The U.S. Constitution is a marvelous document and, despite some strong efforts to distort it, is pretty well intact after 220 years. It may be facing its greatest test in the not-too-distant future — one that it may not be capable of handling. What would happen if we just tossed out every politician in Washington? Public disgust with them has grown to the point where Americans seem to parrot the line Casey Stengel allegedly used when he was coaching the Mets: “Can’t anybody here play this game?”
Virtually every poll puts public approval of the Congress at well under 40%, and disapproval as high as 64%. There was a lot of hype about things getting better when the Democrats took over the House and Senate in January, but nothing has changed. Most of the innings so far have featured some fruitless arm-wrestling over the Iraq issue. The big guys that we came to see haven’t even gotten off the bench (some aren’t even in uniform): Immigration, Social Security, Medicare, Global Warming, High Fuel Prices, Tax Reform. There have been NO runs, NO hits, but dozens of errors. As the polls show, most of us are getting sick and tired of witnessing this spectacle. It is equal-opportunity disgust in Republicans and Democrats alike. What’s worse is that the ticket price is astronomical.
The ratings on President Bush have climbed just above the 30% mark. In baseball terms, if a president should have at least a 50% popularity rating — as a player should hit around .260 — the president’s current batting average would be roughly .187 — certainly not enough to be on the roster of any team except maybe in the Bush league.
Admittedly, we Americans aren’t nice to our presidents. Just take a look at their before and after pictures. Young, handsome Bill Clinton looked older than Methuselah when he said farewell to the White House after two terms. Surely, his impeachment had more to do with all that grey hair than did the “Affairs of State” — but of course to a great degree those two were closely linked.
George Bush has aged terribly during his 7 years. It’s a tough job, particularly when everyone is blaming you for everything bad that has happened. And I mean everything. The latest Rasmussen poll says that 22% of all voters believe Bush knew in advance about the 9/11 attacks. Republicans reject that view by a 7 to 1 margin, but 35% of Democrats believe he knew, 39% say he didn’t, and 26% aren’t sure. (I bet if you polled Democrats on the cause of Katrina, a hefty percentage would also name Bush as the culprit.) The most convincing evidence that the President did not have advance knowledge of 9/11 is the fact that if he did it has been kept a deep, dark secret for nearly 6 years and that is an impossibility in Washington these days. The life expectancy of a secret there is less than 30 days. There is also an unexplained disparity when people who say Bush is the dumbest president we have ever had then contend he had “knowledge” of something that complex and important. They can’t have it both ways.
In a way, the current political crisis is like the global warming controversy. Everybody is complaining but things are just getting worse and worse. And the solutions that are being offered are just as absurd … like Sheryl Crow’s suggestion that we save trees by each of us using only one sheet of toilet paper when we finish doing what our parents used to call “number two.” And her brother goes one step further insisting that we should wash and re-use that sheet again and again. (Believe me, if I ever have meet either one of them, I will not shake hands!)
The candidates being offered by both parties are hardly exciting and in reality promise just more of the “same ol’, same ol’.” Doesn’t it tell you something when the polls show that the third highest rated presidential candidates for president in both parties aren’t even candidates? (Al Gore and former Tennessee GOP Sen. Fred Thompson)
So the growing mood in America seems to be one of “throw the scoundrels out” — and, if we have to, throw out the baby with the bath water. The problem then, of course, would be to find replacements.
To be president, you must be a native-born American, at least 35-years old, and a U.S. resident for 14 years. Practically speaking, you also will have to be a record-setting fund-raiser. There is only one possibility that I can see. He meets the age, citizen and residency requirements (he first became a public figure 47 years ago). As for raising money, he has collected more in just one month than Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Hussein Obama, John Sidney McCain, III, Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, III and Willard Mitt Romney combined: $380 million and counting. We know he’s very tough on crime and, from what we know now, seems to be the model of a compassionate conservative. The way he dresses for work, we would never know just how grey President Spider-Man’s hair got or how many additional lines got etched on his face.
Next task: find 535 more for a Congress.