The politicians running the nation today are totally self-absorbed. Or nuts. There's no way around it.
Take members of the House of Representatives, for example.
Some of them carved out a budget "deal" early this week. They bragged about it for a day or two. Then most members of the House, including West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, voted for it.
Trouble is, the deal is nothing more than a political ploy to help members of the House get re-elected next fall. They don't want to have to talk about the nation's $17 trillion debt between baby kisses, and now, thanks to the deal, they won't have to.
David Stockman, budget director under President Ronald Reagan, calls the deal "a joke" and "betrayal." He adds, "It's the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to Beltway politics and kicking the can and ignoring the budget monster that's hurtling down the road."
The only Republican to vote against the deal was Rep. Walter B. Jones from North Carolina.
He said, "Americans are fed up with the tired Washington game of spending more today while promising cuts in the distant future, most of which never materialize. , , , Our focus should be on eliminating wasteful federal spending now."
The deal makers, including Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and Speaker of the House John Boehner should be sent packing next fall. Their personal political ambitions are bankrupting us.
That brings us to Barack Obama. His behavior, both presidential and personal, is growing more dangerous by the hour, and he needs serious couch time with the White House shrink.
Jonathan Turley, a socially liberal professor and legal scholar at George Washington University Law School, testified about the Obama administration last week at a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
When asked about the president and the Constitution, Turley said, "I have great trepidation of where we are headed, because we are creating a new system here - something that is not what was designed."
"(Y)ou have the rise of an Uber-Presidency (super-presidency). There could be no greater danger for individual liberty. I really think that the Framers would be horrified by that shift, because everything they dedicated themselves to was creating political balance - and we've lost it."
Turley again: "The danger is quite severe. The problem with what the president is doing is that he's not simply posing a danger to the constitutional system. He's becoming the very danger the Constitution was designed to avoid."
He then mentions the delicate balance between the three branches of government and notes two trends that should concern all members of Congress.
"One is that we have had the radical expansion of presidential powers under both President Bush and President Obama. We have what many once called an imperial presidency model of largely unchecked authority. And with that trend we also have the continued rise of this fourth branch. We have agencies that are quite large that issue regulations. The Supreme Court said recently that agencies could actually define their own or interpret their own jurisdiction."
The trends can be inferred from recent polling. More than 50 percent of us give Obama a failing grade. Two-thirds think the nation is headed in the wrong direction. A majority don't think Obama is honest.
Now for the scary part. Obama doesn't seem to care what we think, and he's growing more reckless by the day.
Last Tuesday, for example, during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela, photographers caught Obama yukking it up and posing for a selfie with Denmark's comely prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
Inappropriate? Most people would say it was. And where was the president's wife? Sitting on his other side, somber and paying attention to the service.
The president needs help, and as luck would have it, there's a couch in the Oval Office. Now he needs to call in the shrink.