Roger L. Simon

And they're off and running in Hialeah!

President Bush (33%) is leading the Congress (29%) by a nose in the latest (un)popularity derby from Gallup.

But wait.

Why these lousy numbers over all? The DOW is at record high, unemployment low, global warming hasn’t really set in yet (if it’s coming), air pollution’s a whole lot better, water pollution too, no one’s taking a buzz saw to our forests and our national park system is actually being extended (that giant protected area in the Pacific). I haven’t seen rioting in the streets, although the traffic’s worse and road rage may have increased. But we’re all enjoying the fruits of technology as never before (you may hate cellphones, but imagine life without them now). Even our cars seem to break down less.

So what’s the problem?

It can’t all be Iraq.

If you ask me – and you’re probably not – I think it comes down to two things: 1. The media’s unremitting desire to tell us things are bad. 2. That innate part of human nature that can’t stand prosperity.

HOWEVER, and it’s a deliberately all caps big “however,” the spectre of expansionist Islamofascism hangs over our daily lives, no matter how pleasant the surface of our daily lives may be. So erase everything I have said above. Those low poll numbers may be with us for a long time to come.