(CBS) The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high.How did this happen? Bush hasn't been a particularly good president in general, but I credit three huge mistakes by the Administration:
At this point, those of us watching from the hinterlands are scratching our heads and wondering "what the @% is going on out there in D.C.?" Do I think George Bush is doing a good job as President? No, I don't.
Harriet Miers - the ONE ISSUE for which conservatives had hung with Bush through all of his ideological sellouts. Hugely important issue to the GOP base. Plenty of outstanding choices available. No political benefit, and huge potential for negative fallout, from making the wrong choice. Public concern about Bush's propensity for cronyism. Bush nominates his personal lawyer, a little known and not particularly distinguished attorney from Dallas. Accuses her critics (i.e., his core constituency) of being sexist and elitist. Stupid move.
Katrina Response - Bush had us all 100% sold on re-thinking our "pre-911" mindset as regards national security and preparedness. He then quietly appointed a horse show manager (or whatever that was he did) to manage America's emergency response, even though horses are seldom used in disaster relief these days. Disaster ensued. Bush lauded the "hell of a job" his horse show expert was doing managing the disaster. Stupid.
Dubai Ports - The ONE ISSUE on which the nation still trusted you. Bush sold us on how critical it was to "err on the side of caution" as regards national security, and then rubber-stamped control of some of America's most critical ports to one of three governments in the world that had officially recognized the Taliban. Accused the deal's critics of being "racists" and "xenophobes" and threatened to veto any attempt to impede the deal, which would constitute his very first veto after six years in office. Stupid.