Bush To Cross The Mendoza Line?
At some point, declines in public evaluation of a president cease to be elastic and become plastic: there is a point of no return. Bush is now at 31% in the Gallup poll; my guess is, that means he's already crossed the Mendoza line. But just imagine what will happen if he hits anything south of 30%. The number 20 has a kind of intuitive power that will break through even to the paranoid remnant of support for the president. 20-something percent approval? That just doesn't happen, barring national crisis. And that's precisely what we're facing now. Because of our presidential system, there is no opportunity for a vote of no-confidence and a creation of a new government. For the next two-and-a-half years, the United States will be in a state of de facto anarchy, at least with regard to the federal government.
This is the best reason there is, incidentally, to elect a Democratic congress in the fall. Should the Republicans retain control of both houses, the remainder of Bush's term will be spent coasting along into ever greater budgetary catastrophe and international insecurity. A Democratic house or two of congress might (emphasis: might) be able to string together some semblance of government, and that is the best we can hope for.
UPDATE: Jesus H. Christ
UPDATE: Josh Marshall on Bush at the Mendoza line. Josh is right that there must be an asymptotic limit >0 to Bush's sliding approval but (as I think Nick Gillespie said recently) I'm cheering for him to drive himself into single digits just to prove it can be done.
UPDATE: An e-mailer informs me that schmuck Ohio governor Bob Taft has made it into single digits.
UPDATE (5/12/06): And there it is. 29% approval.