A report from Reuters.com that Bush’s popularity has dropped from 51% to 42% since his election last November, has a summary of recent events that reads like the story arc from a season of West Wing:
Bush began his second term in January with an ambitious plan to overhaul the Social Security retirement program but it has failed to gain traction on Capitol Hill and many Americans are skeptical. The preoccupation over Social Security figured in the delay of his promised attempt to overhaul the tax code.
At the same time, he got caught up — some Republicans say sidetracked — in a battle on Capitol Hill over whether a brain-damaged Florida woman, Terri Schiavo, should be kept alive.
Then came a fight in the Senate over arcane rules about filibusters involving Bush’s judicial nominees, and a protracted fight over his nominee to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.
Some Republicans believe those issues proved to be a distraction from Bush’s agenda and showed he was out of touch.
The theatrics of the midnight signing of the Terri Schiavo bill show that this is not just because West Wing is a deft imitation of “real” politics but that presidential politics is more like a television serial. In fact it is a television serial or a reality TV program covered live by CNN and Fox News.