The 2006 midterm election marked perhaps the first time that the American public held the Bush administration accountable for its controversial actions. Various explanations have been offered for the backlash, ranging from public concern about the war to disgust over sex scandals involving prominent conservatives. In this essay, through analysis of vernacular discourse appearing in letters to the editor from USA Today, I argue that the election results stemmed from Bush’s weakening credibility – in respect to the dimensions of honesty, competence, and moderation – which limited the effectiveness of his rhetoric that was so powerful since September 11th.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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