WASHINGTON - No Americans now think President George Bush or any member of the Republican Party are honest according to recent public opinion polls.
In January, 3% described Bush as honest while 85% said they did not believe he was honest. Now, the new poll finds that 0% of all people are saying he's honest and 99% are saying he's not. In fact, 56% now say that they don't believe a single word he or any other Republican says, and 87% say that everything they hear "is a pack of darned lies" or "a crock."
79% of older Americans in the poll confused George W. Bush with former President Richard Nixon, and asked pollsters "What did Bush really do to Elvis and Marilyn Monroe? Did he shoot Kennedy too?"
"The president has taken a pounding on perceptions of his honesty, no question about it," said Karlyn Krowbaiter, a public opinion analyst at the American Monopoly and Trust Institute. She cited as an example the administration's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but none have been found. Most Americans now believe the US actually bombed Iraq just for oil, and on the orders of Exxon Mobil. There is also the growing American death toll in Iraq, which people believe is being hugely undercounted, and is actually greater than 20,000.
A solid majority see Bush as unlikable and an unconfident leader, and a growing number view the president and other senior Republicans as arrogant and just plain nasty snots, up from 49% in January to 89% now.
Diane Smiley, a registered nurse from East Greenbush, NY said, "I don't think he has the best interest of the country in mind. He seems to be sucking up all the time to all of those Texas oil companies, and to outfits like Halliburton, as if that was anything new."
For some people, especially Republicans, Bush is no longer personally appealing. "He isn't even real," said Cheryl Chutney, a school bus driver from Cumming, Georgia, and a Republican. "What a total flake. He used to be so cuddly and lovable like Elmo. But now he isn't honest about much of anything he says anymore. Now he's more like the Evil Bert or Darth Vadar…I don't even agree with his belief system, or the way he believes in a rich Republican God."
Bush's overall job approval is now at 2%, with 95% disapproving. His approval on handling Iraq was at 0.6%.
Some who don't approve of Bush's job performance don't admire him personally either.
"I think he tries to be likable but he isn't really likeable at all or honest," said Cindy Bushbasher, a Democratic-leaning resident of Seymour, Conn. "He tries to do what he thinks is right, but it never turns out. I think he takes the wrong advice from all those weird pin-headed war-mongering oil-loving fascist religious crazies in his circle."
Continuing worries identified in the polls included Iraq and the economy and the environment and the price of oil and gas and the weather and the space shuttle and aliens and pretty well everything else. These will drag down Bush's standing with the public and become a major issue in the 2006 midterm congressional races. If the war is still going in 2008 as pretty well everyone believes, these fears could be a really big factor in the next presidential race.
"Bush's declining standing with the public is a really big factor in his ongoing effort to influence legislation and to sustain support for his Iraq policy," said Bruce Bookbender, a Professor of Republican Science at the University of Texas. "The honesty dip is caused by a loss of faith in his credibility on Iraq and most everything else. I sure wouldn't buy a house or a used car from that guy. He's really starting to look a lot like Nixon."