I’m optimistic.

Our leaders cannot get any more corrupt and evil. Surely they’ve hit rock bottom, which means there’s nowhere to go but up for our conservative rulers. Oh, but it’s so cute to see them writhing in the mud right now. Here, let’s consider a few of these wonderful model citizens.

First, top presidential adviser Karl Rove leaked the identity of a CIA agent named Valerie Plame because her husband, Joseph Wilson, had the nerve to say that Iraq probably didn’t have nuclear weapons. This is kind of a mean and traitorous thing to do to a CIA agent. Personally, I frown upon telling the world who our spies are. It kind of makes them completely useless and unable to do their somewhat important jobs. Not all spies can be as famous as James Bond and still get their missions accomplished.

In the House, Majority Leader Tom DeLay was just indicted for breaking campaign laws. Some blurb about money laundering or something. If you don’t know what that is, watch “The Godfather” or some other movie about criminals; they can explain it better than I can. Remember, the main difference between mobsters and Tom DeLay is that mobsters have better family values. Anyway, if he’s convicted, Mr. DeLay could face life in prison. Yeah, it’s kind of serious. A man once said that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There’s been smoke around good old Tom for years now. It’s about time the fire department finally sent someone to check it out.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Bill Frist did something a little tamer. He’s the most moral one of the bunch. Allegedly, all he did was illegally receive insider information from top executives of a corporation about precisely when to sell his stocks. After Enron and the other corporate sleaze, this corruption stuff is generally frowned upon. Remember how Martha Stewart had to go to jail for a while? Yeah, that was for the same crime Bill Frist is being accused of. If convicted, he could go to jail, too. Oh, but we all know that politicians don’t do bad things, so he must be innocent. He must, he must.

Some philosopher once said that power corrupts. He’s probably laughing his ass off right now. The Republicans are in power and, wow, I gotta say, this is about as corrupt as it gets in the West. If you want to see worse than this, you have to go to the Third World.

One party, united behind a shining banner of crime and deceit. I’m in awe. The head honchos in every branch of the federal government are under investigation for corruption.

Not that the Republicans have a monopoly on shadiness, but this sinner’s tide isn’t exactly sweeping the left lately. Perhaps there are some prominent Democrats doing some terrible things that we don’t know about. Maybe not. But here’s the thing. So what if there are some crooked Democrats? It doesn’t really matter because the Democrats don’t control anything. The Republicans, in contrast, currently hold every major lever of federal power; in theory, the ruling party especially should not take part in such unlawful activities as they distract from the semi-important business of running the country. Every minute these leaders spend addressing legal issues is a minute they’re not addressing the massive problems that face our nation.

If George Washington were here, he’d be really pissed.

Our most powerful leaders are criminals. They take bribes, betray people and lie about it. These are dirty men. Unfortunately, they just so happen to be our role models.

We are the protégés of monsters.

We’ve been shown how to run the world by the likes of Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Karl Rove, Dubya and other heartless jerks with nice suits and excellent lawyers. We are supposed to look at these people and follow their wonderful examples and subsequently make America great again.

I don’t like this recipe and neither should you. I started off this article by saying that I was optimistic and that it can’t get any worse.

I was just kidding. It can and it will.

Jake Thorn is a third-year political science major.