Bush Falls to New Low

A new poll from Newsweek shows George Bush’s approval at a new low of 26% with even a third of Republicans disapproving of him. A record high of 73% disapprove of the job Bush is doing in Iraq. Only 43% approve of the job he is doing on homeland security and terrorism, with 50% approving.

Newsweek also a low approval for Congress:

In the scariest news for the Democratic candidates seeking their party’s nomination in 2008, even rank-and-file Democrats are unhappy with Congress, which is narrowly controlled by their party. Only 27 percent of Democrats approve of the job Congress is doing, a statistically insignificant difference from the 25 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of independents who approve of Congress.

It is difficult to tell what to make of these numbers. I’d also give Congress a low approval rating, but that is partially due to the inability of the Democrats to accomplish much with their narrow majorities. I would also give them a low rating for handling Iraq, but also know the Republicans would do worse. It is far from clear that low approval of Congress at this time indicates any desire of the voters to vote for Republicans instead of Democrats.

It Looks Increasingly Like Third Parties May Influence Outcome in 2008

Third party talk remains big today, with Michael Bloomberg joined by another name–Ralph Nader. Bloomberg denies plans to run, but The New York Times reports that he’s had staffers working behind the scenes for two years.First Read reports that Bloomberg has even met with Nancy Reagan. The Politico wonders how a marriage between Bloomberg and Unity ’08 would work.

The Politico also reports that Ralph Nader is considering a run. After all we’ve been through since 2000, he still claims there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Chris Lehane responds to Nader’s criticism:

Chris Lehane, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said of a possible Nader candidacy: “His entry into the race, even to those who voted for him in 2000, would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public. Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election.”

As was clear by 2004, Nader has no chance to win, and he has little impact on the positions of either party. As Steve Benen sums it up, “Nader appears anxious to run yet again — he just doesn’t seem to know why.” Bloomberg remains a long shot, but some people such as John Zogby believe he really does have a shot:

It comes down to good timing, really. After more than a decade of harsh wrangling, likely voters tell me they are tired of the vicious partisanship. In a national telephone poll last month, 80% said it was “very important” that the next President be a person who can unite the country, and 82% said the same about the need for a competent manager. Bloomberg wins on both counts.

Zogby also believes that Bloomberg might hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans:

An important side note: Contrary to conventional wisdom, my polling shows he would likely take more votes from the Democrat than the Republican. Those who consider themselves part of that growing “moderate” political class are 38% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 38% independents.

The Tactics Of Smear and Hatred At The Democratic Daily

Earlier today I received email regarding the usual personal attacks coming from The Democratic Daily. My web access was limited to my Palm, but I but did manage to post this brief comment earlier before I could get to a real computer.

As my long time readers know, I have been subjected to personal attacks which actually started when I was a writer at The Democratic Daily. The latest dispute arose over their denial of the fact that we were attacked by al Qaeda terrorists on September 11, 2001. Posting new evidence to the contrary earlier today apparently was the last straw. Lacking any rational arguments, they returned to the tactics they prefer–personal smears.

If this was just someone expressing their personal views I really wouldn’t care. Unfortunately a few conservative blogs quoted the statements at The Democratic Daily alleging they were representative of most Democrats and liberals. My response to this not surprisingly set off another round of attacks. As another blog reported:

The post I put up a few days back had little to do with the actual content of this minor loony-lib-on-regular-lib blogfight, but the former official Kerry blogger/Democratic Daily editor known as Pamela who’d been pushing a debunked and loony 9-11 Twoofer documentary was apparently frothing at a fellow lib’s blog (who was doing nothing more than pointing out what was happening in his post, and linking us in the process).

Ron at Liberal Values (a former blogger at Democratic Daily) was attacked by Pamela, who seems to have as much a problem resiting juvenile agitprop videos as she does remembering facts in her recent history. A few other moonbats trickle in and begin flinging stuff about astrology, the lack of leftist purity that Ron posseses and (of course) Twooferism, at which Ron rightfully balks.

I can’t say I sympathize with some of Ron’s politics, but I can certainly sympathize with the need to push back against the Twoofers and their ancillary legions of astrologers, Holocaust deniers, liars, huxters, frauds, film school dropouts and pizza delivery boys. Good luck – I’ve been barking up that tree for a while now.

