhoenix.net. Use the literature link for William Jefferson Redneck III, and an article titled “Sequim Love”. It includes Cheney’s college career).

  41. sinful mistress says:

    Cognitive dissonance with a dollop of ethnocentrism.

  42. Carol says:

    whoops! heh! as i was saying, Winston, meet me out in the parking lot about 2020, and we’ll see which one of our pipes brought us Clarity back here in the “oughts”.

  43. RW says:

    What Winston said @ 8:38

    I mean, I’m reading a post involving a search for a metaphorical pea underneath four mythical shells which appear to be intended to represent real events (the giveaway being there are no direct links to any primary data sources) and am thinking to myself, I’d really like to know what s/he is smoking but …could I handle it if s/he told me? I mean clearly there is a significant risk of delusional hallucinations or even a full psychotic break but, still… it could be fun going mad, eh?

    On a slightly more serious note, I see a number of comments essentially asserting that all political parties are the same and/or all politicians are as bad as Bush so no difference either way. This appears to be a ploy in most cases, a variation on the “I wasn’t the one who farted” approach: Rather than pretend that Bush is not a conservative the pretence is that it doesn’t matter and that those of us who think it does matter are a little stupid or dupes of some kind; this is still clearly a dodge around the central empirical fact that the country (and the world) is in a hell of mess and the policies of Bush led Republicans not only did not help us avoid it but probably made it worse. But whatever.

    OTOH those who really do believe it doesn’t matter may want to get busy and start their own party: Politics is the only means we have to resolve dispute in an arena of insufficient data and, to paraphrase Plato’s famous epigram, those too wise to engage in politics are henceforth condemned to governance by the foolish. Probably already been enough of that, eh?

  44. deanscamaro says:

    Politics! Greed! Ego’s! Politics! Greed! Ego’s! Politics! Greed! Ego’s!
    Keep repeating that, so that you will remember what runs this country, including Bush. He falls into one or more of those categories.

  45. theorajones says:

    A couple years ago, I read a hillarious blog entry on exactly this point. The jist of it was that 27% of voters are simply batshit insane. And the reason we could so confidently know this number is that it’s the number of people who chose Alan Keyes over Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race.

    The simplest reason to choose Alan Keyes over Obama is batshit insanity. I mean, what’s the rational reason? Keyes was a carpetbagger, so it’s not like the voters found him more familiar than Obama. He was a black guy, so the race issue was pretty mitigated. And even if you agreed with his policies over Obama’s, when Keyes explains why he holds these positions, it’s a bunch of crazy talk. I may be pro-choice, but I really do think I’d vote for a pro-lifer over a pro-choicer who justified his position by saying “well, the aliens who abducted me told me to take this position.” Keyes wasn’t quite that bad, but he was pretty close.

    Anyway, when I see polls like these, I have always taken comfort in the idea that 27% of the electorate is simply batshit insane, and so when I see Bush is under that number in the general electorate, I take great comfort that all the sane people are in agreement on this one.

  46. theorajones says:

    We appear to have liberated 40 million people from a evil dictator.

    The jury is still out on Maliki. Or whoever knocks him out.

    And from my point of view, it seems in 2003, the only person in Iraq who really held us responsible for his troubles and had a beef with us was Saddam Hussein. And frankly, Saddam he had bigger problems closer to home than us–Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and a couple million Iraqi shiites and Kurds. We’ve traded that situation for one where pretty much EVERYONE in Iraq holds America at least partially responsible for their troubles.

    I don’t see this as a good ROI on $900 billion and thousands of American lives.

    Maybe Bush should have listened to Colin Powell when he explained: “you break it, you own it.”

  47. Ventura2012 says:

    Aren’t you being a little tough Barry, you said Dow 6800 in 2007 and Dow 13,500 for 2008 and 72% of your blog readers still approve of you.


    BR: You are comparing price forecasts for stocks one year hence versus whether or not people believe the actual performance of a president was good or bad? That’s about as disingenuous as it gets.

    But since you brought it up: Look at the analysis that underlay those 6800 forecasts — nearly all of it came to pass — housing, credit, recession. The precise timing of the market was wrong (as I have always claimed they would be).

