FEW AMERICAN PRESIDENTS have been as battered in their second term as George Bush. Five separate polls in October put his job approval rating below 40%. Patrick Fitzgerald, a special prosecutor, has indicted a leading member of his administration. Hurricane Katrina exposed his inability to respond to a national emergency. The "war on terror" has lost its resonance as a rallying cry. For that, we can thank the American Fourth Estate.
The Washington press corps now exudes a noticeable mood of shame. It failed to ask tough questions and it bashed Irish journalist Carol Coleman when she did. Those Washington journalists were duped when they failed to dig into the illicit world of lobbying. They dismissed allegations of torture and abuse of detainees.
Bush has upset hard core conservatives with his spending and his nomination of a lightweight attorney to the Supreme Court. His powerful advocate in the House, Tom DeLay, had to step down because of a grand jury indictment.
All these things point to the public unraveling of the Bush era. That bodes well for democracy all around.
Economist -- "The waning of thee imperial presidency" in the 22 October 2005 edition.