Dateline: WASHINGTON--Polls indicate that Republicans are more respected by Americans, as a result of their complicated response to Russian President Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
Since George W. Bush's second term, polls revealed that Americans' respect for Republicans had plummeted. Analysts say this was because Americans perceived that Republicans have one of the easiest jobs in the world.
According to one of the polled voters, "I just got the sense that Bush and Boehner and Cruz and all of those guys weren't really trying to govern the country or anything, so they didn't care if they failed. Those are the small government guys, right? They want to-I don't know-destroy the government? And there they are, the foxes guarding the hen house. I mean, that's a job with very little responsibility.
"It's like the banks that are too big to fail. They can literally do no wrong as far as they're concerned. Imagine having the job of gambling as much as you like with other people's money and not having to pay up when you lose some of your bets. In fact, the more bets you lose, the bigger your bonus! Pretty sweet, right?
"Well, how about those Republicans? They're the proverbial bulls rampaging through the china shop: their job is to run government so badly that people lose faith in democracy. I'd love to have a job that easy!"
But then came Putin's invasion of Ukraine and Republicans were torn. On the one hand, they were jealous of Russia's autocracy. Here was the manly Putin who was fulfilling the Republican's theocratic dream of exercising unrestrained power on the world stage.
As Governor of South Carolina, Joe Brainless, was caught saying, unaware that his microphone was turned on, "That guy Putin's a gosh-darned hero. We need more maniacs like that to usher in the Apocalypse. He doesn't even have to pretend to listen to his people or anything. The man outlawed gay pride parades and happy-talk about homosexuality to minors. No wonder Bush looked into his eyes and fell in love! Why couldn't I have been born a woman so I could have had his babies?"
Sarah Palin said Vladimir Putin's known for wrestling bears and drilling for oil, while Obama "wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates." She added that the other atheistic tyrants, like Hitler and Stalin, were pretty cool too. "That's what the American democracy needs, a leader like the current Russian imperialist backed by a gaggle of kleptocrats, to stomp on everyone else's freedom."
On the other hand, American conservatives and moderates began to wonder why, if the Republicans love Putin so much, they don't go ahead and marry him. And then it dawned on the Republicans that their fascist leanings should be kept something of a secret. Like Dr. Strangelove, who had to physically restrain his repeated attempts to give the Nazi salute, Republicans should begin to actually work, even if it's only to maintain a false front.
Sen. John McCain, for example, has had to turn himself into a pretzel, calling for the strongest possible American opposition to Putin's invasion of Ukraine even while being jealous of Putin's macho use of his military.
"It's a Herculean task, what they've taken upon themselves," says a Democratic voter. "The Republicans want the US to be more like Russia-or Saudi Arabia or Zimbabwe or some other throwback to the Middle Ages. They love war and jungle law and absolute power, but they have to pretend to be peace-loving Christians and protectors of everyone's freedom. They've got to condemn Putin's act of aggression even though they wish Obama were more like Putin.
"I for one am beginning to respect Republicans for the difficulty of their task. Of course, they're not helping the country or anything like that. But at least they're working hard to achieve the impossible. I can appreciate that idealism: they want to square the circle. That takes guts, not to mention superhuman skill at deception."
While wealthy donors haven't stopped funding the Republican Party since Bush was president, there's been an up-tick in support from average voters who are impressed with Republican efforts. Asked whether they think that being a Republican is the easiest job in the world, only 55 percent said "Emphatically YES," down from 76 percent in 2012.
As one analyst of the new polls explains, "Hollowing out the government while pretending to be a good faith member of that government takes very little skill. Boundless chutzpah, sure, but skill? Not so much. Lying about your concern for a functioning modern government doesn't really inspire the people's imagination.
"But secretly longing for theocracy, for the ultimate authoritarian leader, God Almighty, to come down out of the clouds and impose his inescapable rule on absolutely everyone, while simultaneously having to pretend to care about the modern secular values of rationality, individual freedom, equal rights, and democracy? That's no easy trick, according to these new polls.
"Step aside, Hollywood actors! You don't hold a candle to these Republicans."