I'm still recovering from young Mr. Bush's Presidents' Day speech at Mount Vernon.
Thank you all for coming. Laura and I are honored to be with you in this historic place, on this special anniversary. I feel right at home here. After all, this is the home of the first George W. (Laughter.) I thank President Washington for welcoming us today. He doesn't look a day over 275 years old. (Laughter.)
The bad jokes at the opening were bad enough. The following allusive comparisons Mr. Bush made between himself and George Washington were, in my estimation, a national embarrassment. The more Bush referred to Washington's vision and accomplishments, the more obvious everyone could see that this president doesn’t amount to a speck of mud on that president's boot.
Comparing himself to great leaders of the past is nothing new for Mr. Bush. He and/or his echo chamberlains have likened him to Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. We hear that as of late Mr. Bush has been reading about Harry Truman. You have to wonder: is he actually reading, or is he listening to audio books while he works out?
If Mr. Bush really wants a preview of what his legacy will be, he should start reading up on U.S. Grant and Warren G. Harding. And if the Republican Party ever hopes to recover from its November spanking, it needs to repudiate George W. Bush.
GOPers and Neocons
Majority leader Harry Reid's Saturday Senate show may have been a piece of political theater, but it served its purpose. The House's version of a non-binding resolution was never going to come up for a vote, but it didn’t need to. The debate on whether to debate the bill was, in fact, the debate on the bill. And the vote rejecting debate on the bill was indeed a vote in which an overwhelming majority of the Senators who voted (56 to 34) rebuked Mr. Bush's proposed Iraq escalation strategy.
The vote also revealed which 34 Republicans in the Senate are still in lockstep with the Bush administration's neoconservative agenda.
Make no mistake, polls or no polls, elections or no elections, and through failure after failure after failure, the agenda is the same as it was from the moment the neoconservative cabal chose Bush as its figurehead: global domination through military force, turning the presidency into a Republican monarchy, crushing Congress and the courts, subjugating the middle class, polluting the information environment, erasing history and shredding the Constitution.
I don't want to see the GOP collapse. Prior to November, we saw six years of what one-party rule is like. We don't want to see it again. But as long as the Republican Party is still dominated by the neoconservatives, it cannot be trusted.
It's a good sign that senior Senate Republicans like John Warner and Arlen Specter broke with the White House on the non-binding resolution vote. But that 34 Senators voted with the administration bodes ill for hopes that the GOP can shed itself of its neoconservative parasites any time soon. That's a shame. This is a perfect moment for rank and file Republicans to stand up to Dick Cheney and his leg breakers. It's too bad they can't muster the gumption to do it.
And then there's the "maverick" John McCain. He decided not to show up for the vote, opting instead to campaign in Iowa. Go ahead, GOP. Nominate McCain. Make my day.
I was never much into party politics until the present administration came into power. The first Democrat I ever voted for was John Kerry, and that was mostly a vote against Bush. The first Democratic Senate candidate I ever voted for was Jim Webb, and that was for the sake of driving the final nail into the political coffin of Bush's potty room pal George Allen. I don't like the idea of voting "against" candidates, or voting for candidates based solely on their party affiliations. But I won't vote for a Republican again until I'm convinced the party has purged itself of the neoconservative movement, and no longer supports party leaders like that natural disaster Dick Cheney and our national disgrace, George W. Bush.
I don't know how the Democrats will undo the damage wrought over the past six years of Republican rule, and I'm apprehensive of how much further mayhem Uncle Dick and Dubya will perpetrate over the next two years. But I'm willing to give the Dems a long time and a lot of rope to do the best they can.
And I'd actively campaign for Brittney Spears if I thought it would keep John McCain out of the White House.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at Pen and Sword.