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Author Topic: Political Discontent Rising?
David Ricardo
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As part of my day job, I have appointments with 6-7 clients every week to review their investment planning, retirement planning, and life insurance. What I like most about it is that I get to meet our typically middle-class clients and get a sense for their and their familiy's situations.

Yesterday, however, a surprising thing happened in both appointments. While I was building rapport and discussing their financial situation with my first client (61 year old white ex-Marine small business owner in Orange County, California), he surprisingly started lambasting President Bush for "being unable to do anything right." Before continuing with his tirade, he said that he was a lifelong Republican who voted for President Bush in both 2000 and 2004, but he could never bring himself to be a Republican ever again because he now realizes that the Republican Party is now the party of incompetent political hacks.

Of course, one of my cardinal rules of thumb is to never discuss politics with my clients (regardless of how much I personally like to discuss the subject), but he just continued on his tirade about how the President couldn't get anything right in Iraq, couldn't get anything right in the Gulf Coast, and couldn't balance a budget to save his own life -- and then, he observed that this was the same man who was shocked into dumbly reading books to kids for 15-20 minutes after the WTC towers fell -- the same man who failed at every business venture before becoming President -- the same man who was a raving alcoholic and cocaine user bum some twenty years ago.

Meanwhile, I just shut my mouth and listened attentively to him, waiting for a moment to change the subject to safer territory, and I ended up waiting 15 minutes for him to finish expounding on how the current government was robbing the American public blind and wrecking the future for his grandkids.

Then, when I saw my second client (53 year old Hispanic realtor who owns two offices in Riverside, California) last night, he started calling the federal government a bunch of racists halfway through our appointment. In his words, he said:

quote:
I love this country, but I absolutely hate the government here. They can spend billions upon billions of our taxpayer dollars halfway around the world to spread the "democracy"(sneer) throughout Iraq, but they can't be bothered to save the lives of some poor black people in our own American cities?
And then, he told me that, in his humble opinion, every person who supported the invasion in Iraq should volunteer to send themselves, their kids, or their kids's kids to Iraq first before talking about spreading "democracy" (he sneered at that word again) throughout the Middle East.

Now, these were just anecdotes, but you have to remember that these people come from one of the most conservative demographics in the country (Orange County, California), and you have to realize that my average client who needs sophisticated financial services is more conservative than the average American, and you have to realize that I almost never talk politics with my clients, yet both of my last two clients just exploded with anti-Administration tirades out of the blue.

And now, we have the new polls (CNN/USA Today andRasmussen):

CNN/USA Today: Approval - 40%

http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09/19/bush.poll/

Rasmussen Reports: Approval - 44%

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/Bush_Job_Approval.htm

Now, the question that I pose: do you think that political discontent in the country has hit an all-time high for this Administration?

[ September 20, 2005, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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JohnLocke
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Wasn't that November 7?
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Mormegil
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I've never understood the approval ratings.

I have never approved of any President in my lifetime, and it boggles my mind that there are people that actually approve of either Bush or Clinton.

Whenever I hear a politician's approval rating, I always think, "Wow, 37% of people actually think he's doing a good job? Wow!"

No wonder we keep electing the same lizards again and again.

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canadian
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Ssssilence him..

<tongue flick>

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Haggis
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It ssshall be done, Fleetlord Atvar.
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Digger
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Just to add to your observation, here's an opinion piece from the WSJ (of all places) taking the Republicans to the woodshed over their fiscal practices.

I've said before that the Republicans are giving the Democrats a wide opening on domestic financial matters, and now the WSJ is explicitly saying the same thing:
quote:
What we're seeing in the wake of Katrina is that despite all the winks and assurances to the contrary as they passed the energy and transportation bills, Republicans in Congress don't know how to control spending and are at a loss as to why they even should. That's one way to govern. But if Republicans no longer believe in smaller government, why not put the Democrats back in charge? (emphasis added)
I think we really are witnessing a shift here. If this holds, the Democrats may be the big winners in the '06 midterms.
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gr8fulreader
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David,
thank you for bringing this up. Katrina is the thorn is everyone’s side. It is a bitter mirror of the nation. It revealed the embarrassing and disturbing image of the country: Americans aren’t all smart, honest, industrious and prosperous. Our government is far from efficient. All of this is making all of us very uncomfortable. Left is “outraged”, right is “defensive”. But the sad thing is that it won’t go father than words, outrage, disagreement. After a while, the horrible images will become vaque, and your concervative clients will go back to listening to Rush, and feeling content yet again..

