Feb 242008
Authors: Ian Bezek

President Bush has been, to put it kindly, an ineffective leader recently.

However, last week he made a dubious new accomplishment — he now has the lowest presidential approval rating of any president in modern times, falling even below the widely hated President Nixon.

President Bush’s approval rating has dropped, according to the latest poll from the American Research Group, to a mere 19 percent. This places him even below Nixon, who bottomed out at 24 percent.

President Bush’s legacy is already tarnished beyond repair. So, for the sake of his party, he should immediately resign.

The Republican Party is in bad enough shape as it is. The war has failed, economic growth has slowed to a halt and dissatisfaction has grown within the conservative base – the last thing voters want to see is President Bush speaking.

He is so passionately disliked that his entire party’s chances in the upcoming election are endangered.

The Republicans have already lost the House and Senate to the Democrats and will likely lose the presidency to a Democrat this fall.

However, there is potential for the Republicans to be entirely routed in the Congressional elections and lose dozens of representatives in districts they now control. The Democrats currently only have slender majorities in both houses, but a landslide defeat this fall would marginalize what remained of the Republican Party.

While I am not a huge fan of Republicans right now, the prospect of one-party rule – any party – is terrifying. Our nation is built on checks and balances; allowing Democrats to get the presidency and large majorities in both houses of Congress would lead to a dangerous concentration of power within one party. Multiple party rule is an essential check to prevent the passage of bad legislation.

If the Democrats win eight or more Senate seats in the upcoming election, then they will have the 60 Senators necessary to break any filibusters the Republicans might launch, essentially giving Democrats the power to pass any legislation they wish without opposition or even discussion.

For the Republicans to have any shot at winning competitive races this fall, voters must forget the job President Bush has done. Not only has he thoroughly disgusted Democrats and Independents, even Republicans now dislike him. Only 45 percent of Republicans approve of President Bush’s job performance.

If President Bush were to resign, the Republican Party could openly declare a change of direction and rally behind Senator McCain, who has credibility as a moderate and is not tied to many of President Bush’s failed ideologies.

Although McCain is unlikely to win, the re-branding of the Republican Party that I’m proposing could ignite a fire within the depressed Republican Party base and increase turnout for the races in Congress and Senate.

The Republican Party needs to return its focus to the things that made it successful: low taxes, limited government and sensible foreign policy. President Bush has abandoned all these ideals.

He passed the expensive and socialistic Medicare drug program which violated limited government principles and frittered away taxpayer money. Between this program and the wasteful misguided war in Iraq, President Bush squandered President Clinton’s budget surplus and also made America a villain around the world.

It is time for President Bush to “spend more time with his family” and let America chart a new direction forward. By becoming even more unpopular than Nixon, President Bush has proven that he is unfit to lead the country.

Nixon left office voluntarily and allowed Republicans to rally behind his replacement, President Ford, avoiding disaster for the party.

President Bush needs to follow in Nixon’s footsteps and step out of the limelight so that a generation of Republicans in Washington won’t lose their seats this fall.

Ian Bezek is a sophomore economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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