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EDITORIAL: Pelosi’s failure

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the pot calling the kettle black. On Thursday, she referred to President Bush as a "total failure." Yet, the Democrat-led Congress that she captains has even lower poll ratings than Mr. Bush. In fact, according to the latest AP-Ipsos poll, only 18 percent of Americans approve of Congress' performance. This is the all-time lowest rating for Congress since Gallup began asking voters to rate the institution in 1974.

Mrs. Pelosi responded to Mr. Bush in harsh terms for his statement that the Democrats are heading into the final 26 days of the legislative session without having passed a single government spending bill. In an interview on CNN, Mrs. Pelosi said: "You know, God bless him, bless his heart, president of the United States, a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject." Mr. Bush's poll ratings are indeed low: Only 28 percent of voters say they approve of his leadership. Mr. Bush's ratings are getting close to President Truman's all-time low approval rating: In 1952, 22 percent of voters approved of Mr. Truman.

However, rather than casting aspersions on Mr. Bush, Democrats would do well to take responsibility for their own failures. Since the Democratic Party regained the majority in 2006, its leaders have failed to fulfill their promises. In January 2007, when Democrats took control of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared he wanted both parties to debate their differences and to "seek common ground." He pledged a new era of civility and cooperation: "We must turn the page on partisanship and usher in a new era of bipartisan progress." Yet Democrats have been neither bipartisan nor civil - as Mrs. Pelosi's disrespectful comments illustrate. Worse still, they do not have a brilliant legislative record to boast of.

Mrs. Pelosi's has failed to prevent Mr. Bush from carrying forward policies that she pledged would end - such as halting the war, curbing war spending and blocking the troop surge. Perhaps most galling to Mrs. Pelosi is the fact that Mr. Bush's surge policy in Iraq is a resounding success. This presents difficulties for the Democrats as they head into the general election.

Mr. Bush is far from being a "total failure." He has endured public disapproval while waging a bold campaign against terror, that has, for the most part, kept America safe since September 11. By contrast, Mrs. Pelosi's Congress has both a dismal poll rating and no legacy.

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