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Haggis
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Here's some excerpts from an article on Bush's polling numbers from Yahoo news:

quote:
Hurricane Katrina and the bungled government response have weakened President Bush, raising questions among Americans about his Iraq and flood-recovery plans and spreading fears among fellow Republicans about next year's elections.

An AP-Ipsos poll says nearly six in 10 people disapprove of Bush's job performance, unchanged from the record-low rating he had before last week's televised address from the heart of New Orleans.

That underscores why GOP leaders fear Bush could be a drag on GOP candidates in 2006....

A variety of polls suggest voters expected the president to act more quickly in the aftermath of Katrina. He's no longer considered a strong, decisive leader by many voters, a reversal from the 2004 presidential campaign when the wartime incumbent successfully cast himself in those terms....

For the first time, senior Republican consultants and lawmakers are warning the White House that Bush's base is perilously close to deserting him. The poll underscores their concerns: By an 8-point margin, voters are more likely to call themselves Democrats than Republicans; there was no gap in self-identification a year ago.


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WarrsawPact
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Yeah, but the sick joke here is that Democrats don't have to even claim to be the party of smaller government to win a nod from fiscal conservatives.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Digger said:
quote:
I think we really are witnessing a shift here. If this holds, the Democrats may be the big winners in the '06 midterms.
I doubt that. While almost no one is completely impressed with the job the Republicans have done (whatever their key issues are - jobs, fiscal conservatism, Iraq, etc), most Republicans will vote for what they see as the lesser of two evils.

Many people did not vote for Bush in '04 - they voted against Kerry. Many people did not vote for Kerry in '04, they voted against Bush.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but we do need some non-lizard candidates soon. It is doubtful that things will change even if the Democrats were the 'big winner' in '06/'08.

--Firedrake

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canadian
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Yess...sssleeep...
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Haggis
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I am not aware of any warm-blooded politicians. Hell, most of them aren't even chordates.
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canadian
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"Suck my bottom, feeder!"
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javelin
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I'm thinking of grapes, suddenly.

Anyone hungry for something sweeter?

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
"Suck my bottom, feeder!"
Bottom feed 'er?
Ick.
She doesn't eat that.

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Wayward Son
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What, you don't like rump roast?
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OpsanusTau
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Clinton speaks
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Funean
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quote:
Clinton speaks
<Funean scans the article, fruitlessly, for the "rump roast" connection>
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OpsanusTau
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Oh, come ON.

This is *Clinton.*

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Ivan
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Meh. I wish they'd just give us a transcript of his remarks rather than snippits.
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canadian
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All hail Clin-Ton!
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gr8fulreader
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congratulation, canadian - you succeeded at being obscure. Or am I missing something?
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canadian
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Just a riff on the Simpsons, gr8ful...

"Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!"

That episode.

Also, just 'prostrating' myself before the mighty William Jefferson.

<waggling cigar and eyebrows..."How's that for an in-u-endo?">

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Jesse
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"most Republicans will vote for what they see as the lesser of two evils."

Two point margin. Most won't be enough.

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Wayward Son
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That depends on who the Democrats field. President Hillary, anyone? [Big Grin]
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flydye45
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How does it feel to be faced with an "obvious incompentent" twice, and yet still have the party platform not be able to muster ANY political gains for 6 elections running?

Oh yes, it's all Karl Rove's fault. Nice insulation from self examination.

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Haggis
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quote:
How does it feel to be faced with an "obvious incompentent" twice, and yet still have the party platform not be able to muster ANY political gains for 6 elections running?
It pretty much sucks. I'm hoping for lucky 7.
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Jesse
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After all....it only took 40 years for Republicans to figure out a new winning platform.

In '06, we shall see what we shall see. It's a long darn way off.

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gr8fulreader
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flydye - it felt awful. still does. there is hope we get soemone who can be a true leader, no matter what side he comes from. And no, it won't be a woman. this country is not ready for that...
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flydye45
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I find it a little funny that today's "sophisticated" modern human still has a sense of that juju of mana. If hurricanes and disasters strike, it's time to sacrifice the warchief to appease the spirits...

Jesse, alternatively, for all it's good works (much fewer then you'll claim, more then I'll grant them), the Democrats have frittered away whatever trust they had, so even "obvious incompents" look less dangerous. [Smile]

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Jesse
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Only to a very, very slim majority of voters Flydye45.

However, if you can encourage a RNC policy of absolute cocksure hubris, I'd really appreciate it. It will make my work a LOT easier.

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JS Millings
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Yes, political dissent is growing and is at an all time high for Bush. Katrina, Rita, gas prices, no WMD's in Iraq----its all piling up in the American psyche. Ther're all thinking, "Darn it. We should've voted Nader." lol
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