    Have a look at the warnings for 2008 about what was happening, long before it was fashionable. Even the 2008 Dow forecast included a major sell-off midyear. before a recovery. The rest of the street was looking for 15-20% gains.

    My “breakeven Dow” 2008 forecast may have sucked — but it sucked a lot less than the usual Wall Street cheerleaders. And it had the advantage of being an honest, as opposed to corrupt forecast.

  48. aerodynamichaircut says:

    BR -”I’d like to ask what he would need to do to get this cohort’s approval rating even higher than 72%. Asked another way, where does his record need improving?”

    LOL. Or conversely- what sort of disaster, beyond what we’re experiencing, would it take to coax these guys into admitting they have been wrong all along? Short of a baseball bat to the head, these folks would probably damn the alternatives to their dying day. Forget about waiting 20 years for Bush policies to be proven correct- on an ongoing, daily basis, they continue to be proven wrong. Guess these guys ev been too busy kicking empty beer cans off their back porch over the last few years instead of reading the news. What’s their rationale?

    When there are two alternatives, we cannot show one is good by proving the other bad. That i acknowledge. Both may be equally bad, and thats the waiting game both sides are forced to play.

  49. Patrick Neid says:

    First I don’t trust this particular poll. Partisanship is blind, even here, but if you go to any number of supposedly conservative blogs Bush has very low numbers. Other than the war, Supreme Court appointees and his original tax cuts everything else he did for the most part was not supported by conservatives. Did he get their votes in 2004, of course, the alternative being Kerry.

    Same goes for McCain. He is not liked by conservatives for countless reasons. Conservatives either voted for him or stayed home because the other choice(s) were Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

    I personally have not seen any support for Bush from fiscal conservatives–and I mean none. What you have today are poseurs–folks who claimed to be fiscal conservatives who just this once, because of imagined horrors, are supporting this trillion dollar mania that is sweeping the land. They even pretend to have solutions. In the end they are just closet case big government types– as long as it’s their big government.

  50. ButtoMcFarty says:

    so Iraq is/will be a beacon of freedom in the ME??


    Christians in Iraq face a “bleak future,” said Kassab, executive director of the Chaldean Federation of America, a nonprofit group that helps Iraqi Christians.

    “We are heading for a demise,” he said. “It’s getting to the point where it might be an ethnic cleansing in the future.”

    Any of you folks ever read much ME history??
    Does it usually work out well for the masses??

    At what price have we achieved this “bastion of freedom”??
    How many dead?
    How many injured requiring lifetime care?
    How many children/families displaced or destroyed?
    How much money?
    How much stolen through fraud, waste, abuse?

    We’ll never know the true damage of the debacle.

    If you think Iraq is going to be a democracy in 20 years you should start investing there now.
    Let us know how that works out for you.

  51. “What you have today are poseurs–folks who claimed to be fiscal conservatives who just this once, because of imagined horrors, are supporting this trillion dollar mania that is sweeping the land.”–Neid, above

    “…because of imagined horrors,”

    so reminescent of:

    Antifederalist No. 2 “WE HAVE BEEN TOLD OF PHANTOMS”

  52. DL says:

    It wasn’t until Bush became a Socialist earlier this year that I joined the ranks of the Bush-haters.

  53. gogreen says:

    you can’t expect conservatives to easily give up the man that became their poster boy. even if moderate republicans have turned against him, i think it’s ridiculous to think that conservatives would do the same.

    either way, it doesn’t change my opinion that Bush is the Worst President EVER. Here are more reasons why: http://tv1.com/playlists/105

  54. Pat G. says:

    You only had to look at Bush’s employment history at Harken Oil to realize how inept he was going to be as President. The Supreme Court actually awarded him his first four years. The second four years were awarded to him by the Democrats who couldn’t field a legitimate Presidential contender.

  55. v. this piece of hoary self-delusion: “* Item 3: The Iraq War is over. (we’ve won, and the world is a much healthier place for it. The new administration and Congressional majority will change some t’s and dot some i’s, do some throat-clearing and fussy-butting, but then continue in the direction we have been moving in for the last 20 years — bully for Bush that he got it done). ”

    “The Washington Post Sunday published an extraordinarily blunt opinion piece by a former assistant secretary of state in the Bush administration, Thomas Schweich, on the increasing dominance of the American state by its military apparatus.

