03 November 2005

Bush Exceeds Bartlet's Nadir

During the first season of The West Wing, Josiah Bartlet's approval rating dropped to 42%, prompting panic and a sea change in the White House. (Or, at least, in a Hollywood-controlled White House… which, after the last five years, would probably be an improvement. Even if it involved bad actors and bad scriptwriters.) Bush's approval rating dropped to 39% this week.

If the approval rating had not dropped substantially, I would have been a great deal more concerned. The Vice President's Chief of Staff resigned after indictment for his part in disclosing the identity of a NOC agent. (We'll pretend for a moment that this bit of political retribution did not result in any adverse consequences for foreign intelligence sources and agents… which it almost certainly did.) Two more cronies were promoted in his place; the stonewalling continues; and, sad as it may seem, it is actually deflecting attention from the underlying policy and integrity failures.