We reported earlier this week that Bush has apparently fallen from his lofty 33% approval rating. CNN has The Decider at 32% as of yesterday.
What’s a lame duck to do? You got it, baby. Relentless photo-ops: lunching with GIs, huddling with children of color, and yes, mountain biking.
So with Earth Day upon us, the recently shaken-up (not stirred) White House had Bush out in Napa Valley for a series of extreme bike rides amid the lush greenery.
Of course, Northern California is one of those odd places in the United States of America where they take the environment and public policy seriously.
It wasn’t pretty.
From the Napa Register:
“A circus-like atmosphere permeated Meadowood’s normally quiet front entrance Saturday. Protesters chanted everything from ‘Impeach Bush,’ ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, Bush and Cheney have to go,’ and ‘Honk for peace.’ Protesters also sang John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance.’
“Jes Richardson, a resident of San Geronimo, made the trip to Napa along with a 10-foot, paper-mache statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Richardson used the statue at protests throughout the Bay Area, he said, as part of the Gandhi Peace Brigade, a group that opposes the war in Iraq.
“‘I am in Napa to open (Bush’s) heart and basically have him look at this as a creation of peace,’ he said.”
That’s right, President Bush. Northern California don’t play make nice: they break out the giant puppets on your ass.
It wasn’t any better in St. Helena, where Bush attempted to kick it photogenic at a high-buck resort. From the sly editors at the St. Helena Star:
“Welcome to St. Helena, Mr. Bush. You are seeing us at our springtime best.
“However, had you booked your trip a week or two earlier, you would have seen the tail-end of a hard winter here in the Napa Valley. At one point during the season, flooding damaged our valley to the tune of about $100 million, including more than $5 million here in St. Helena.
“Many of our residents live and work near the Napa river and its tributaries and are depending on federal funding to help finish a flood control project that has been in the works for years.
“Unfortunately, two FEMA grants worth $6 million were denied St. Helena, seriously jeopardizing the town’s flood control plan.”
Republican strategy, going back 15 years, has called almost exclusively for the no-holds-barred demonization of Democrats — the liberal media, the Democratic Congress, Bill Clinton, and any Democrat who looks to go all the way during the four-year cycle. So Bush climbed in the polls — briefly and minimally — against John Kerry, barely enough to eke out a victory in 2004.
Without these boogey-men, the Republicans have nothing to subsist on but their records. And those are abysmal. And so Bush’s numbers will continue to fall. And anywhere Bush goes, protests will mushroom: Bakersfield, Berkeley, Biloxi, it doesn’t matter.
But you have to love the special twist they give it in Northern California. They make it sing. Final case in point: last Friday.
Special thanks to FOB (Friend of Blog) Susan, for the tips on these reports. Susan saw our call for intelligence yesterday, and got right on it.
Ever vigilant, indeed.