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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Does anybody in Washington have a clue? By Michael Goodwin

'Can't anybody here play this game?" was Casey Stengel's lament over his hapless '62 Mets. He was lucky. Today's dismal American political scene makes his Mets look like winners.


The Bushies haven't had two good days in a row since the 2004 election. And it's not just Iraq. From Katrina to Harriet Miers to Scooter Libby to Deadeye Dick Cheney to the bizarre Arab port deal, this is the no-can-do gang. When it comes to handing your rival an opportunity, the Bushies are the gift that keeps giving.

But Dems won't take yes for an answer. They can't accept the gifts because they're looking at the wrong end of the horse. The White House is rudderless and Dems are fighting for seats on the Titanic.

Ted Kennedy is lecturing on ethics, Hillary Clinton is lecturing on secrecy (both speak from personal experience) and clueless Al Gore went to Saudi Arabia to bash America.
Has everybody in Washington gone crazy?

In a word, yes. The timing couldn't be worse. As the world rapidly grows more complicated and dangerous, we seem less able to respond. We're getting fat, dumb and angry while China and India eat our educational lunch and terrorists plot to kill us.

It's like a husband and wife fighting over who should call the cops while they're being robbed. We need to get our American act together, or become an outsourcing post for menial jobs from Asia.
No surprise - voters don't like their choices. They've given Bush an approval rating of a measly 40% - still higher than they give either party. Do you blame them?

Take your pick - tax-and-spend Democrats, or borrow-and-spend Republicans. Fight and die in Iraq with little to show for it, or be a sitting duck for Islamic terrorists. A President who ignores everybody, or a special-interest party afraid to offend anybody.

As one reader put, would you rather hunt with Cheney or ride in a car with Kennedy? Katrina was the perfect storm and now comes the predictable Washington response: Because everybody is to blame, FEMA is going to be a new nanny state unto itself. Never mind that New Orleans was the exception to the rule.

In past disasters, competent local first-responders were followed up by competent feds. Florida did most of its own digging out after a series of hurricanes and New York didn't count on FEMA after 9/11. But now we're going to nationalize every windstorm.
We better also learn to speak Chinese.
***
Mayor Middleman He did it again. For the second time in recent weeks, Mayor Bloomberg copycatted a Freddy Ferrer campaign theme. At a Brooklyn homeowners meeting, Bloomberg revealed why he went to war over state school aid. "Pretty please - I've tried that for four years," he said. That's exactly what Ferrer accused him of doing - kowtowing to Albany instead of using brass knuckles. If Bloomberg keeps this up, we might consider cutting out the middleman and hiring Ferrer directly.

by Michael Goodwin, Daily NewsPaper, New York City

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