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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Seriously, What Would Bush Have To Do… » Seriously, What Would Bush Have To Do…

Seriously, What Would Bush Have To Do…

Rusty - August 22, 2007

to get his approval rating to drop to normal levels in Utah? The only thing I can come up with is that it would have something to do with sex outside of marriage. Other than that he’s already done everything from lying to torture to breaking the law to being not-smart to waging a war against the wrong country to a myriad more.

Seriously, at what point will the people of Utah throw their hands up in the air and say, “That’s it!”?


  1. I don’t know, Rusty. The map you link to doesn’t really look all that different than the map of the percentage of each state that voted for Bush in 04. As such, it doesn’t appear that the percentage of decrease of support in Utah is any significantly less than the decrease in any other state.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 22, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

  2. Eric,

    Are you kidding? According to the map Rusty linked two Bush would have won Utah and Idaho and maybe Wyoming. It would have been an unprecedented electoral thrashing.

    I live in Utah and suspect that many Utahs are simply keeping Regan’s 11th commandment, and also refuse to speak ill of the President for fear of encouraging evil Democrats.

    Comment by a random John — August 22, 2007 @ 8:22 pm

  3. I bet his approval ratings would go down pretty fast if he decided to support abortion rights or gay marriage. People in Utah really care a lot about that stuff.

    Comment by Tom — August 22, 2007 @ 8:24 pm

  4. aRJ,
    What Eric is saying is that the amount of decrease in Bush’s approval rating in Utah is probably close to the average decrease throughout the country. The approval rating just started way higher in Utah than most other places.

    In order for the numbers in Utah to come close to the national average, the rate of decrease in approval ratings would have to be much higher in Utah than average, which you would never expect in any state with such a high percentage of Republicans. In order for that to happen, he’d have to do something that pissed off Republicans more than Democrats. Supporting abortion or gay marriage would do it.

    The other way for Bush’s rating in Utah to decrease to the national average would be for the downward movement to continue longer than in other places.

    Comment by Tom — August 22, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

  5. arJ, I think we’re talking about different things. 72% of Utah voted for Bush in ’04, 61% of Texas, and 37% of Massachusetts. So it looks like Bush has dropped about 20% pretty evenly across the board.

    My only point in all this is simply to point out that Bush is so much higher in Utah and Idaho right now because he started out so much higher. He’s dropped about the same.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 22, 2007 @ 8:46 pm

  6. I’m not even sure the abortion thing would do it. But I think it’s more likely to do it than a sex scandal. After all, the sex scandal would be entirely the fault of Democratic smear tactics.

    Comment by Seth R. — August 22, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

  7. The reason people are afraid to disapprove is out of pride. They voted for him, and so they want to save face and claim that he’s still great. I know this, because I’m one of those used-to-love-him-voted-for-him-twice-he-was-awesome-right-after-9/11 Bush fans. Instead of hating him (too Democratic for me), I’ve decided to answer questions with “Eh? Did you say something about politics? I’m sorry, I don’t respond to questions. My brother’s in Iraq.” That usually stops the demand for my opinion. And yes, my opinion (regardless of hearsay) is in high demand. ;)

    Comment by Cheryl — August 22, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

  8. Rusty,

    Just because a president breaks the law doesn’t make him un-popular, what about your buddy Bill Clinton or for that matter any other president, which one hasn’t lied?

    And about the war, I’m glad you’re so “all seeing” and have access to international intelligence information that can help you decide he made the wrong decision.

    20/20 hindsight gives everyone a different perspective. The democrats have certainly proved that. I would say your viewpoint has probably changed, too.

    Comment by don — August 22, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

  9. Seriously, at what point will the people of Utah throw their hands up in the air and say, “That’s it!”?

    Sadly, I don’t there is such a point. A state that continually returns Orin Hatch to the Senate is not likely to turn their backs on Bush.

    Comment by Guy Murray — August 22, 2007 @ 10:55 pm

  10. I think Mormons like Bush because they believe he is a basically good man who shares their values. And I think they are largely right about that.

