That Shark's Been Jumped!

Saturday, February 25, 2006 at 09:17 AM

There's a phrase one hears bandied about these days...

"Jumping the shark."

Here's how Wikipedia describes it.

Jumping the shark is a metaphor used by US TV critics and fans since the 1990s to denote the moment when a TV series is (in retrospect) deemed to have passed its peak. Once a show has "jumped the shark", fans sense a noticeable decline in quality or feel the show has undergone too many changes to retain its original charm. The phrase was popularized by Jon Hein on his website, It alludes to a scene in the TV series Happy Days when its popular character, Fonzie, is on water skis and literally jumps over a shark.

Only... the TV show being referred to these days ain't "Happy Days."

It's "The Bush Administration."

When his administration approved the sale of six American ports to a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, that shark got jumped. Big time.

All across the country, Democrats, Republicans and Independents are left to scratch their heads and wonder... what the HELL was he THINKING?

The reasons why the transfer of these ports to the UAE are clearly enumerated elsewhere. The fact that Bush didn't REALIZE that there would be such widespread BEWILDERMENT over how he could ALLOW such a thing to happen is the crux of this particular biscuit.

One would expect to see comments like these from a liberal columnist like Eleanor Clift in Newsweek.

An issue that divides Bush from his conservative base on national security is manna from heaven for the Democrats. Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow with the Democratic Leadership Council and a former advisor to John McCain, calls the flap over port management the national security equivalent of the crime bill that set the stage for the Republican sweep of Congress in 1994. President Clinton's crime bill was ridiculed by Republicans for advocating "midnight basketball," a program that symbolized the administration's emphasis on prevention over punishment. The phrase became a laugh line on the campaign trail for Republicans to mock Democrats.

One does NOT usually expect to see comments like the below from CONSERVATIVE commentators. And not just about the ports deal... but about MANY of the dismal hallmarks of this administration.

Conservative columnist John Podhoretz in the New York Post echoes the neocon dismay.

THE more we learn about the Dubai ports deal, the less worrisome it seems. The more we see the White House in action these days, however, the more worrisome it seems -- for conservatives and Republicans, at least. Democrats and liberals have every reason to be beside themselves with glee. "Can't anybody here play this game?" baseball manager Casey Stengel famously cried out in the midst of the legendarily awful first-season team fielded by the New York Mets. In conversation after conversation this week, that same cri de coeur has erupted on the right.

Even Conservative icon William F. Buckley is abandoning the Bush Battleship in his declaration that "The War is Lost."

Our mission has failed because Iraqi animosities have proved uncontainable by an invading army of 130,000 Americans. The great human reserves that call for civil life haven't proved strong enough. No doubt they are latently there, but they have not been able to contend against the ice men who move about in the shadows with bombs and grenades and pistols.

In the Wikipedia entry on "Jumping the Shark," they write about the sitcom "Happy Days"...

Many have noted the shark episode as the moment when they realized the show was no longer worth watching, when it became impossible to maintain a certain suspension of disbelief as this scene was considered unrealistic and of poor quality.

I submit the same is being said about the Bush administration. They "teased" the shark with the Harriet Miers nomination. They jumped clear OVER the bastard with the ports deal.

"Happy Days" went on for another seven years, its final episode airing in 1984.

Thank God THIS tragic sitcom only has three years left in its dismal run.

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