Nails in the Coffin

For three years, Junior’s blunders have come thick and fast, one after the other, each one bigger and more disgraceful than the last. He has openly sold the WH to the highest bidder, handed govt agencies over to the industries they’re supposed to regulate in exchange for hefty campaign contributions, and started a war on a country from which there was no conceivable threat because, well, we’re still not really sure but seemingly because he just…wanted to. His governing has been, literally, in a way we’ve never seen in this country before, built on lies–image has replaced substance, promises have replaced results, and what you know has been replaced by how much you’ll pay. He has single-handedly trashed our reputation around the world, making us for the first time a pariah nation, a country other people in the world look on with fear and loathing rather than jealousy and longing. He has done all this–and more–in three short years, undoing decades or centuries of good will and progress in the name of…what, exactly? Empire? Corporate hegemony? Aristocratic privilege?

His contempt for the Constitution is so profound, so penetrating, so much a part of his ‘character’, that I was surprised a bolt of lightning didn’t strike him dead when he took the Oath of Office. He has demeaned the Presidency and denigrated our laws, side-stepping them and wrinkling his nose as if they were buckets of night-soil. He has evaded responsibility with every fresh disaster. This ‘compassionate conservative’ has gone out of his way to prove how cruel and lacking in compassion conservatism is at its root, in the meantime extolling the virtues of theft and greed. He admits no mistake, brooks no dissension, and insists that ‘god’ told him to do it. If so, it is a god few of us would recognize.

His arrogance has been open and unashamed, his avarice rampant, his almost total disconnection from reality demonstrated in public every time he opens his mouth, yet despite all this–and a lot more–the vast majority of moderate Republicans and genuine conservatives, whose beliefs and policies have been just as casually violated by Bush as any progressive’s, have said…nothing. We waited and we waited and…nothing. Not a peep. Not for three whole years.

Now, suddenly, it seems they have turned against him. First there was the callous rebuff of the Republican governors’ request for Federal aid, then the rumblings over the enormous deficits, then the open defections of McCain, Snowe, and other moderates, followed by the House Republicans rejecting two of his key proposals, and now, finally, we have this: a public call to dump him from 26 former Reagan/Bush I diplomats and military officials. Twenty-six.

WASHINGTON — A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America’s national security and should be defeated in November.The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush’s foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document.

“It is clear that the statement calls for the defeat of the administration,” said William C. Harrop, the ambassador to Israel under President Bush’s father and one of the group’s principal organizers.

Those signing the document, which will be released in Washington on Wednesday, include 20 former U.S. ambassadors, appointed by presidents of both parties, to countries including Israel, the former Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia.

Others are senior State Department officials from the Carter, Reagan and Clinton administrations and former military leaders, including retired Marine Gen. Joseph P. Hoar, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East under President Bush’s father. Hoar is a prominent critic of the war in Iraq.

Some of those signing the document — such as Hoar and former Air Force Chief of Staff Merrill A. McPeak — have identified themselves as supporters of Sen. John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. But most have not endorsed any candidate, members of the group said.

It is unusual for so many former high-level military officials and career diplomats to issue such an overtly political message during a presidential campaign.

A senior official at the Bush reelection campaign said he did not wish to comment on the statement until it was released.

And probably not much afterward.

This is unprecedented, a blow from which no recovery is possible. The rats are deserting the sinking ship by the dozens now.

This isn’t an election any more. It’s a death watch.

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