    I believe Bush is one of the worst presidents we’ve ever had, but it’s not because he’s an evil man, it’s because he refuses to deal with reality, especially about Iraq. Read his terrible speech to the VFW yesterday, it’s about the most unrealistic thing you can imagine. I also think he has little respect for the rule of law, and has appointed some bad people and remained loyal to them much too long. (I say this as someone who made the mistake of voting for him in 2000.)

    The main thing I fear is that we’ll elect Giuliani, who scares me even more than Bush. Anybody but Rudy in ’08! He doesn’t have the best record with regard to the sexual issues, though…what’s his approval rating in Utah?

    Comment by ed johnson — August 23, 2007 @ 12:50 am

  11. don,

    are you saying Rusty was a closet Bush supporter up to, say, March 2003, but now that the situation has steadily gotten worse he’s but a mindless sheeple who jumped on the hate Bush wagon ’cause all the cool kids are doing it?

    Regarding the war, you can bet if “international intelligence information” had anything positive to report, we’d hear about it. That is, unless positive reports from a US perspective about the progress of the war would actually help the enemy by causing them to redouble their efforts to defeat the invaders. You can imagine the Chiefs of Staff in their huddle: “Let ‘em think they’re winning just to keep them in the dark about their own defeat!”

    And your point about Clinton is beside the point. We all know what caused his ratings to plummet in Utah–the question at hand is what will it take for the same thing to happen to Bush.

    Comment by Peter LLC — August 23, 2007 @ 3:52 am

  12. I think Mormons like Bush because they believe he is a basically good man who shares their values. And I think they are largely right about that.

    I suspect this is true, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the feeling wasn’t mutual–Evangelicals and Mormons aren’t exactly batting for the same team.

    Comment by Peter LLC — August 23, 2007 @ 3:55 am

  13. I believe Bush is a Methodist, and according to David Kuo, he hasn’t really treated his evangelical supporters all that well.


    I thought the Iraq invasion was a stupid move in 2003 and I never changed that opinion. It seemed obvious to me that we were already priorly-engaged in Afghanistan, and it made no sense to start up a new costly military commitment until Afghanistan had been stabilized. I saw Bush’s adventure in Iraq as pure imperial-overreach. I saw the new military commitment as destabilizing our entire world security program, from the Korean DMZ, to the Taiwan Straits, to Germany, to just about everywhere else that the threat of a strong US military helps keep the peace.

    You didn’t need any kind of intelligence to reach that conclusion. Just a minimal sense of America’s international “big picture.” Turns out that many of the top brass in the Pentagon agreed with me, but were pretty-much bullied into agreement by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

    Of course, the American public really is a bunch of hopeless idiots when it comes to knowledge of anything happening outside their own borders. And boy, they sure proved it in the last six years! The American majority has been an utter embarrassment and I blame them for this disgrace just as much as Bush and Cheney.

    I thought the WMD question was just a bunch of ignorance and paranoia in 2003 and I still think that in 2007.

    You can plead that there was a good case to be made for the Iraq invasion… if you were living under a rock, that is. Or only hearing what you wanted to hear in 2003. The signs were there that this was going to be a massive exercise in American hubris. But most of America was simply too chauvinistic, self-absorbed, and hysterical in 2003 to step back and think about things in a rational manner.

    Hopefully the screaming masses will think twice before trying to play John Wayne shooting redskins in the future.

    Comment by Seth R. — August 23, 2007 @ 5:12 am

  14. Just because a president breaks the law doesn’t make him un-popular.

    Um, that’s kind of my point. And for the record, I’ve never had a buddy named Bill Clinton. When he was president I didn’t care about politics so my opinions were basically remnants of yours. That’s why I voted for Bush in 2000. When Bush was gearing up for the war was when I actively started paying attention to politics and started forming genuine opinions based on the information out there rather than relying on what I’d always heard growing up. It’s okay that we’ve got differing opinions on some matters. But I see that you make the mistake that many full-blooded Republicans AND Democrats make, assuming because I have a liberal (or conservative) view on something that all of my other views are going to be liberal (or conservative).

