The latest polls show that 27% of Americans believe that George W. Bush is doing a good job. Sure, that means that an unprecedented 73% have concluded that Bush is a failure, but that is no mystery. A trillion dollar war illegally initiated and incompetently executed would discourage most. For those wavering, Bush offered an impressive menu of ineptitude and cynicism leading to a financial meltdown, record foreclosures, malignant neglect of the environment, civil liberty violations, torture, treasonous exposure of a an active CIA agent, obstruction of justice, Watergate-like politicization of the Department of Justice, cronyism, corruption and destruction of our global reputation.
In the remaining few months, Bush is finishing off with a fine wine of voter fraud, keeping Obama supporters from reaching the polls with a trifecta of sleaze: deleting legitimate registrants, creating illegal barriers to new registrations and using the FBI to investigate bogus claims of fraud on the side of Democrats to create the foundation for challenging the results of an election the Republicans know they will lose.
Yet in the face of this gourmet buffet of criminality, we are left with that mysterious quarter of the population who seem unable to process facts, embracing fantasy in lieu of rationality. Other than Bush's nuclear family, the man should have no support. In a sane world, the polls should show an approval rating for Bush of 0%. No one person has done more to destroy everything Americans stand for, nobody has been more corrosive to American values, nobody has done more to weaken our national security. Any citizen with a pulse should rightfully be disgusted with everything Bush has done to damage this great nation. Yet we have the crazy quarter. I so desperately want to ask each and every person swimming in that ocean of irrationality the following questions: what exactly would it take for you to stop supporting Bush? What would Bush have to do for you to say, enough, I can't take any more? Is there anything, anything at all, that Bush could do to lose your support? Is there any horror that Bush could perpetuate that would cause you withdraw your support? I fear that the answer to all of those questions is that no crime, no injustice could change the mind of these Crazy Quarters.
The real problem, though, is not the zealotry of the last of the lost tribe holding down Masada. We could comfortably write them off as extremists who will never support mainstream America. But that quarter is, frighteningly, metastasizing beyond the borders of zealotry into the broader electorate. That is the only reasonable explanation for how something close to half the voting population can support Sarah Palin as a viable leader of the most powerful nation on earth. Support for Palin is no more reasonable than claiming that George Bush is doing a good job. Both require a suspension of disbelief, a surrender to faith over fact, an embrace of the absurd.
Democracy can survive only with an educated electorate. We can now dismiss one-quarter as hopeless, unable to evaluate issues beyond a religious-like devotion to right-wing ideology, immune to reality. We have eaten into our margin. We cannot afford to lose too many more voters to fantasyland.
So, please, tell me, what would Bush have to do to lose the support of that remaining one-quarter of voters? How much more would Palin need to reveal to slap people back to sanity? Please, somebody tell me.