Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Has the Bush turnaround begun?

When the Final Accounting is done, one thing is certain: George W. Bush will be among the worst presidents of all time.
It's absolutely beyond debate now. Bottom three, for sure (I can't think of who might lift him out of dead last, but I took American History too long ago to say there wasn't somebody so blind, depraved and addled by his own ideology that he might boost Dubya out of the cellar). Compared to Bush, Richard Nixon is Albert Einstein in shining armor, rescuing babies and bringing a cure for cancer. The American people have caught on, as polls have shown for months.
And yet there is talk of a resurgence.
Most of it so far, to be sure, has come from the Pentagon and the deepest, unmovable bowels of the Republican party. But it's beginning to spread.
"The surge is working," says the military, which executed the surge.
"Our military says the surge is working," says the GOP, which conceived the surge and has made itself the sole source of news about its effectiveness. "Al Qaeda and its North American wing, the Democrat party, are giving ground."
"The administration says the surge is working," parrot the national media, still trying to ignore the way they cowered and cringed before the frenzy of symbolic patriotism after the World Trade Center attacks. Flags fluttering from the antennae of 50 million SUVs made editors and publishers all over the country forget that their duty was not to their advertisers or stockholders, but to their readers and viewers.
Two months after the 9/11 attacks, when the president's approval hit 85 percent, I wrote that "Osama bin Laden is George Bush's best friend. If it weren't for him, Bush's approval rating would be 32 percent and falling."
It took awhile, but 60 days ago the president's approval was 32 percent and falling. I gloated unbecomingly.
It isn't much above that now . . . but the slide seems to have stopped. After just the faintest, undocumented reports of unspecified "improvement" in Iraq, a Pew poll has found that "nearly half" the American people believe the war is going well, up from one-third in June. That's had its effect on those Democrats, still a majority, who've lacked the stones to take on the president or the wit to deal with charges that questioning his policies is treason. Some of them now are backing away from criticism of the war, fearful that if the U.S. salvages something the GOP can call a victory, they'll be counted among the defeated.
And the president's approval ratings are creeping up. The San Francisco Chronicle speculated Sunday that if there's a perception the troop surge has worked, "President Bush could be off the ropes and Republicans back on the offense. The Democratic Congress and presidential candidates could lose their footing on their biggest issue, and U.S. troop commitments and war funding could be set on a higher, more permanent trajectory."
Well, wouldn't that be good news?
Violence in Iraq has not ended. It is now about where it was in January 2006, when the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra set off what most agree was a civil war: Just your average 50-or-so-a-day dead folks.
According to the pollsters, though, if things continue as they are until spring, when Gen. David Petraeus says the surge must end, then all the lies, the years of administration bungling, the equivalent of the population of Sparks dead in the desert, two generations of Americans buried in debt and hatred for the U.S. spread throughout the Muslim World, all will count for nothing. The news will be good, and the president will be off the ropes.


Blogger DCinNV said...

Hello, so glad to see you still writing.
Could not agree with you more! How in the world he ever got elected a second time baffles the mind.
We wonder in our house how much more damage can he do?
Scary world we live in, thanks Bushy Boy.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I have refused to read to local creep scoop, so I didn't realize that you had been "liberated." Congratulations! I've just bloglined you and look forward to reading your *real* writings. My husband who emailed me your blogger address, has given up to my stubborn refusal to read the local rag and brings me home a Chron on Sundays since we don't live in town. Thanks for blogging!!

7:39 PM  
Blogger Dallas said...

Isn't it a hoot that the Republican supporters of the Iraq War, capital punishment, and the suppression of immigrants and gays, like to call themselves "pro-life"?
Cory, keep telling it like it is...the bitter truth framed with wit, irony, and healthy perspective.

10:42 PM  
Blogger Vulcan Jeannie said...

Hey, Cory! I picked the exact same background for my blog —

And I got here first, shallower and pointless-er.

I got you bookmarked, buddy.

Toodles, Jeannie Rasmussen

12:10 AM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

That we "God Bless America" elected and then re-elected a president with a mental disorder says more about our society and culture than "Freedom Fries" do to the French. Oh.. and welcome to Wal-Mart.

There is no such animal as objective reporting when it comes to the news media. Cory's observation is spot-on: News organizations are in the business of making money - that is the objective - not the news. Period.

That the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal all fell into line with the Bush morally duplicitous code of conduct does not bode well for our democracy.

Yes, 9/11 was a travesty; the Iraq war a tragedy and a Pyrrhic victory at best and a complete and unmitigated disaster at worst.

The perpetrators of terror finally got their wish: Our government undermining - or just plain ignoring - The U.S. Constitution in our war on radical Islam. And what better gift could they receive than that?

Merry Christmas indeed.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Mr.Farley,

As a recent transplant to the confines of this area one of the few things redeeming about the paper you used to write for was your very unique take on things that affected not only people living here,but the world in general.I hope that the next stage in your life greets you with continued good health that usually is the result of an inquisitive mind followed by the ability to find humor in almost any situation.I look forward to reading what you have to say in your next forum, and when you are ready to trade apparel(I'm giving it away faster than it sells)Just give me a holler!

An Avid Reader,

Eugene Depew

11:39 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Good to see you have not gone "silently into the night". I share many of your political views, but cannot articulate them as well as you. Since I retired, I have become more involved in the local Democratic party.
I hope it has not given me false confidence, but the level of participation is encouraging. With your name recognition, you should consider a run for congress.
Thanks for staying around.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

A double payoff here for me--you're still writing and with your departure I no longer have any reason at all to read the RGJ.

7:19 PM  
Blogger jerhig said...

Good start Cory, this will be a super blog, no doubt.

Just want to say that if Hillary is elected you wont see much change in Iraqi war policy and that will rile a lot of her base. We don't have much choice but to finish this
debacle in the best way we can.

8:22 PM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

Just wanted to post this link to Cory's latest AutoWeek column hot of the press:

And if any of you bloggers are feeling particularly flush in economic terms this holiday season of sharing, let it be known that one of these under my Christmas tree would be a welcome surprise *grin*

8:16 AM  
Blogger tuzoner said...

I guess long direct links are a big no no here.

Just go to:

You know who for the first.

And 2008 Mercedes-Benz E320 Bluetec for the second.


8:20 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

With this Iran fiasco surfacing a couple of days ago the egg on Bush's face goes all the way to the bone. Let's see what happens to those ratings now. Talk about the Bush "legacy", WOW!!

6:32 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I read and re-read the press releases regarding the "success of the surge of troops". What immediately came to mind was the press release, sometime last summer, in which Muqtada al Sadr called for a six month stand down on attacks in Iraq. Guess the administration can put any spin it desires on this, but it seems that the reduction in insurgent attacks is not our doing.

2:32 PM  
Blogger nopastels said...

I loved the article about Cabela's. I could not believe, although I should not have been surprised, that the city council gave away all the tax breaks, etc. for this store. I believe it was done to the detriment of all the little "Mom and Pop" stores that have been serving the area for years. I hope people remember this situation along with giving away the entire area to the developers, building a baseball stadium (again tax breaks) downtown so the "people" will come downtown. I no longer support downtown and probably will not see many baseball games, even though we are rabid baseball fanantics.

Thanks for your blog, love it!

2:24 PM  

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