    “Our Constitution is at risk,” wrote Schweich. He warned that the elevation of an unprecedented number of former senior officers into Obama’s cabinet could “complete the silent military coup d’etat that has been steadily gaining ground below the radar screen of most Americans and the media.”

    Schweich, who served as an ambassador for counter-narcotics in Afghanistan and then oversaw international law enforcement affairs at the State Department, wrote that he “saw firsthand the quiet, de facto military takeover of much of the US government,” which in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said, “was, in theory, justified by the exigencies of war.”

    He stressed that what began abroad is coming home. “Now the Pentagon has drawn up plans to deploy 20,000 US soldiers inside our borders by 2011, ostensibly to help state and local officials respond to terrorist attacks or other catastrophes.” This mission, he warned, “could easily spill over from emergency counter-terrorism work into border-patrol efforts, intelligence gathering and law enforcement operations.”

    A report that appeared in a magazine published by the US Army War College last month, just weeks after the election, indicates that the Pentagon is preparing its own “transition,” a process that is being driven not by Obama’s vague promises of “change” but by what the military command sees as a historic crisis of the existing order that could require the use of armed force to quell social struggles at home.

    Entitled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” the monograph was produced by Nathan Freier, a recently retired Army lieutenant colonel who is a professor at the college, the Army’s main training institute for prospective senior officers. According to the magazine, he “continues to provide expert advice to key actors in the security and defense policymaking and analysis communities.”

    One of the key contingencies for which Freier insists the US military must prepare is a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.”

    He writes: “To the extent events like this involve organized violence against local, state, and national authorities and exceed the capacity of the former two to restore public order and protect vulnerable populations, DoD [Department of Defense] would be required to fill the gap.”

    Freier continues: “Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order … An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home.”

    In other words, a sharp intensification of the unfolding capitalist crisis accompanied by an eruption of class struggle and the threat of social revolution in the US itself could force the Pentagon to call back its expeditionary armies from Iraq and Afghanistan for use against American workers….”

  56. super_trooper says:

    “Carol Says: December 28th, 2008 at 8:08 pm” “It is certainly the fashionable pose to ridicule the outgoing President, and any who might support him.”

    I’ld much rather be ridiculing Bush for getting a bj from some intern or choking on a peanut. Those were the innocent days.
    History will be good to Bush. I can’t remember Nixon for the lying sob he was. And I can’t say I disapprove of him. If Russians can vote Stalin third most popular Russian”, we might put Bush up there with FDR, Washington or Lincoln. Even Cheney might be viewed in a favorable way…. 50 years from now.


  57. There are plenty of people who approve of Bush simply because he lowered tax rates and kept them lower. Whether you want to debate if they were real tax cuts because spending was increased as the same time is a non-starter. They don’t know and they don’t care as long as they pay x dollars less than they did under Clinton they will support Bush. End of debate.

  58. Jojo99 says:

    Fred says: [lol]
    Conservatives, Barely. Maybe. But I Doubt It.
    A Question of Semantics
    December 13, 2008

    I am trying to understand conservatives. The word has got to mean something, unless of course it doesn’t. For years I thought it meant someone like my grandfather, a professor of mathematics at a small college in the South. He embodied courtesy, respect for learning, personal responsibility, compassion for those in the town who found themselves in distress, dignity, a love of the language, a morality opposed to promiscuity and bastardy, and a quiet Christianity having nothing in common with the cruelty and hostility of today’s unlettered evangelicals. I thought it a pretty decent package, though I had problems with the part about avoiding promiscuity.

    Over my years of writing this column, I have received a great deal of mail from people, entirely male so far as I can remember, calling themselves “conservatives,” yet having nothing in common with granddad. (I use quotation marks, though I will omit them in what follows as being annoying, because there are many people who regard themselves as conservatives but are decent people.)

