What do President Bush’s terrible polls mean? They could mean that, like another President who had similar poll numbers, he is doing something difficult.

Michael Barone has a must-read piece comparing Truman’s Cold War leadership to Bush’s in our current struggle.

Barone’s article is about Bush’s Cold War speech. But he points out another way in which today is like those halcyon 1950s:

“Two weeks ago, I pointed out that we live in something close to the best of times, with record worldwide economic growth and at a low point in armed conflict in the world. Yet Americans are in a sour mood, a mood that may be explained by the lack of a sense of history. The military struggle in Iraq (nearly 2,500 military deaths) is spoken of in as dire terms as Vietnam (58,219), Korea (54,246) or World War II (405,399). We bemoan the cruel injustice of $3 a gallon for gas in a country where three-quarters of people classified as poor have air conditioning and microwave ovens. We complain about a tide of immigration that is, per U.S. resident, running at one-third the rate of 99 years ago.”