Cody Wyoming is the rodeo capital of the world. Americans from all over the country fly, drive, or ride to the small stadium on the outskirts of this cowboy town for a night of calf roping, bronco riding, and, of course, eight second bull riding. The faster and the more dangerous the event, the more the crowd hoots and hollers in support of the rider. However, it was the rodeo announcer and his rodeo clown wingman rather than the riders who seemed to rally the crowd last night. In between events, kids 12 and under were invited to come center stadium and participate in fake shoot outs against the "baddest outlaw in all the land," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
In between relaying messages from local rodeo sponsors such as The Proud Cut and Cody Feed, the evening's rodeo clown made comments such as "If con is the opposite of pro, does that mean that Congress is the opposite of progress?" With each shot at Congress, the stadium went wild, clapping their hands and nodding their heads in approval.
While Congress remained on the losing end of every shoot out and every joke, President Barack Obama remained unscathed. Why? When the Democrats lost the House last November, the president began to distance himself from his party. In the last three months, the president distanced himself from Congress in an attempt to remain above the debt ceiling demagoguery.
With the 2012 election in sight, the President will position himself in opposition to Congress in hopes of reclaiming his disillusioned supporters and gaining the support of anti-Washingon voters. However, there is a flaw in this strategy: "Congress" will not be on the ballot next year. The president will lose if he chooses to frame his re-election as one against Congress and its 13% approval rating. Potential candidates on the right such as former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry have the advantage in this blame game. With no responsibility for the shortcomings of the last four years, these candidates have even more legitimacy to rally Americans against Congress and what's wrong with Washington -- because they were not even there.