Circling the Drain
I could say “I told you so”, but it seems too….obvious, at this point. Both President Bush’s and Congress’ approval ratings are slowly — but surely — circling the drain; both are teetering around the high – 30 percent range (Congress is at 37% while Bush’s is at 39%). Their disapproval ratings are, obviously, higher. Both are tipping the scales around the low – to mid – 50 percent range. (Congress is at 53% while Bush’s is at 56%).
This couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Republicans, with a scandal on the hill involving some high-power people (not to mention even higher-powered screw-ups by these high-power people), a never ending – but increasingly unpopular – war with Iraq, both North Korea and Iran threatening to develop nukes (and N.Korea actually taking rather large steps to that end just this week) – all of this with Election Tuesday only four weeks away.
No wonder the Republicans are in major damage control mode right now. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R. Illinois) is busy trying to salvage what’s left of a (perhaps) already-dead political career due to this whole Mark “Peda” Foley scandal. It would seem to the casual observer that the Republican ship is slowly sinking in this media/scandal ocean. The political universe is, after all, quite the Darwinian universe; sooner or later, the stupid ones will do themselves in. However, in this universe, stupidity is created at random, rather than passing along a “stupid gene”, as it were (if it were only that easy; then RNA interference would solve many a-problem for us).
Having said that, one has to stop and think about the “crisis” our country went through eight years ago when Clinton was impeached for lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky to a grand jury and obstruction of justice. I dare say that today, one man (president or not) having a sexual relationship with an of-age intern would be the least of our concerns. After all, for eight years no wars were fought, the budget was balanced, and the world was in a (very relative) peaceful state. It’s funny how some historical events seem to pale in importance when compared to current events.
Even though the Republican party is reeling from these numerous (and very heavy) blows, there is still four weeks to run damage control. Ultimately, the voters will decide exactly how much of an impact these recent events will have on the current political landscape. At the very least, the Republicans can count on some of the Evangelical Christian sector that is the core of their voting base to not desert them in large droves. On the other hand, Evangelicals tend to be fairly dogmatic on these issues; trust in their votes could be quite displaced at this point.
It will be quite interesting to see how all of this works out. Needless to say, at least one (and almost definitely more) political career has been dealt a death-blow; but as always, only time will tell the true story.