Libby is going to jail. Bush is sending more troops to Iraq. Cheney may resign in the coming days. Military hospitals, the Katrina clean-up and Middle East affairs are being run poorly. The house of cards built by the Bush family and their supporters in 2000 and 2004 is starting to crumble under the weight of its own ineptitude and hubris. Even more importantly, it’s falling because the administration has, since January 2002, demonstrated a careless disregard for the people it governs. History will likely be more ruthless to this administration than any other; as many have noted, even Nixon’s reign will look okay, in retrospect. As my own dad would say, “It couldn’t have happened to nicer people.”
Thomas Friedman has a thoughtful, if reductive, piece in today’s Times. It’s called Don’t Ask, Don’t Know, Don’t Help, but the last part of the headline should be “Don’t Care.” This is the best three paragraphs in the column:
From the start, the Bush team has tried to keep the Iraq war “off the books” both financially and emotionally. As Larry Diamond of Stanford’s Hoover Institution said to me: “America is not at war. The U.S. Army is at war.” The rest of us are just watching, or just ignoring, while the whole fight is carried on by 150,000 soldiers and their families.
In an interview last Jan. 16, Jim Lehrer asked President Bush why, if the war on terrorism was so overwhelmingly important, he had never asked more Americans “to sacrifice something.” Mr. Bush gave the most unbelievable answer: “Well, you know, I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night.”
Sacrifice peace of mind watching TV? What kind of crazy thing is that to say?