Posted on Wednesday, November 15, 2006
“A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles.”
—Thomas Jefferson, on the Alien & Sedition Act, June 4, 1798. Are we having fun yet? Not half as much, I suspect, as those of us alarmed by the radicalism of the Bush presidency are fixing to have watching Republicans castigate each other for last week’s stunning electoral defeat, which could signal the beginning of an altogether different era in American politics. Even so, it was hugely gratifying to see Americans rescue the nation from the extra-constitutional extremism of the Republican right. Veteran reporter Robert Parry put it succinctly at consortiumnews. com: “By a surprisingly decisive margin, American voters rejected George W. Bush’s designs for transforming the
For most of six years, Bush governed as if there was never going to be another election. He acted as if the whole country had turned into East
“The Democrat approach in
In essence, the president of the
What glassy-eyed throngs of Bush cultists who’d cheered the president’s divisive rhetoric were supposed to make of that wasn’t immediately clear. Had their champion been conning them all along ?
But the presidential deceit that cost Republicans big time was the one about Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Asked during the campaign’s final week about the growing controversy over Rummy’s inept, arrogant handling of the
No wonder Republicans in competitive races fled Bush like Typhoid Mary. If they wanted change in
In fact, the president had not only decided to dump Rumsfeld, but had already chosen Bush family retainer Robert Gates to replace him. Confronted about it after firing Rummy the morning after the election, he off-handedly admitted it.
“The reason why,” Bush explained, “is I didn’t want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign.”
Next time, we’ll know better than to believe him. Anyway, let the recriminations begin at the top. It’s reasonable to say that Bush and Cheney’s blunders probably cost the Republicans Senate seats in
And speaking of little white lies, here’s talk radio propagandist Rush Limbaugh, who doubtless helped swing the
Got that, dittoheads? Reckon whose water Limbaugh’s carrying today?
As close as it was, if Democrats don’t blow it, the election could signal a major political realignment. Writing in the British newspaper The Guardian, former Bill Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal argues that the 2006 election may represent the bitter end of Richard Nixon’s vaunted “Southern Strategy.”
“After the mid-term elections, the GOP has become a regional party of the South,” he wrote. “And, in the future, Republicans can only hold their base by asserting their conservatism, which alienates the rest of the country. More than ever, the Republicans are dependent upon white evangelical voters in the South and sparsely populated