The slow demise of the national Republican Party just took a turn for the worse. Hard to believe that the GOP’s prospects could actually become more bleak after two years of unrelenting bad news, but it has.
Republican senators are now turning their rhetorical guns away from Democrats and toward one another. A few conservative Republican senators, whose votes usually cheer me up during bleak political times, are actually accusing Virginia’s senior senator, John Warner, of providing comfort to terrorists.
The White House even got involved in the name calling when Tony Snow suggested Warner’s actions could embolden the likes of Osama Bin Laden.
The message from the Bush administration seems to be this: “Thanks for carrying our water on this miserable war for four years. Now we’re going accuse you of helping terrorists.”
Didn’t Dick Cheney just cite Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment about Republicans not attacking one another?
My how things have changed in a few days.
It’s one more reason I have grown increasingly distraught over the GOP’s direction in recent months. The president is prepared to take his administration and his party over the cliff to prove that he right about Iraq—even if most of his generals and the majority of Americans disagree.
The question now is how long will Republicans stand by this war that has cost over 3,000 lives? Is it worth the $1 trillion dollars that will be added to our national debt? Is it worth undercutting our ability to strike at Iran and North Korea? I would say “yes” to all three questions if there were the slightest chance victory was around the corner. But it is not. If you don’t believe me, ask any general to tell you about the Bush surge. They will roll their eyes.
Even if you agree with me that this war was worth fighting as long as we believed Saddam Hussein had WMD’s aimed at America, at some point you have to face the facts: the Bush administration was wrong about those weapons, wrong about the nuclear program, wrong about their refusal to quell rioting early, wrong about Bremer’s gutting of the Iraqi army and police force, wrong about refusing to kill or capture al Sadr in 2003, wrong to tell the generals not speak of the coming insurgency, wrong to stubbornly refuse to give generals the troops they needed to win this war, wrong to make the “Mission Accomplished” declaration, wrong for the VP to claim that the insurgency was in its death throes and wrong to push a surge plan that the president’s top generals opposed.
The list could continue for pages but I will be generous to the White House and leave it at that.
At some point, GOP senators and congressmen need to understand that this war is no longer a battle between Republican war heroes and Democratic 60s hippie freaks. The lines have now been blurred by Bush’s bungling war strategy. Now we find ourselves in a fight between war heroes and war heroes. Former secretaries of Navy and former Vietnam POWs. Conservative Republicans and protectors of the president.
That may not be so bad for George W. Bush in the short run, but it is a disaster for Republicans in 2008 and beyond.
Conservatives had better wake up before all the gains made by Ronald Reagan and the 1994 Revolution are lost. The clock is ticking.