Sunday, November 19, 2006

Oh boo hoo hoo.

If the GOP establishment can't read this WaPo article and figure out what's seriously wrong with their party, then they're more fucked up than anyone imagined.

The weekend after the statue of Saddam Hussein fell, Kenneth Adelman and a couple of other promoters of the Iraq war gathered at Vice President Cheney's residence to celebrate. The invasion had been the "cakewalk" Adelman predicted. Cheney and his guests raised their glasses, toasting President Bush and victory. "It was a euphoric moment," Adelman recalled.
Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march, and Adelman has broken with the Bush team. He had an angry falling-out with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this fall. He and Cheney are no longer on speaking terms. And he believes that "the president is ultimately responsible" for what Adelman now calls "the debacle that was Iraq."

Cakewalk. Right. Because we all know invasions are just easy as pie to implement, don't we? Mr. Adelmen is proof positive of how unrealistic the White House Iraq group's expectations always were. Here's a special little clue for Mr. Adelman: An invasion does not just end when some US soldiers pull down a statue of a crazy, evil dictator. If I remember correctly, Dubya's Uncle Brent (Scowcroft, that is) has been saying for several years that the Iraq invasion was a dangerous gamble. You can't get more Bush family/Washington insider than Uncle Brent. But Adelman and the rest of WHIG just believed what they wanted to believe and addressed Uncle Brent and the rest of the grownups with a collective "NEENER NEENER WE CAN'T HEAR YOOOOOOUUU!"

Anyway, back to Adelman, who's now no doubt trying to figure out which condiment with which to eat his words:
"There are a lot of lives that are lost," Adelman said in an interview last week. "A country's at stake. A region's at stake. This is a gigantic situation. . . . This didn't have to be managed this bad. It's just awful."

Congratulations, Mr. Adelman! You're now this week's winner of the Counselor Deanna Troi Award for Blatantly Obvious Commentary! Anyway, since those unfortunate election results that have left the GOP smarting, the Republicans have come out of the woodwork to point fingers and blame everyone but themselves for the GOP establishment's failings.
"People expect a level of performance they are not getting," former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said in a speech. Many were livid that Bush waited until after the elections to oust Rumsfeld.

"If Rumsfeld had been out, you bet it would have made a difference," Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said on television. "I'd still be chairman of the Judiciary Committee."

Nice set of priorities you got there, Senator. Do your country a favor and retire in 2010, will you please?

The WaPo article goes on to quote numerous DC establishment Republicans, all mad at the president for one reason or another. You have Colin Powell and company, who conveniently waited until Powell had tendered his resignation before they began to denounce the Iraq war. Or Christine Todd "It's my party toooooooo!" Whitman, who toed the White House line, right down to lying about the air quality around Ground Zero, and then began denouncing the GOP wingnuts after she'd left the EPA. You know guys, maybe if you'd said something sooner, or quit in protest, or taken some sort of principled stand before the White House could do any damage, you'd have some more credibility.
Similarly, Kenneth Adelman waited until he was no longer in the WHIG before making his views public:

Adelman said he remained silent for so long out of loyalty. "I didn't want to bad-mouth the administration," he said. In private, though, he spoke out, resulting in a furious confrontation with Rumsfeld, who summoned him to the Pentagon in September and demanded his resignation from the defense board.

"It seemed like nobody was getting it," Adelman said. "It seemed like everything was locked in. It seemed like everything was stuck." He agrees he bears blame as well. "I think that's fair. When you advocate a policy that turns bad, you do have some responsibility."

Most troubling, he said, are his shattered ideals: "The whole philosophy of using American strength for good in the world, for a foreign policy that is really value-based instead of balanced-power-based, I don't think is disproven by Iraq. But it's certainly discredited."

This party-before-country mentality is exactly what's wrong with the present Beltway GOP, and comments by Specter and Adelman seem to prove that they still don't get it.

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