Friday, January 21, 2005

We Are All Republicans Now

Or so it appears:

For an occasion draped in historical fanfare, and for television talking heads who have filled the programming day discussing history again and again, there's been glaringly little attention paid to one momentous fact: President Bush's historically low approval ratings. Bush is struggling to hit even the 50 percent mark. The latest New York Times/CBS poll out today puts Bush's rating at 49 percent, marking his standing the flimsiest for any president on Inauguration Day, at least since modern presidential polling began nearly 80 years ago. But shhhh, don't tell the Beltway talking heads.

Forced to fill up hour after hour of dead air leading up to Bush's actual swearing in, anchors, reporters, guests and analysts on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and MSNBC all politely shied away from the topic of Bush's dismal ratings. Over the course of four hours of continuous inauguration coverage from 8 a.m. to noon (collectively, that's 24 hours among the six outlets), the topic of the president's (historically poor) approval ratings came up exactly four times, according to, the continuous television monitoring service.

It's like a wedding, isn't it? Nobody ever says that the happy couple is probably going to be divorced in a year or that the groom had a big red pimple smack at the tip of his nose or that the bride was flat-footed. Or maybe like a funeral: only good things are said when someone dies. I hope the next four years doesn't finish this country off. Then we would have a real funeral.