    These email conservatives are a specific type of person, characterized by:

    (1) Hostility to other groups–blacks, Mexicans, homosexuals, and Jews for example. In earlier times they would have detested the Irish, Italians, Asians, and Slavs;

    (2) A view of life as conflict, struggle, and war. We must arm, arm, arm. Commerce also is a fight to the death in which we must prevail by any means. We must not become soft and weak, as only the strong and resolute will survive in this dog-eat-dog world; this finds philosophical support in Social Darwinism, which says let them starve if they can’t keep up. Further, we must breed like incontinent oysters or the Chinese (Moslems, Africans, etc) will overwhelm us. This often shades into:

    (3) Subclinical paranoia. The (pick one) Jews, communists, Russians, Chinese, Moslems are insidious, fiendishly patient–waiting, waiting for us to falter so that they can take over and enslave us. You have doubtless heard this sort of thing: The gates of Vienna, what Lenin said about probing with a bayonet, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

    Strange shapes twist in the inner fog. Spies are everywhere, traitors await their chance, dissent is not dissent but a prelude to treason.

    (4) An obsession with profits and economic growth for their own sake. “For their own sake” is a key qualifier. They do not ask “How much growth of what kind where for what purpose?” Nor do they ever use the phrase “quality of life.” They want more housing starts, more construction, more population to buy the houses without regard for anything else. People exist to serve the economy, not the other way around. On libertarian sites this sometimes approaches belief in capitalism as a supernatural force: The Invisible Hand of the market. This view is facilitated by:

    Full article

  59. Since many democrats are ethically challenged, how do you know they are not lying to pollsters in order to propagandize the population?


    BR: Ha! The Dems are not that clever, and they certainly are not that organized — but I like the way you think!

  60. NA1NSXR says:

    This blog used to be interesting. At first I just stopped reading the comments section. I’ve resisted giving this blog the axe on my RSS subscriptions list but this seals the deal. This is straight up bandwagon type garbage.


    BR: See ya! I guess you don’t want to comment anymore either — let me fix that for you . . .

  61. wunsacon says:

    >> Tom K Says:
    >> December 28th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    >> The poll is meaningless

    Tom, I understand your point about people mislabeling themselves. But, unfortunately, it is not meaningless. People who call themselves “conservatives” overwhelmingly support Bush. That means it’s TIME FOR YOU TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF DIFFERENTLY. “Goldwater conservative”? “Ron Paulist”?

    Whatever you choose, you can’t call yourself a “conservative Republican” anymore. Unfortunately, the majority of your party ruined your brand name.

    I’m a registered Republican but call myself a liberal. Go figure…

  62. wunsacon says:

    NA1NSXR, are you not astonished by the “72%” figure? I expected that — by now — all conservatives had found some way to differentiate W from their own ideology (“W is really a librul”), so that they could disapprove of the job he’s done without disapproving of conservatism. But, to still support W? That’s amazing. Certainly very contrary to my expectations.

  63. Rob Slater says:

    Those are the authoritarian followers in the Republican party. He’s the leader, and the leader can do no wrong. Bob Altemeyer at the University of Manitoba has done research into the personalities and values of followers and leaders of authoritarian movements. Their adherence to traditional authority leads them to conservative political parties, which in the US is usually the Republicans. Altemeyer’s book for laymen describing his research is available at http://www.theauthoritarians.com

  64. wisedup says:

    now, let’s get really dirty.

    How many investors, burned by the Madoff debacle, are still willing to throw money at the next “sure thing”??
    Come on, now. ‘Fess up

  65. mark17 says:

    nice to see everyone imposing ideas on those who are conservative. “they” and “them” and “he”, why don’t you keep your theories to yourselves if you aren’t a conservative? nobody cares what you “heard this guy said one time”. i am not conservative, but i am closer to a conservative than to the pep rally you guys are having for yourselves on here. i am fine with voting for bush twice. i have friends and family in the military, and they like bush as well. i have friends and family in business, and they like bush as well. i have friends and family in many nations around the world, and they like bush as well. just because the vast majority of you who gather here are of the same demeanor and belief, doesn’t mean everyone outside your sphere is unintelligent or incapable of rational thought. do you honestly think if gore or kerry won the economy would be better? right, cuz they woulda had the stones to challenge everyone and fix everything while it seemed to be going good. whoever was alluding to amsterdam above should wake up and quit pretending he knew what was coming. if they, and by they i mean all those leaders of the democrats, knew the financial storm was coming, how come all the democrats as well as republicans as well as independents got swept into the storm?

