George W. Bush’s popularity ratings are climbing. This should not be — he was a bad president, and we don’t want another one like him. At least Saturday Night Live is explicit about this worrying trend.
If only they hadn’t made him seem sweet; a bumbling nice guy who just dragged us into pointless wars that killed hundreds of thousands of people, and that are still spinning on.
The same thing happened to Ronald Reagan. Remember Reagan? Avuncular old Ronnie, barely aware of what was going on, yet still corrupt as fuck and seeding the corruption — “supply side economics”, pandering to the religious right, secret wars, dismissing broad swathes of the American public as expendable and better off dead (neglect of the AIDS crisis is just one of his legacies) — that still poisons the Republican party. He got mocked on SNL, too, but even now he’s revered as a Republican saint.
We seem to be trapped in a process of normalization, where instead of aspiring to be better, we dust off hideous relics from the past and pretend they weren’t so bad. Next election, the GOP will nominate some shabby antiquated Reagan impersonator and try to sell us on flawed old memories of past ‘glories’, sweeping the ignominies of the last buffoon under the rug, and trying to sell us on the claim that the current crop of abominations aren’t the product of official Republican policies — but that their new candidate, who will be some greasy selfish flack, is a return to tried and true standard conservatism. They’ll fail. They’ll be worse than the last one.
Meanwhile, the Democrats will look incredulously on the idiot the Republicans nominate, and think all they need to do is prop up someone marginally better to win.
The first Republican president I remember is Nixon. Every single one since has been wretched. Yet they keep getting elected. We’ll never learn.