A friend who blends masochism with political savvy by surfing the AM radio airwaves has informed me that conservatives are now dumping George W. Bush overboard. They're acting as if Bush weren't one of their own.
These are the same folks who fawned over Bush when the last Republican national convention held his apotheotic second coronation. In case you don't recall, that was when young, crewcut Republicans screaming "U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!" brought eerily to the minds of so many of us the images of rallies such as Nazi film-maker Leni Riefenstahl might have choreographed.
Now that the Democratic Party successfully made Bush the poster boy of all that is wrong -- and he does bear responsibility for a lion's share of it -- and has taken the Senate and the House from the GOP, many right-wingers are trying to tip-toe away.
It's the "good German" syndrome. Or as Woody Allen put it: "I never knew Hitler was a Nazi, I thought he worked for the telephone company."
Only columnist Charles Krauthammer, the rottweiler of U.S. nationalism even though he was born not in the United States but Uruguay, has realized the need for some dignity in defeat and remains a stalwart defender of the Bush Administration.
The Republican Party since 1980 has been essentially a party of opportunists: they have vied with each other for the largest bribes, the most shameless cronyism and war-profiteering and, for a while, have been handsomely rewarded for their efforts. Now it's dawned on them that the party is over and that they're dancing in the ballroom of the Titanic.
Let's not let the rats jump off ship. Let's make sure at least a few of them drown as they richly deserve.
One of the important ways to do so is to avoid falling for the single-gunman theory that has dominated the public interpretation of many pivotal events. I mean single gunman as in Lee Harvey Oswald, obviously the mere puppet of a conspiracy so clever that 43 years later we still do not know its contours.
In this case, let's not forget that the unmitigated disaster to which this president has led us -- war, debt as far as the eye can see, widening gaps between have-mores and haves (let alone between those two and the have-nots) -- is not the result of the one man, W, making mistakes.
Dubya isn't a bumbling idiot. He is a clever dissembler who hasn't minded looking like an idiot so long as it advanced his agenda.
All of our current national problems are the logical consequence of the Reaganite policy and the Reaganite agenda since 1980. And it was the agenda, not his stumbling, that a sizeable proportion of Americans have rejected.
Neo-conservatism, the Reaganite marriage of fundamentalist Christian theocracy with laissez-faire, Laffer-curve social darwinism, has not merely been heartless and immoral policy since 1981. It has been, on the facts and in the most practical of terms, simply and undeniably wrong.
Two more years of it and we would have lost the U.S. Constitution, confirming the dictatorship into which Bush -- and his entire neo-conservative movement -- has been attempting to seduce the United States. The recent congressional elections have been a Thermidorian reaction -- reminiscent of 1790s France when terror ended.
Hopefully, the elections will have the effect of halting the ascendancy of Patriot Act-inspired terror by the U.S. government, diminishing the capacity of officials to brand anyone with whom they disagree a "traitor," and bringing closer the day in which the massive transfer of national assets to the wealthiest elites, domestic and foreign, is brought to a stop.
Now it's time to make clear just how un-American, how intolerant, how limited, and how ultimately against the national interest neo-conservatism, all its branches, all its policies and all its figures really have been.
To paraphrase Marie-Antoinette, let them eat crow.