Subsequently there was further evidence of the need to disassociate liberal thought from 9/11 denialism when Fred Thompson wrote an editorial tying in Harry Reid and bloggers to these beliefs. Thompson went from there to discredit the more established liberal views opposing the Iraq War.

Disagreements over their 9/11 denialism and belief in conspiracy theories wasn’t our first disagreement. Other ideas promoted at The Democratic Daily which I objected to while there included backing anti-evolution writings passed off as new age beliefs, conspiracy theories, astrology, and even belief in ghosts (which Todd also states he disagrees with, but I was in the minority at the time this came up at The Democratic Daily.) There was also conflict when I objected to Pamela’s use of “Michele Malkin” type tactics, such as posting personal information on a conservative blogger after he requested it not be posted out of fear of it endangering his job. To their mind set, personal attacks and other unethical conduct is perfectly acceptable as long as it is aimed at someone they disagree with.

Ultimately I left The Democratic Daily in response to the defense of Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism. Criticism of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial didn’t fit into their mind set at the time, and lock step agreement with their beliefs was expected.

Pamela and others at The Democratic Daily continued their attacks long after I left, and should I respond, or demonstrate the problems there which precipitated these disputes, they would play the victim. In their minds, they can attack me at will, but I am not allowed to respond. They have even escalated this strategy by claiming that any criticism of Pamela Leavey constitutes sexism simply because she is female. I have been just as harsh in condemning the beliefs she promotes when coming from people of either sex. Pamela is the only female blogger I am aware of who has expressed the belief she cannot be criticized or disagreed with because she is female, and then claim this is a feminist viewpoint.

The attackers at The Democratic Daily have had a tough time finding anything of substance to use against me, so as a sign of their desperation we not only see this perversion of feminism to make false attacks, but today Todd fabricates charges of “misogyny and sexism.” Todd’s evidence comes down to a post mocking Lindsay Lohan which included a photo in which one nipple is vaguely visible. By Todd’s logic, most of the mass media would be guilty of “misogyny and sexism,” not to mention the sites which have posted far more revealing photos of Lohan. Todd also resorts to misquotation and taking statements out of context to give them a different meaning, and even thinks he’s being clever for attacking me for having a mustache!

Todd also implies that the photo of Lindsay Lohan is how I build blog traffic and is a typical post here. A look at the site would reveal a completely different type of blog than Todd describes, but Todd has never been one to let facts get in the way of his rhetoric. Different people read different blogs for different reasons, but one niche I have concentrated on is debunking absurdities and hypocrisy regardless if coming from the left or right.

While hardly competing with Daily Kos, this strategy has worked well. After I left The Democratic Daily, readership there fell in half and readership here has moved well beyond theirs. Links, as well as readership, in the blogosphere are frequently directly proportional to age of the blog. Although my blog is significantly younger, Liberal Values has earned an authority of 473 from Technorati, with The Democratic Daily trailing at 348. As for Todd, his blog has an authority of 40.

With regular readers increasingly turning to RSS readers, I consider growth in subscribers to possibly be a more important measure than page loads. Each day Feedburner calculates an estimate of the number of computers subscribed to each member blog’s feed. Today Liberal Values has 3360 subscribers, and this number has been increasing by about one hundred every week. The Democratic Daily has 108 subscribers total. Liberal Values has added 130 subscribers in the ten days since my first post on 9/11 conspiracy theories. This makes their recurrent talk at The Democratic Daily of having Liberal Values boycotted or repudiated sound like a rather lame threat.

Some have expressed surprise over such great differences in belief between two blogs on the left. The left versus right division is only one division of beliefs. There are many other intellectual battles which are equally important. This includes defending reason and science over superstition, and opposing bigotry regardless of the source. I will continue to disagree with leftist blogs such as The Democratic Daily when they spread claims that the attack on the United States on 9/11 was committed by parties other than al Qaeda terrorists, that Mel Gibson was just a misunderstood actor with a bit too much to drink, or that astrology and new age beliefs can be a substitute for modern science.

If The Democratic Daily chooses to respond to disagreements over these issues with personal attacks, so be it. Just don’t be surprised if I respond.

Update: Poodle Balling and Blogging

Update II: World Net Daily Attacks The Democratic Daily Over Violence and Porn–What Irony