Saw this bumper sticker while driving to Richmond Thursday:
I prefer a President who only screws interns
Yep. George W. Bush has managed to make us miss Bill Clinton.
New polls show Dubya’s job approval and personal ratings in the dumpster. His own party revolted against him in the “lets give our ports to the Arabs” deal and we’re heading into another hurricane season while still trying to clean up his mess from the last one.
As a reporter is said to have asked another President’s wife: “Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”
We already know the Bush administration is the gang that can’t shoot straight. Just ask Texas attorney Harry Whittington. He’s still recovering from wounds at the hands of a wayward shotgun blast from Dick Cheney.
But you have to wonder just how Bush’s Teflon presidency from the first term turned into such a mismanaged public relations disaster the second time around.
Three words: Typical political arrogance.
Typical political arrogance is a bipartisan Washington disease. It infects those in power, Republican or Democrat, with the belief they are above the law and do not have to answer to the forces of truth, justice or the American way.
In reality, Bill Clinton screwed a lot more than just an intern but the downhill slide of America into a fascist state causes many to overlook that fact and long for the good old days when we worried more about who was noshing on the First Member than thinking about 2500 dead American military men and women in a useless war.
Clinton, like Bush, is a mean, venal little man who thought nothing of using the power of the White House to ride roughshod over enemies and destroy if they got in the way. Unlike Bush, Clinton is a charming rogue, a Peck’s bad boy who causes us to shake our heads in disbelief but still admire his ability to get away with things.
You could dump Bush’s charm into a thimble and still have room left for a shot of bourbon. He’s a shallow, humorless man who lacks the charm of a Bill Clinton or the humor of a Ronald Reagan. Both Reagan and Clinton overcame scandals to leave office as popular Presidents. Bush may well leave office as one of the most distrusted and despised Presidents in modern times.
Yet no President in modern times is, or was, an honorable man. Clinton’s presidency will be remembered more for scandal than anything else and the Monica Lewinsky scandal wasn’t the only case of questionable conduct in office. His associated attorney general, Webster Hubbell, went to jail for tax evasion and defrauding the government. Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy took bribes and resigned in disgrace. Clinton lost his license to practice law for lying under oath. And he lied about American involvement in Somalia, a “peacekeeping” operation that cost too many American lives.
Reagan’s legacy is marred by Iran-Contra and a conservative agenda that still haunts the country today. Courts convicted a dozen members of his administration for misconduct or malfeasance in office. Jimmy Carter’s credibility took a hit when Bert Lance, his director of the Office of Management and Budget, was indicted for financial misconduct and his brother signed on as a paid consultant to Libya. He recently has been linked to the UN oil-for-food scandal.
Yet Republicans still talk about the good old days when Reagan was President and Democrats say Clinton only lied about sex.
Sadly, both sides of the political spectrum suffer from selective myopia that allows them overlook failings of their own party while lambasting the same conduct by their opponents.
Presidents and Congressmen aren’t the only ones who suffer from Typical political arrogance So do the party faithful, Republican and Democrats, who follow blindly and avoid the truth about failure.