Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


Josh has a good post up about why W's numbers are in free fall:

I'm hearing many conservatives say now that the White House political office is off their game. But I see no real evidence of this. The problem is more fundamental. For quite some time this White House has functioned like a heavily leveraged business, an overextended investor that suddenly gets a margin call. To extend the business metaphor, the White House has been surviving not on profits but expectations of future profits or, in other words, credibility. The White House has been able to get the public to sit tight with a lot of objectively poor news (a poor economy, big deficits, bad news from abroad) on the basis of trust.

But a combination of the manifest incompetence of the planning for post-war Iraq and the dishonesty of the build-up for the war have become increasingly difficult to defend or deny. And that's struck a grave blow against the president's credibility.

Credibility of course is unitary. And the erosion has ricocheted from foreign policy to domestic policy and back again in escalating fashion. Suddenly the White House's explanations for why the country has fallen back into half trillion dollar deficits are ringing hollow.

As we've seen recently, a hollowed-out company can push along for some time so long as no one takes a good look at the books or calls in their loans. But when it happens the fall can be dramatic.

I think Josh is on the mark there. Boy, now this prediction of mine from March 24th is looking on-target:

W really should get a serious"rally around the flag" effect for a while -- until Americans realize, once again, that the economy sucks and that this president has no plans to do much about it except reward his rich contributors with tax cuts. That realization should set in sometime early next year -- just as the presidential campaign gets started. About that time Iraq should become increasingly expensive and chaotic as well.
Damn near prophetic, eh?

This prediction from May is looking pretty good as well.

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