    but back to me, in an answer to why i like bush: he did what he said he would and he didn’t quit just because it got difficult and whiny entitled people complained. his methods have not worked well because he didn’t have an exit strategy. i think he believed that saddam was a threat to US security, but that he was probably acting on inaccurate intelligence. but instead of running away so as to be approved more, as your boy clinton and many politicians concerned with ratings would do, bush has tried to finish what he started rather than leave the nation. clinton didn’t go to africa because he knew it was right but he was afraid of the people and polls being unhappy. bush tried to be bi-partisan, but the dems smelled blood in 2005 and would have none of it.

  66. Scott F says:

    He tried to be bi-partisan?

    Bush totally politicized the post-9/11 environment, and used it as an excuse to invade Iraq. Instead of reaching across the aisle, he used the attacks as an excuse to ram thru more irresponsible tax cuts (as in w/o paying for them via spending cuts)

    We know that on 9/12 Cheney was running around trying to pin the terror attack on Iraq.

    Had he caught Osama bin Laden, he might have had a chance to redeem himself — but instead, he moved men and material from the real war on terror — Afghanistan — to the war against his daddy’s boogie man.

    I disagree with those who think history will redeem W. I believe he will end up being rated below Hoover — same economy, plus a bad war.

  67. seobook says:


    yeah he meant well, but was entirely wrong. At least he had the decency to joke about his failure

    Every child has a right to birth (and to die in the military, on a conquest for oil). Those scumbags have no respect for human life. Simple as that. Anyone who overlooks that is either uninformed and/or a piece of garbage that deserves to “support the troops” by standing on the front line getting killed or wounded.

    Mindblowing that people forget that the same sleazy politicians (Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, etc.) have had a history of pushing fake information to cause wars that push their idealism. Really worth watching the documentary the power of nightmares if you care to have a bit of perspective…though most hard-core conservatives do not.

  68. Concerned American says:

    Anyone that backs Bush has been brainwashed by Faux News?

    Can anyone on here that honestly backs Bush honestly say the majority of their news doesn’t come from Faux News?

    Does anyone here that opposes Bush watch Faux News 24 x 7?

    I can almost tell you if a person TV is set to Faux News anymore. I used to be the same way until I lost my fear to look elsewhere at other news sources too.

    I will NEVER underestimate the power of TV after Faux and Bush. I will guarantee that all 72% watch Faux News.

  69. Che Stadium says:

    On the other side of the coin, liberals have seen Bush enact a massive increase in the federal budget, the Patriot Act, Sarbanes Oxley, a new entitlement program, and unprecedented interventions in the market. Despite those small details, hardly a day goes by that I don’t read that Bush is a free market extremist trying to dismantle the government.

  70. dead hobo says:

    From Above:

    Fred says: [lol]
    Conservatives, Barely. Maybe. But I Doubt It.
    A Question of Semantics
    December 13, 2008

    Put this into the category of things I wish I wrote. The only characteristics left out were a few I’ve written about in the past:

    1) Live on borrowed money and stick someone else with the bill

    2) Believe what you’re told and never question your leaders or favorite right wing radio or TV host

    3) Dream of returning to a time that never was and a place that never existed

    4) Believe at the visceral level that it’s ok to be stupid if your ideals are pure (‘pure’ at least to you, others might see you are somewhat dangerous). Your superstitious belief in religion will protect you because you’re on the right side of things.

    5) Be afraid of anything new or different, especially if it challenges an idea held in your mainstream.

    6) Honestly believe it’s ok to lie if it furthers the conservative agenda of the moment.

  71. wd78 says:

    These type of polls are meaningless. Nobody defines terms. What is a conservative? What is a liberal.

    In the U.S. (BR is a good example) we really define liberal and conservative in our minds as donkey and elephant. In reality, there is not much difference between the parties and they both do whatever is necessary to get into office and stay there. For example, look at the swings that Obama and McCain took during the campaign going from left or right to center. Does anybody really believe that they heard their true positions? Does it matter to anybody when they say one thing and do another? It does not seem so.

