George W. Bush has now gone 40 months without majority approval from the country he's supposed to represent and govern. That's longer than Truman, Nixon, or any other president since the advent of polling. He has cracked 70% disapproval, another first, and is now more unpopular than Nixon was directly before he resigned from office. He is shockingly unpopular, and this is a reality that neither the Congress nor the media has quite figured out how to address. It's something of a crisis for our political system that the president has now spent over three years hated and mistrusted by the majority of the country, and yet has never felt the need to take steps to restore his legitimacy. Something is wrong.
I can be an optimist about our political process to a fault. I really want to believe that many of our leaders really do care about good policy, good politics and the good of the nation. I believer that most of the elected pols that I have known well and have worked with and for have really cared about those things.
Yet, one cannot help but feel a deep cynicism when we are ruled by a President who seems not to care a bit about what the people he was elected to lead actually want. One cannot help but feel a deep cynicism when said President is, for years, enabled by a subservient Republic majority and a network of sycophantic pundits and "journalists." One cannot help but feel a deep cynicism when the entire process is enabled by an increasingly vapid news media. Finally, one cannot help but feel a deep cynicism when the opposition Democratic Party spends so long as an ineffectual minority that even they assume the majority they operate with the learned helplessness of an abused puppy.
Yes Ezra, something is wrong. Something is deeply wrong. It's not beyond hope as I believe the Constitution and our political process are resilient. We have survived darker days in our past but our system needs a significant cleansing that can only come from the people.
It cannot be a top down or personality driven reformation. It cannot rely on just the mere popularity of one man or one woman. True and lasting reform of the system cannot come from politicians themselves, it must be demanded by the people.
I only hope that we wake up soon.