Texas Rainmaker
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March 28th, 2005 5:18 pm
Politics, the President and the Polls….

The latest meme out there is the “news” that President Bush’s approval rating is at an all time low. Jim Geraghty at the Kerry Spot says (hat tip: Kevin):

The Bush approval rating leaves me scratching my head. This is the lowest moment of the Bush presidency? Not Abu Ghraib? Not the worst moments of the Iraqi insurgency? Not the time of the Enron scandals, or the post-9/11 business slump? Or does Bush�s low poll numbers reflect that as things seem to be improving in Iraq, it lessens the �we�re at war, we have to rally-around the flag� effect?

I say it’s just a natural cycle. People tend to become complacent when they don’t feel a need for something… but the moment they’re in need, they come running. They’ll pay anything, do anything… and they’ll smile about it all.

Here’s how it was explained to me in law school by a professor who was trying to point out the best time for a lawyer to send his bill to the client.

1. Someone gets sued, they panic and think a lawyer that can help them is their best friend. They’d be willing to pay anything to get out of the mess. Whatever rate you quote them, they won’t really mind.

2. Leading up to resolution, the client gets more panicky and seems to be willing to pay any bill you throw at them.

3. The day you win the case, the client can’t thank you enough. Give him the bill, he’ll happily pay it.

4. Two weeks go by and the mess has been cleared, so the client starts telling others about it. The matter doesn’t seem to be as big a deal as it was before and during. Now a client will pay, but may question some items on the bill as unnecssary.

5. After about a month, a client will generally think the mess was something they could’ve gotten out of themselves and start wondering why they ever got a lawyer involved. Now a client will challenge the entire bill and tell you you’re lucky if you even get paid.

I think this is what’s happening in America. Sure there are supporters and opponents of the President. Forget about them for the moment. Just look at the fence-sitters. After 9/11, they would’ve taken any President who they thought could help protect them. That was Stage 1. After that came the Iraq war, the pre-cursor to mid-east democracy efforts. Stage 2. Then we saw success in Iraq, and we started seeing success in other countries. Stage 3.

Now we’re in Stage 4. Those who weren’t firmly on one side or the other, but supported the war effort are now thinking that it could’ve happened without the war in Iraq, without Bush’s stance in the middle east, without soldiers dying. Now people are starting to enjoy the benefits of the counsel they were provided, but are starting to second guess whether it was really needed.

Wait until Stage 5. I guarantee you the Democrats will use Stage 5 to the fullest. The 2006 and 2008 cycles (barring any other earth-shattering events) will bring a DNC message of “everything’s great, but we could’ve achieved it differently�.without military� without Iraq� without Bush”.

Maybe it’s just the human condition. But whatever it is, it’s very predictable.

Posted by TexasRainmaker |
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