Are we a nation of idiots? This is not a rhetorical question. From politics to our national pastime, the American public gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. Are we masochists? Will we believe anything? Please tell me that my perception of the discourse in America is wrong. If I am wrong, explain to me why the American public is not throwing rotten tomatoes at these clowns.
During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush asked Americans to vote for competence over incompetence. A vote for him was a vote for competence. A vote for Al Gore was a vote for incompetence. Bush told the American public that Gore could not be trusted, especially with the federal budget surplus that arose during the Clinton administration. Bush told the American people that they deserved a $1.35 trillion tax cut over the next ten years before Gore and the Democrats spent the surplus. Most voters did not buy into Bush's rhetoric, but enough did to allow the Supreme Court to hand the presidency to Bush. Two years later, President Bush is on the radio telling the American people that an expected $165 billion federal budget deficit in fiscal 2003 is due to Democrats in Congress.
A reporter from the Washington Times, Bill Gertz, has written a book (Breakdown, Regnery) outlining failures in our country's national security agencies in the days and weeks leading up to the September 11 attacks. I do not know for sure, but I guess that Mr. Gertz spent less in his whole investigation of this national security issue than Ken Starr spent in one day of investigating Bill Clinton's sex life. In response to the pending publication of Gertz's book, the CIA has reportedly demanded to meet with the publisher, and a senior member of the Bush administration has reportedly challenged Gertz's patriotism.
The Dallas Morning News quoted Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks giving his opinion of how the Major League Baseball owners should conduct themselves in contract negotiations with the Players Association. "I think a majority of owners, including me, would probably like to have even stronger cost containment than we're talking about right now." Hicks continued, "If they do choose to go on strike, I'm confident ownership will not allow a repeat of 1994. We need to fix baseball and not just have another Band-Aid solution." This is the same Tom Hicks who gave Alex Rodriguez a $252 million, 10-year deal to entice the power-hitting shortstop to leave Seattle, Washington for Arlington, Texas. In doing so, Hicks doubled the largest contract ever signed in Major League Baseball history. Despite the trade, the Rangers are in last place in their division. Given the poor attendance at Rangers games, Hicks would likely lose less money if there is a work stoppage. According to Hicks, he would take his hard-line stance for "the good of baseball."
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