    The electorate is in large part a herd of sheeple and until that changes we are headed down into a deep black hole from which we might not be able to ever climb back out.

    Election after election we do our thing and get what we deserve in government. Nothing will change until we do.

    In the immortal words of Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  72. arcticpup says:

    Come on… Let’s stop this George W. Bush bashing, just imagine the disasters we could have had with either Al Gore and his global warming issues… or John Kerry… we’d be in the same boat pretty much now… and we wouldn’t have the messiah Obama rescuing us from our financial doom. A republican would be… and we would have never met Sarah Palin or her discussed her teenage daughter Bristol.

    And… would we discussing the fact that 72% liberal democrats still loved their beloveth.

    We will miss Bush, if flip-flopping Obama is worse… less hope not.

  73. Moss says:

    What other option would Conservative Republicans have? To disavow Bush is akin to claiming they have no beliefs no soul. The only ‘out’ for them is expressed by DL who claims that Bush is now a socialist for the numerous bailouts he supported. This cop out is typical since the Conservative Republicans cannot accept the fact that the ideology at the root of the Conservative movement has been exposed for what it really is.

  74. colion says:

    I agree wd – sheeple it is.

    It is far too simplistic to paint everything black and white. Bush has screwed up in a number of ways and did good in others. Obama will screw up in a number of ways and do good in others. The “Ritholtz” position of being shocked that anybody could support Bush is infantile in the extreme. At the very least, one has to know how they rate performance for each issue and then indicate how they weight the importance of each.

    If one does not go through this type of process (as some polls attempt to do) then you can end up on at the non-thinking position that all who support Bush are wrong and those that don’t are right. A good example of non-critical thinking.

  75. brentquinn08 says:

    I am so puzzled by all of this. I am a libertarian, but I am pretty socially conservative. I think Bush is no more a conservative than Nancy Pelosi. (I dislike BOTH of them.) I think it all comes down to folks who have neither an understanding of what conservatism is, nor a true grasp on politics and economics.

    Not only has Bush been a BIG SPENDER, but he has trashed the US Constitution, destroyed Civil Rights, and invaded a country which had NOTHING to do with 9/11.

    Those who would still approve of him would vote for a potato if it had “GOP” stamped on its side. (Similar to those who were ready to vote for Huckabee.)

  76. Tom K says:

    @wunsacon – I’ve never called or considered myself a Republican. The closest label that fits me is fiscal conservative / pragmatic Libertarian. I’m an anti-death penalty, religious agnostic, fine with gay marriage and drug legalization.

    That said, voting has become an exercise in choosing the lesser of two evils. I consider proponents of big government (socialists, “liberals”, “progressives”), whatever the latest code word, the greater evil. Liberals categorically reject the basic tenets of liberty: personal responsibility, accountability and the right to defend one’s life and property (they reject the whole concept of personal property for that matter). They believe people are inheritly stupid and incapable: unwashed masses who need to be farmed and nutured by the enlightened few.

    I’ll never vote for a politician who sees their role as using the apparatus of government and the force of law to redistribute property from one citizen to another.

  77. Rich_Lather says:

    This does not surprise me in the least. Have you ever met someone who will never admit to being wrong in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? I think they are by definition “conservative”. Resistance to change may include resistance to changing one’s mind.

  78. Scott F says:

    Add Up the Damage of the Bush Administration

    When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country.

    This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

    The Bush administration specialized in deceit. How else could you get the public (and a feckless Congress) to go along with an invasion of Iraq as an absolutely essential response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when Iraq had had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

  79. Scott F:

    with this: “who trampled our civil liberties at home”

    and your other examples of BDS, spare us..

    We, are to Blame, We, allowed this stupid s*it to occur..

    Simply, it was our Simple selves, asleep, that forgot–the Price of our Liberty.

    If, Bush&co. were clever enough to continue, to be allowed, to drag our Republic through the dirt, he/they should be appreciated for their Intelligence, not Blamed for our Stupidity..