Now It's Bush's Turn To Be Afraid
Tom Engelhardt calls it a "Wizard of Oz" moment:
You know -- that moment when the curtains are pulled back, the fearsome-looking wizard wreathed in all that billowing smoke turns out to be some pitiful little guy, and everybody looks around sheepishly, wondering why they acted as they did for so long...He asks how did this happen and points to poll-driven politics for the answer.
How stunningly in recent weeks the landscape has altered -- almost like your basic hurricane sweeping through some unprotected and unprepared city. Now, to their amazement, Bush administration officials find themselves thrust through the equivalent of a Star-Trekkian wormhole into an anti-universe where everything that once worked for them seems to work against them.
Polls are, it might be said, what's left of American democracy. Privately run, often for profit or advantage, they nonetheless are as close as we come these days -- actual elections being what they are -- to the expression of democratic opinion, serially, week after week. Everyone who matters in and out of Washington and in the media reads them as if life itself were at stake. They drive behavior and politics. Fear, too, is a poll-driven phenomenon.Tom suggest that the polls, in turn, have been driven down by the steady drip of US casualties. I am not so sure about that: US deaths have been well-concealed by the media. I think Bush's failing domestic agenda may have far more to do with it, particularly the "turning point" of Hurricane Katrina.