Why the Hell Not, Part II – The Power of a Rowdy Crowd

Every so often I log out to the administration portion of this site and head straight for the “stats page” that counts the number of hits we gather each day. I do this purely as an ego trip, glorying in the knowledge that on any given day literally three or four of you are clicking on our pontifications and punditry.

Power truly is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

Recently, however, we received confirmation that among our readers is apparently the ol’ Decider-in-Chief himself, POTUS, #43. He-whose-name-must-not-be-spoken.

How, you may ask, do we know this? An IP address pointing to the White House maybe? An electronic rectal exam of the site by the Secret Service. No, no, nothing so crass. The proof is in actions, not words.

Last March, I suggested that our president ought to simply throw caution to the wind and try to create a place in history for himself by achieving the lowest job approval ratings of any president in history. Since I can’t quite figure out how to create a link within the site to the original post, I’m reprinting the post here:

“Why the Hell Not?”

“The news that President Bush is apparently considering a pardon for Scooter Libby has me thinking, “Why the hell not?”

“Let’s face it, given where his favorability ratings are these days – in the low, low, low 30s – the President might as well try to earn himself one more distinction by capturing the title of “most unpopular sitting president ever” currently held by Harry Truman at 22% in 1952. A pardon of Vice President Cheney’s aide, convicted just two days ago, ought to put him in serious contention. And, it would give old “43″ yet another topper to wave in Poppy’s (aka “41″) face. The best Bush Sr. could do was 29% in 1992.

“There’s the judgment of history to think of, after all.”

Well, flash forward four months and look where we are. Thanks to the President’s intervention, Scooter is going to do more time in the can than the clink over the next couple of years and GWB has bested GHWB by hitting 26 percent approval in the latest Newsweek poll.

God, I’m good.

There are a couple of inescapable conclusions from this sequence of events:

First, I must resolve to use my powers only for good and never for evil or recklessly. Like, what if I told him to say “Ragamuffin” just for fun and he got it all screwed up (the way he so often does) and called Ahmadinejad a… muffinhead?

Second, clearly the Veep is giving his young pupil lots of downtime to just chill and surf the internet, maybe kick back with some sweet first-person shooter games.

Like watching Barry Bonds chase Hank Aaron, it’s thrilling – in a sick, depressing kind of way – to watch the Prez chasing Truman’s 55-year record. Makes you wonder what it would take to close the gap. Here’s a couple of ideas:

– Invade a small country, preferably one with lots of oil in the ground
– Suspend the even-numbered amendments in the Bill of Rights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday; odds on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. All of ’em on Sunday. Except the right to shop, of course, because it’s key to the war on terrorism.
– Try to appoint his ranch foreman to the “secret 10th seat” on the Supreme Court
– Start signing all bills while chanting, “You can’t make me, you can’t make me”
– Have an affair with an intern. No, wait, that would remind people of Clinton and his ratings might go up.
– Declare 2008 election “unnecessary” based on what Cheney told him

Oops…I guess I shouldn’t be talking out loud about this.  People his age are so impressionable.

– Austin

4 thoughts on “Why the Hell Not, Part II – The Power of a Rowdy Crowd

  1. Becky says:

    Taking your comments to their logical next step, in 50 years, Bush will be revered and politicians will aspire to be like him, just as Truman is in 2007.

    Check out May 14, 2007 Newsweek cover story “The Truman Primary.” The lede is “They all want to be Harry Truman. Hillary Clinton invokes his iconic sign (THE BUCK STOPS HERE) to call for better treatment of wounded veterans. Barack Obama reminds us that Truman was the first politician bold enough to call for universal health care. Rudy Giuliani notes that Truman was unpopular in his day, but if he hadn’t stood up to the Soviets in the late 1940s, asks Giuliani, “Who knows how much longer the cold war would have gone on?”

    It’s amazing how clear hindsight is.

  2. The current Time magazine has a lovely little piece of writing about Scooter and the prez in its Briefing section:

    “George W. Bush once promised that anyone in his administration who broke the law would be ‘taken care of.’ At the time, he appeared to mean they would face the consequences of their actions. Then he took care of I. Lewis Libby, and all at once, his words assumed a somewhat different tone.”

    (For the editors among us, the last sentence in the mag is punctuated improperly — it needs a comma between “and” and “all.”)

  3. jmaustin says:

    Damn straight. After posting this, I stumbled across a whole spate of articles about how the Bushies are desperately pedaling the Truman story. For the definitive dismissal of this notion, check out the late David Halberstam’s article in the current edition of Vanity Fair.

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