    And yes, 20/20 hindsight is always a good thing, that’s why it’s so baffling to me that even with that 20/20 vision there are still people refusing to see the problem.

    Comment by Rusty — August 23, 2007 @ 5:49 am

  15. Time was when Utah, still our most Mormon state, was more balanced. It voted for Democrats, gave women the vote, elected a Jewish governor… somewhere Mormons went off the track and started believing that politicians, if they are Republican, are gods and can do no wrong. Just as out here in the hinterlands Mormons have elevated attending BYU to equal status with going on a mission and getting married in the temple, too many Mormons think “Republican” is a priesthood calling.

    Comment by Marcus — August 23, 2007 @ 5:51 am

  16. I think it will take the prophet of the Lord to stop meeting with Bush, to stop giving the Vice President commencement speeches at church schools for the 50% of Utahns who still support Bush to no longer support Bush. As long as the prophet continues to support Bush, Utahns will too.

    Comment by Dan — August 23, 2007 @ 5:57 am

  17. Marcus,

    somewhere Mormons went off the track and started believing that politicians, if they are Republican, are gods and can do no wrong.

    That “somewhere” is about the time of the rise of Ezra Taft Benson, Cleon Skousen, Harold B. Lee and their ilk. It’s hard for Mormons to get around the fact that these men said day in and day out that you can’t be a good faithful latter day saint and a Democrat, or a liberal.

    Comment by Dan — August 23, 2007 @ 5:59 am

  18. Answer: Bush signs off on funding for a faith-based organization that desires to “Evangelize Mormons”.

    Seriously though, I am somewhat surprised that Bush fatigue hasn’t grown in Utah. I’d be curious to see how Rudy polls in Utah. My guess is the GOP will be in trouble (on a national basis, anyway) if they nominate him.

    Regarding Dan’s comments in #16, President Hinckley met with President Clinton on several occasions. Should he have stopped that as well? I don’t think Utahns viewed Pres. Hinckley as supporting Clinton just because he gave him a geneaology chart. Then again, they may read more into the Bush visits.

    Comment by Eddie — August 23, 2007 @ 7:14 am

  19. Dan,
    The thing is, as best I can tell, the fact that the prophet met with Clinton didn’t change many Utah minds, either; I don’t have any knowledge, but would be surprised if there were any U.S. president in the recent (say 50 year) past with whom the prophet at the time didn’t meet. Or, for that matter, any other head of state or VIP who happened to go to Utah.

    Comment by Sam B. — August 23, 2007 @ 7:17 am

  20. You all are ignoring Eric’s point. If you want to say that Utahns aren’t turning against Bush as much as the rest of the country is turning against Bush, the number we need to look at isn’t the absolute approval rating, it’s the rate of decrease in approval ratings in Utah as compared to the national rate of decrease. If those numbers are close then the answer to Rusty’s question as to why Utahns aren’t turning against Bush when everyone else is is that they are turning against Bush like everyone else is. All the absolute approval rating tells us is that Utahns are more likely than the rest of the country to approve of Bush, which has been true all along. In isolation that number doesn’t tell us that Utahns’ approval of Bush hasn’t been affected by his performance.

    I don’t have time to crunch numbers and determine the rate of decrease in approval ratings in Utah over the past few years, but I would bet that Utahns are turning against Bush at rates comparable to other red states, if not the national average. Until we have numbers indicating that Utahns aren’t turning against Bush, it’s kind of pointless to talk about why they aren’t.

    Comment by Tom — August 23, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  21. Dan: That “somewhere” is about the time of the rise of Ezra Taft Benson, Cleon Skousen, Harold B. Lee and their ilk.

    You can be a good Mormon and a Democrat or a liberal, but I’m not sure you can be a good Mormon and disrespect past presidents of the Church. You may not have intended it that way, but the phrase, “and their ilk,” has a negative connotation for most people. It denotes that the group you’re referring to is unsavory or of questionable character. Most Mormons won’t take kindly to that kind of language. Just a heads up.

