Sunday, July 01, 2007

BETRAYAL. In 2003, back when he was calling us all traitors, Andrew Sullivan suggested that Bush might be Winston Churchill:
The truth is and we may as well admit it: we have failed to convince the world, just as Churchill failed to convince the world in the 1930s. And as 9/11 recedes a little, we are even tempted to falter in this dreadful analysis ourselves. The difference between now and the 1930s, of course, is that we may now have Churchill in office - but before the world has become convinced of his rectitude...
(Sorry for the secondary sourcing, but it has become very difficult to find Sullivan's pro-war posts online.)

Today, Sullivan says Bush is "The [Neville] Chamberlain of Our Time," and that Churchill is "Bush's nemesis."

Bush's current unpopularity among his erstwhile fans is worthy of note. Only 61 percent of Republicans currently approve of his performance -- per Fox News, "the lowest rating ever among this group." But even more telling is the high-level defections among his top print and web supporters.

To take only the two most egregious examples, Glenn Reynolds, who still thinks the war's going great, seldom has a kind word for the man who made it happen anymore. In 2004 Peggy Noonan swooned that warrior king Bush had two testicles, but when it became clear that the Democrats would sweep in 2006, she accused him of betraying conservatism.

It may be that they understand something Bush clearly understands: reputation, legacy, all of that junk can go hang so long as the money rolls in.

Think about Colin Powell, once arguably the most respected man in the United States. In 2003 Bush sent Powell to the U.N. with a bunch of fuzzy pictures and a scary story to sell the Iraq War. That nonsense being now exposed, Powell's a joke. No one's ever going to talk about him running for President again.

Like a lot of other people, Powell has mildly turned on the Bushies. But like the late protestations of Sullivan, Reynolds, and Noonan, Powell's gripes count for nothing but a bit of post-facto positioning, a quick step into a doorway just as the dawn breaks.

Because no one involved in this chicanery is losing money. The War has been a cash cow for its instigators, as Halliburton Watch daily shows. Hell, even Katrina was a gold mine for Kellogg Brown and Root. The Administration's widespread privatization of what were once government services has made it easier than ever to line the pockets of pals and contributors.

Everyone knows this by now, and still the patty-fingers goes on, because no one has either the jam or the guts to really take them down. Cheney's legal dodges are now legendary, yet the Congressional Democrats stumble around them like the officers of Reno 911.

Americans will recall this Adminstration without fondness, if they remember it at all. But so what? The Treasury's been looted, and the government crippled. We don't remember George Bush the First fondly either, yet he and his son still have their fortune, and when the hurley-burley's done they'll still have Kennebunkport, or Paraguay, while Cheney will spend his remaining centuries cryogenically frozen in a man-sized safe, emerging only for septuple-bypass operations and quail hunts.

And their onetime enablers, journalistic or otherwise, will give them the Nixon treatment. They'll quietly accede to the general negative opinion, while striking up the band for someone exactly like them.

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