The architects of the invasion of Iraq are deserting the war they launched and blaming George Bush for the disaster as his poll figures slump.
The state department; indeed every branch of the Bush executive, is hemorrhaging with political appointees leaving the sinking ship in droves. With each passing day, the administration is losing a bit more of its will to stand up and be counted. And with Congressional elections next year, those Republicans who will seek re-election are hearing the rumblings of the public and distancing themselves from Bush.
The rats are leaving a sinking ship.
Some speak out as they swim to safety. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, one of President Bush's most ardent loyalists on the war in Iraq, voiced her strongest criticism yet of the administration's reasons for going to war. In a debate with her challenger in the Nov. 7 election, Hutchison, R-Texas, said she would not have voted for war had she known there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Regardless of how many rhetorical twists she makes to stay in good with Bush while backing away from Iraq, Hutchinson is still just one of many rats jumping off the Titanic.
John Warner of Virginia, Gordon Smith of Oregon,Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe will be running in states Bush lost in 2004. Warner is from a state where an antiwar Democrat won in 2006, and their worst nightmare is that Bush or Cheney will show up in their respective states ' WITH SUPPORT!' Watch for these to soon join the fleeing rat pack.
Perhaps the major desertion was Monday, when Senator Richard Lugar R-IND., a rankling member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a floor speech that Bush's strategy in Iraq was not working and the troops should be withdrawn. This from one of Bush's most loyal supporters who heretofore never deviated from unquestioning loyalty.
Sen. Richard Lugar's criticism of Iraq war policy has led several Capitol Hill insiders to suggest that the Indiana Republican has cleared the way for more GOP defections from Bush administration strategy.
It's fascinating to watch the rats abandon the vessel.
Hopefully the ship of state will survive the storm and return to port, rat free.