The number one question in Texas is also number one nationally: How can George W. Bush save his presidency?
His abysmal approval ratings—29 percent in a mid-May Harris poll—and the prospect of losing the Republican majority in Congress have the White House and the pundits searching for answers. Look no further.
Here’s a top-ten list of things the president can do to increase his support:
1. Fire Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Rove.
2. Replace them with Condi, Colin, and Karen.
3. Bring in Osama bin Laden’s head on a stick. (Zarqawi was a good start.)
4. Apologize for spying on millions of Americans and junk the domestic surveillance program.
5. Invite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of Iran, and head of state Kim Jong Il, of North Korea, to a quail hunt with you-know-who on the Armstrong Ranch.
6. Provide immigrants in a guest-worker program not only with IDs but also with voter registration cards—stamped “Republican.”
7. Sell the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Exxon Mobil and use the proceeds to fund research to achieve independence from foreign oil.
8. Finish upgrading the levees before the next hurricane finishes New Orleans.
9. Separate FEMA from the red-tape-bound Department of Homeland Security.
10. Invade Dubai—we can win that one.
On second thought, maybe the best bet for Bush is politics, not policy: It’ll be hard to persuade voters that Republicans are doing a good job, but it might be easier to persuade them that Democrats would do a worse one. So the real answer? A campaign season that’s even meaner than usual, with the Republicans hoping that holding on to their congressional majorities will, if not enhance his popularity, at least preserve Bush’s power.