    Comment by Tom — August 23, 2007 @ 7:53 am

  22. Tom,

    Thanks, yeah, I realized that that word was a bit too strong after I posted it. I don’t look at them that disrespectfully. After all Ezra Taft Benson and Harold B. Lee were prophets who gave us much good counsel. Forgive me for that mistake.

    Comment by Dan — August 23, 2007 @ 8:34 am

  23. This just in: Intel report questions Iraq’s progress

    Comment by Peter LLC — August 23, 2007 @ 8:49 am

  24. It’s all good, Dan. I’m glad you didn’t mean it disrespectfully. You may be a good Mormon after all. :-)

    Comment by Tom — August 23, 2007 @ 8:59 am

  25. Rusty,

    I guess my point didn’t come across quite like I intended. With the intell available and with Bush’s agenda he determined that the war with Iraq was warranted. At the time there was considerable support to that. Now that we didn’t go in and get things done quickly like we wanted there is all this stuff being said about how stupid the war is and we shouldn’t have entered it to begin with.

    I’m NOT a big Bush fan. I’d like to see a quick clear cut policy on getting out. With 20/20 hindsight we can see that Vietnam didn’t go to Hell in a handbasket when we left…Iraq probably won’t either…and if it does we can deal with that.

    Enough about the politics of the situation.

    In answer to your question in the post…Never! For most of the reasons already present. I don’t think the conservatives in Utah would admit to liking Bush less…they would feel they have to like a liberal more then and they would abhor that idea. Liberal is a “four letter word” in Utah.

    Comment by Don Clifton — August 23, 2007 @ 11:15 am

  26. “that’s why it’s so baffling to me that even with that 20/20 vision there are still people refusing to see the problem.”

    Rusty, I don’t buy that this is true for anyone except for the folks in the deepest part of the woods. Everyone sees there is a problem. What differs are opinions as to what to do about the problem. It seems you are equating “seeing the problem” with “holding a specific opinion about resolving the problem,” a fallacy in thinking that many people seem to be making these days.

    Comment by Eric Russell — August 23, 2007 @ 12:59 pm

  27. don said, “Just because a president breaks the law doesn’t make him un-popular, what about your buddy Bill Clinton or for that matter any other president, which one hasn’t lied?”

    For the record, Bill Clinton was the biggest disappointment in all of my interest in politics. So much promise, so little self discipline. He has more brains in his little finger than the entire Republican Congress but he let’s something other than his brain rule his behavior.

    That being said, Bill Clinton was impeached, IMPEACHED, because he lied about an afair with a White House intern in a private deposition for a law suit. The testimony of that deposition was intended to be confidential. And so how do you think the inquisitor, Ken Starr, got his hands on that testimony? Do you think there might have been some illegal activity in his obtaining it?

    And so for two years and How many milllions of dollars in Special Prosecutor’s fees? Washington sat still while the Republicans in congress wasted our time and money with no significant consequence other than further dividing the people of this nation.

    Compare those “illegal” activities to Bush’s trampling of the constitution and his manipulation of American public opinion through his lies and the lies of Cheney, Rice and so many others – even the previously deified Colin Powell. Thank of what little price he has had to pay for his bad behavior. The fact that you can’t see the difference in Bush’s illegal activities and those of Clinton speaks volumes.

    Comment by lamonte — August 26, 2007 @ 6:54 am

  28. I think Mormons like Bush because they believe he is a basically good man who shares their values. And I think they are largely right about that.

    Why do people think this? Where did they get the idea he shares our values, because he said he does while trying to get votes? I don’t believe he’s a moral person at all, and it concerns me that so many fellow Utahns believe he is.

    Comment by jjohnsen — August 27, 2007 @ 10:31 am

  29. People think this because he
    1) wears Jesus on his sleeve
    2) says the “right” things about gays and abortion
    3) there isn’t the slightest indication he would step out on Laura.

    Optional, mismanaged wars carried out under a blanket of deceit and denial are secondary to those.

    Comment by NorthboundZax — August 30, 2007 @ 8:44 pm

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