Ron Hutcheson writes for McClatchy Newspapers that the Bush Administration is losing spin control.
After six years of setting the national agenda, with help from a compliant Congress, Bush is losing control of events in Washington. The new reality hit home Tuesday on multiple fronts.
At the federal courthouse, a jury convicted former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice. On Capitol Hill, congressional committees demanded answers in separate investigations into the shoddy treatment of wounded soldiers and allegations of politically motivated firings at the Justice Department.
With Bush’s job-approval ratings already so low they threaten his political viability, the latest eruptions of bad news could weaken him further with 22 months left to go in his term.
“When each story comes out, it adds to perceptions of an administration that is potentially incompetent and potentially corrupt,” said Julian Zelizer, a political historian at Boston University. “Second-term presidents always have trouble. On a scale of bad to worse for second-term presidents, he’s at worse.”
This is more than just a second-term slump. It’s more like all the chickens coming home to roost.