by Joey Hood
Armchair liberal pundits and oregano-doused historians have quickly denounced President George W. Bush’s second term as one of a lame duck president.
Bolstered by less-than-gleaming approval ratings and general apathy towards Bush’s social security plan, or lack thereof, the growing consensus is that Dubya’s “political capital” is somewhat of a fluke.
“He’s in far weaker shape than most people expected he would be in the aftermath of the election,” one of the oregano-doused historians said in a recent Associated Press article. “I think he became overconfident about what he could accomplish.”
Before Dubya’s 120-day privatization sales pitch, the equally overconfident Religious Right had embraced the election results as a “sign from Jesus” that America had finally returned to her gay-less roots. The rightists viewed Dubya as a modern-day Messiah of sorts, or Jesus sans the bleeding-heart liberal element. (Only in rightist America can a sandals-wearing pacifist be turned into the poster child for a destructive, morally corrupt war.)
But fast-forward to the temporary reprieve for the Senate filibuster, and the Religious Right’s ego has been somewhat deflated. Dr. James Dobson seemed less-than-peachy with Sen. John McCain’s last-minute compromise, calling it a “complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans.”
Earlier, The 700 Club host and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson derided Dubya for abandoning last year’s constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage by promising retribution in the form of refusing his privatization plan.
Even without the Religious Right’s tactical support, Dubya’s privatization plan seemed overreaching at best, and an Orwellian form of propaganda politics gone awry at worst.
Abandoning all pretense of the democratic process, Dubya’s aw-shucks pitches to the Petticoat Junction-set amounted to an hour-long infomercial on the wonders of privatization with muffled debate from the opposition.
Polite adversaries of Dubya’s social security plan were escorted outside by Secret Service. The Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves.
Of course, Dubya’s messy social security plan was not the only post-election misstep.
Brother Jeb’s politics-mongering treatment of the Terri Schiavo case served as a wake-up call to the GOP. The overwhelming sentiment was that Brother Jeb overstepped his bounds as governor, and disregarded the democratic process.
To further complicate matters for the Republicans, our very own shallow Senator Bill Frist diagnosed Schiavo on national television (read: C-SPAN) despite the fact that the prognosis was outside his area of expertise.
Oh, and did we mention that Senator Frist diagnosed Schiavo through a dated videocassette image? It’s no wonder that words “Bill Frist” and “presidential candidate” sends chills down the spines of the American populace. Frist’s impending announcement for GOP candidate is the equivalence of a political root canal.
The Bushies and the GOP counter that opinion polls and approval ratings don’t amount to much. (“Worrying about the polls is kind of like a dog chasing [its] tail,” Dubya said with his cornpone grin intact. Oh, the words of an American sage.)
But then again, who can blame Dubya and the Bushies for not listening to the American populace? From day one, this administration has set its own disastrous course, wavering out at sea like a drunken sailor in a punctured life raft.
Lame-duck president? From the mid-term vantage point of Dubya the Sequel, the “lame-duck president” title may seem a tad premature.
But until history can accurate judge this administration in hindsight, the “arrogant” title certainly fits. For now, it will have to do.