The headlines are abuzz today with the latest polls that seem to show George W. Bush with the lowest approval ratings going into a State of the Union speech since Richard Milhous Nixon in 1974.  

Keeping in mind that a poll, based how it forms its questions, can acheive almost any desired result, for the sake of argument let’s take the poll results as accurate.

The crux of what is bound to be a continuing comparison between the approval numbers of the two men isn’t accidental. First, those molding Nixon together with Bush are attempting to create a synonymous relationship between the words “Nixon,” “Bush” and “crook.” Secondly, it gets you invited on morning television news shows.

Expect the comparisons to continue for the foreseeable future, at least until Bush’s ratings drop even further and end up hovering around “genital warts” on the approval meter, at which point the mainstream media will switch from “Nixon” to “Caligula.”

There are similarities in the two men. For example, both Nixon and Bush had and have people lobbying to not let them build their libraries on the premises. Duke for Nixon, and SMU for Bush.

Both men presided over “unpopular wars,” though history has yet to judge Bush’s “war on terror” even some have already performed a bit of Sunday afternoon quarterbacking before the game is even over. 

Both men’s wives, Pat and Laura, were teachers. Nixon had the “V” sign (I almost said “peace sign” but Dick would have rolled over in his grave at the hippie reference) and Bush has the “Longhorn” sign.

As we’re all aware, both Nixon and Bush have made big news for various wiretapping ventures as well.

If this is all about why Bush’s approval numbers are so low, I suspect that a great deal of it has nothing to do with being a “crook,” a “liar,” or anything else. Bush’s failing is that he’s abandoned his base. Democrats aren’t going to give approval to a Republican, but when Republicans won’t either, the approval ratings take so many dives that they can only be recovered by Robert Ballard.

The media was obviously dying to get the words “Nixon” and “Bush” in the same headline going into the State of the Union speech, and they succeeded wildly — with a lot of help from Bush. But if Bush takes the bait tonight and tries to distance himself from the comparison by saying ”but I am not a crook,” I’m outta there.


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