The Republican and Syrian Civil Wars, the Never Ending Budget Battle, the Ubiquitous NSA, Obamacareless, or…? OR the Chris Christie and Cory Booker Show?

I heard testerday that the President’s approval rating is down to an all time low, around 42%, though the ray of sunshine for him is that the approval of the GOP is a lowlier 22%.  We have little confidence in our national future and almost no confidence in our government, which is commonly seen as a big part of the problem, not the solution.  It’s depressing.

Where is Ronald Reagan when we need him?  No, he’s not a presidential hero of mine, but he was excellent as a cheer leader for America.   He made Americans feel good about America at a time when, like today, most of us didn’t.   Confidence or the lack of it creates its own reality.  The relationship between consumer confidence and a growing economy is a case in point.   Student success or failure in schools is another.

I have heard this expression a few times of late:   The Democrats can’t  govern and the Republicans don’t want to.   Of course, the two are closely tied, as the main Republican mission since the President was elected and re-elected has been to stymie his plans, whatever they may be.   That is what not wanting to govern has meant.  On the other hand, the President and his administration has raised numerous doubts as to their ability to govern, receiving barely passing grades on most fronts, and an ‘F’ on the Obamacare roll out, a grade hopefully raised through a series of make up tests.   Hopefully, if you lean Democratic and hopefully not if you lean Republican.

Significantly, the hope of both sides is not for anything good anytime soon, but with an eye to 2014 and 2016, seeming to assume that nothing much can be done to break the gridlock until there are changes in the cast of characters.   As if those mid-term elections in 2014 and then the one for President in 2016, will radically alter the dynamics of stagnation that have become our governmental stamp.   I can imagine it happening, but it feels more like a fantasy than a likelihood.

Now we are so busy concentrating on our mess at home that we, I mean our main stream media and most of us, pay little attention to the world at large, as if we are incapable of a world vision that goes beyond a constant examination of our collective navel.  It is less and less an American world and dealing with those changes should be our central focus, not tripping each other up.

Hmm…. I guess I just needed to vent, my way of saying I don’t feel like dealing with all of this today.  I  can use a laugh or two, and maybe you can as well, so I dug out the video below made in 2012 staring New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and then Newark Mayor, now brand new Senator, Cory Booker.   If you can recall way back then, Booker was receiving a lot of national attention for a surprising number of heroic feats saving lives or at least shoveling someone out of a snow bank.

So, despite disagreeing on most things political, Republican Christie and Democrat Booker made this video, and I imagine had fun doing it.   So, today let’s put some of that “fun”  back into dysfunctional.  (You hearty band of regular blog followers will have to go to the main site to see the video.)

The Political Theater Scene is Full of Bad Actors

I don’t know how Broadway is doing these days, but political theater abounds.   Yesterday marked the 37th time the Republican House passed a bill to repeal  Obamacare.   And for the 37th time it will go nowhere in the Senate managed by Democrats, but as House Speaker Boehner has said, it will remind the American people where Republicans stand?

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House a...

English: Former Speaker of the Florida House at CPAC in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone need a reminder out there?  Don’t they stand for everything un-Obama?  Now, courtesy of the administration, they have a bunch more Obama stuff to be “un”, all conveniently tied to a general theme articulated by  Senator Marco Rubio.   He characterized the Obama administration as a “culture of intimidation.”  Obviously it must run very deep as one-third of the committees in the Republican controlled House seem compelled to launch  investigations.

I saw a bit of one hearing on TV this morning dealing with the I. R. S.  kicked off by the Republican chairman saying that this scandal reflected a culture of intimidation and cover-up in the administration.  Aren’t you supposed to ask questions first and then  draw conclusions later?

Listening to the vague answers I. R. S. officials gave the committee suggested to me bureaucratic incompetence was more at play than administration over reach.

Columnist David Ignatius, never shy about criticizing the Obama administration, sees the situation quite differently.    Rather than evidence of nascent totalitarianism, he sees  “a frightenly impotent government”.   And, as for the Republican reaction:  “Another generation would have said:   Let’s get on with it.  We say, let’s have another investigation.”

But what can Democrats expect?   What if these scandals had broken out during a Republican administration?   I can imagine hearing the words “police state” bandied about.   The one high card I can see in Obama’s hand is the Republican tendency to over-the-top outrage, bloviating themselves into phony oblivion.  Already the  “I” word is being tossed around (impeachment) and my own favorite “stone them to death” comment:   “this scandal is Iran Contra and Watergate multiplied by 20.”

As we head into a dreary summer of poorly acted political theater, let’s try to get a laugh or two wherever we can find one.   If you haven’t seen Jon Stewart’s take on this mess watch it below.   Funny stuff.  Unfortunately for  Democrats , the laugh is mostly on us.

P. S. – As always, “followers” receiving posts in your email will need to go to my web site to see video (click gravatar in upper left).