As Thomas Paine once said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”, and so it now is for the Republican Party. Suffering from a scandal ridden couple of years that doesn’t just rival the 1973-4 end of the Richard Nixon presidency but far surpasses it, the once all powerful GOP seems in tatters as it limps to the November mid-term elections. How did the Party whose leader claims to have the ear of God Himself suddenly find itself so adrift? Was it’s position of iron fisted control of all three elected branches of government the very reason for it’s current woes? Of course it is, don’t be stupid.
Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Randy Cunningham, Scooter Libby, David Safavian, Brian Doyle, Claude Allen, Jack Abramoff, James Tobin, Harriet Meirs and now Mark Foley and Jennine Pirro. These are (a bit depressingly) just some better and some lesser known members of the Administration, Congress and Republican lobbyists who catered to the Bush camp and current GOP hopefuls that are under investigation, under indictment, convicted or already in prison (not Harriet Meirs of course…she’s just a ludicrous sideshow). Add to this Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, Global Warming, Iraq and Afghanistan, gas prices and the housing market and you’re left with nothing that the GOP can really point to with any pride. At least the rich guys are doing well in the stock market. And it only took six years to get the Dow back to where it was in 2000.
National Security? The Gulf Coast in general and New Orleans in particular are still suffering, writhing under the effects of natural disaster more than a year later, a situation due more to ineptitude rather than magnitude. Only about 10% of our cargo containers are being inspected because we don’t have the funding while we bleed hundreds of billions into Iraq. The War on Terror? A resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, a civil war in Iraq, the loss of a third of that nation and an NIA report that says we’re in worse danger than ever before because of it. Integrity and morality? Everything from massive corruption (Abramoff, DeLay, Ney and Cunningham) to petty theft (Allen) to obstruction of justice (Libby) to pedophilia (Doyle and Foley) to election tampering (Tobin). At least Dick Cheney didn’t kill Harry Whittington down in Texas, otherwise we’d have to add involuntary manslaughter to the list as well.
In the past the “Christian Base” could be counted on to pull together and take Republican candidates over the top in most races. But what honest Christian can look at the actions of men like Ralph Reed or the Bush Administration and feel comfortable that they are backing the right people for the right reasons? How can a Christian endorse torture, corruption and pedophilia? What Fiscal Conservative can add up the massive National Debt and say we’re better off than during the Clinton Years? What self respecting Libertarian could condone illegal wiretapping, data mining, library and bookstore record searches? War Hawks? Sure, we’re at war, but the leadership of Donald Rumsfeld is turning our military into an inept laughingstock around the world. According to Bob Woodward, even Laura Bush wanted him fired.
The Era of the Second Bush is, after a incredibly positive start (that is, I’m incredibly positive he stole the 2000 election), suddenly finds itself on track to become the most disastrous Administration in modern times if not the entire history of our Nation. Why?
Well, for one thing, it’s dangerous to invoke God’s Name when you’re attacking another country based on what you know is a complete lie…it’s really tempting Divine Retribution to speak of ‘morality’ when you’re diddling little boys, shoplifting, outing CIA agents, allowing a country you control to become the world’s largest supplier of opium, actively partaking in the rampant destruction of the very planet that God created in the name of money, not just surreptitiously engaging in torture, but openly advocating it in name of protecting our ‘freedoms’, just sitting by while poor people slowly drowned or died of thirst and heat in the wreck of New Orleans, refusing to have the guts to even meet with a grieving mother, taking millions in corrupt money and generally betraying the trust of the people who, because of their faith in God, put their faith in you.
In five weeks America goes to the polls. What is this election about? Not the War in Iraq…we’re in it already. It is about how to fight it. We’re electing Donald Rumsfeld or voting him out of office. Corruption? Half of the corrupt Republicans are indicted or convicted, now we have to figure out who the other half is. George Bush? We’re deciding whether to let him continue to run things as he sees fit or re-instate the system of checks and balances that our Constitution calls for. I’ve been voting for 30 years now and this is the most important election I can remember. Are you going to be a part of it? Remember, you can believe in God and still be completely wrong. Just ask George W. Bush.