Friday, May 04, 2007


While the Bush White House and the Democratic-controlled congress wrangled over funding the Iraq war, the Republican candidates for president in 2008 debated their various positions on the issues, including the war. Not surprisingly, none of them condemned the initiation of the war by Bush in 2003 and none of them called for the party's rejection of Bush, Cheney, Rice and the others who kicked off the debacle that will cost perhaps a trillion dollars and 4,000 lives, and leave an Iraq in chaos. Their stance seems to be, "We are where we are and there's no need to talk about how we got here." I disagree. There must be consequences for one of the most monumental screw-ups in American history.

At this point it looks like the Bush administration will walk away in early 2009, leaving their mess behind them as they look forward to reaping the benefits of their long service in office. The current congress will continue to pester them and make their lives unpleasant for the next two years, but they will continue their costly occupation of Iraq and be unable to make any progress on the major internal problems that they once promised to solve. Historians will be dissecting their many failures for decades to come, but they will be comfortable in retirement. Who, then, must bear the consequences? The only officials left to punish are those who supported the Bush war and who wish to remain in office after the next election. They must go.

It would be wonderful if the Democrats fielded strong candidates for 2008 for both the executive and legislative openings, but the election will be only partly about them. It must be an election of repudiation, an election where Republicans are swept out by an electorate that demands consequences for failure. The Republican-controlled congress, who acted as cheerleaders for the Bush administration's policies instead of fulfilling their oversight role, must bear the consequences for the disasters that occurred on their sleepy-headed watch.

The 2008 election largely will not be about issues going forward. It will be about the performance and accountability of those previously in power, and about the role the current presidential candidates played in supporting or not supporting the Bush administration. If these men believe that, somehow, they will be able to divert attention away from their votes and statements in support of Bush's decisions, they are mistaken. Democratic candidates will be airing commercials that "star" them making these votes and statements. It's no wonder that frank discussion of the Bush presidency was missing from their recent debate, but the hot lights of truth will soon be upon them. "Conseqences" will follow.


Dave said...

I don't know that the blame lies only with the Republicans. Yeah, Bush and company lied about a lot of things. Lies found out, didn't seem to change much. The Dems have had a few months now to start saying something that makes sense. They haven't. They appear to be much more intereted in trying to lay blame, to the detriment of us.

By the time it gets to what used to be the real political season, at the start of '08, the field on both sides will have narrowed and those remaining will have distanced themselves from BushCo if they are on the right. Those on the left will have increased their attacks on Bush hoping to tar who's left on the right.

No one's going to get punished. We will elect a president and a congress that will slowly withdraw, at the cost of more lives than you posit in your post and a bunch of more dollars.

The weather's nice here in the south. It's starting to be nice up north. Most of us aren't too concerned with dead people over there and the short, middle or long term cost of the far off war.

Ron Davison said...

Bush's approval rating is now at 28%. It's a wonder to me that the Republican candidates aren't doing more to distance themselves from him. I've still yet to visit MSNBC to watch some of the Republican debate, but the headlines indicated that their criticism of George was pretty much limited to execution. Those guys obviously share a worldview and part of it is loyalty before accountability.