Wednesday, April 26, 2006

[White House]

Question: When Did the Bush Administration Jump the Shark

I was talking to a federal economist this morning (some readers, who know this economist, believe him to be dead; he's not), and he posed the question of when the Bush administration jumped the shark. "Jumping the shark," as you no doubt know, is the moment when a good thing goes bad:
The term has also evolved to describe other areas of pop culture, including movie series, music or acting celebrities, or authors for whom a drastic change was seen as the beginning of the end. These changes are often attempts to attract their fans' waning attention with over-the-top statements or increasingly overt appeals to sex or violence.
The federal economist went on to answer his sage question inaccurately; he wrongly suggested it was the "Mission Accomplished" episode that put Bush over the top. But anyone who was blogging at the time knows that Bush was far from the beginning of his end. It's difficult to argue that Bush did any shark-jumping before November 2004, though I'm willing to entertain the suggestion.

A list of possible moments:
  • November 2, 2004 - the election itself.
  • February 2005 - Bush promotes Social Security privatization;
  • March 20, 2005 - Terri Schiavo affair;
  • October 29, 2005 - Scooter Libby indicted;
  • February 2006 - Dubai ports debacle;
  • April 2006 - immigration debacle/marches.
I think my co-worker, who has speculated on this in a slightly different context, would go with Social Security. I'm inclined to say it was actually the election. There was something in the way the theocon right asserted itself in the minutes following the election that seemed to signal Bush's death rattle. I didn't really notice it at the time, but looking back, that may have been his final, grand appeal. If only we could cancel the presidency....



ngyszspx said...

hey-zuez f-in krisco! that dude jumped the shark on the delivery table. the real question is whether this country has 'jumped the shark' yet or not?

zemeckis said...

oops- that there was me

Jeff Alworth said...

the real question is whether this country has 'jumped the shark' yet or not?

Yeah, that's a question, all right. A grim, but not altogether impertinent, one.