Now comes Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, who announced that George W.Bush is 'a total failure, losing all credibility with the American people on the economy, on the war, on energy, you name the subject.' Who am I to argue with the Speaker? In fact, I found a source this week who'd agree with her. I was saying to a cab driver that Bush was the worst president of my lifetime. The cabbie was even older than I--eighty-six, he said--and he agreed--yes, Bush was the worst one he'd known too.
Of course, the White House defended its boss. Spokeswoman Dana Perino noted that 'this is the longest Congress has gone in twenty years without passing a single spending bill.' That's true. Congress has the power of the purse; it's supposed to pass appropriations bills telling this department and that how much they can spend. It flat hasn't done its job.
It's no wonder the voters haven't much use for either branch of government. In a recent AP--Ipsos poll, the President's approval rating was 28%, but that put him well ahead of Congress, which got a whopping 18%. That's five points lower than just a month ago.
What we need, obviously, is a change of tone. What we need is someone to say to the clunks at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue what Oliver Cromwell said to the Long Parliament: 'You have sat here too long for any good you may have done. Stand not upon the order of your going. In the name of God, go!'
We won't get that, of course. Congress draws the maps of Congressional districts so that most members can be reelected. That won't change.
What we might get, the best we could get, is some reform-minded new faces in Congress and a president who really wants to change the way this place works, to get rid of the sour, negative smell of the last few years. Could McCain do that? Could Obama? Good questions as we gear up for the fall campaign.
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