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Opening Arguments

Bush and Congress

President Bush's approval rating stands steady at 33 percent, according to Gallup, which the left will make much of. The right will focus on Congress:

Twenty-nine percent of Americans approve of Congress, down slightly from last month's reading (33%) and this year's high point of 37%.

I think the two cases are different, though. Many of the people (maybe even most) who say they disapprove of "Congress" also say their own representatives are exceptions; they're rather like the people who say public education is in a deplorable state, but their own children's schools are fine. In the case of the president, the person is the institution. There's no escape clause for Bush the way there is for individual members of Congress. Approval rating sfor Congress, by the way are higher among Democrats than Republicans, while Bush's ratings are much higher among Republicans. I am stunned.