Bright side for the

April 26, 2006 2:54 p.m.

Bright side for the White House: it can only get worse.

I wrote my column about this this week and I’ve been giving it a fair amount of thought.

The president is unpopular for a lot of reasons. The biggest reason is probably Iraq — in all its many manifestations. But a very big reason — and one that suffuses many of the other reasons — is a growing sense that the president and his chief advisors are dishonest, incompetent, cynical and possibly corrupt.

That’s not great. But when you think about this coming election, and the stakes for the White House, you need to figure that that’s all come about without any independent, let alone antagonistic or hostile, investigations into the key issues that have led to this souring view of the president.

Would the president look better after a new look at the Iraq intel bamboozlement that wasn’t controlled by Sen. Roberts? How about an investigation into the executive branch side of the Abramoff scandal? What about a look into the Plame affair? What about the folks in Rumsfeld’s office who knew about Duke’s corruption but looked the other way?

Aggrieved opposition parties can go overboard when they come back into power and damage themselves — the Republicans in 1946 and 1994 are good examples. But the Bush administration has built up a very big backlog of bad acts.

Get ready for a rough summer and fall. The White House can’t afford to lose either house of Congress.

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