Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I woke up this morning after listening to Bush, Ashcroft, and Rumsfeld’s speeches in the last few days and I thought to myself, I don’t need to fight Bush’s re-election – he’s doing a good job of not getting himself elected all by himself.

After all, there’s not a one of us who isn’t aware that Iraq was no direct threat against the United States; that there weren’t stockpiled Weapons of Mass Destruction lying about; there was no need for such a quick dismissal of the UN process and even quicker entry into the war. We’re all aware that the post-war planning was based on assumptions that the Iraqi were going to be so happy to see us invade their country, that they would shower our soldiers with flowers and immediately set aside their deep religious differences and create a new and democratic governing order, quickly putting an untouched oil business in gear to pay for it.

And now, we’re hearing the price tag, 87 billion dollars. This is enough money to provide adequate medical care for every person in this country; enough to bring all of the closed schools back to their strength; enough to, well, do a lot of things that would have some positive impact here in this country. But we’ve invaded Iraq, and destroyed the infrastructure of the country at the same time – we have a responsibility so we have to foot this bill and listen to news about people getting killed, but I assumed that we’d be a bit peeved at the President for getting us into this mess.

And then there’s Ashcroft, with his traveling Tear Down the Constitution tour. After all, we’re a country that prides ourselves on our freedom and our privacy and any laws that would allow the FBI to search homes without notification, to obtain library records for people who are suspect, to hold people without due process of law, would surely not play in among the corn fields of Iowa.

From North Carolina, the Herald Sun wrote:

During an abbreviated press conference, Ashcroft, who provided individual interviews for television media but only a group interview for the press, avoided questions about the act’s effect on illegal immigration and the strain the act has placed on local budgets.

When asked about detentions of foreign citizens, Ashcroft said, “We don’t detain people without charges.” He then added, “I no longer supervise most of the immigration process. Most of those functions are now under the Department of Homeland Security.”

This sounded very much like Rumsfeld’s dismissal of not finding WMD in Iraq with stating that this was really the responsibility of the CIA, not the Defense Department. This was in addition to him saying that to criticize President Bush’s Iraq policy was aiding and abetting terrorism. Something to do with Somalia.

I would think that all of this, combined with the worst employment situation since the Depression and the worst deficit in history, would be enough to throw Bush out of office; but I bet I could sit down in any coffee shop, from sea to glorious shining sea, and hear from American after American defending Bush and defending our policy in Iraq and hear about how the economy is improving, we just have to be patient. Why? Because to do otherwise would be to admit our own errors.

The same members of Congress donned little American flag buttons and stood behind the President at the White House as good little Americans and provided blanket support for his actions.

Congress voted on the tax cut when any schoolkid with a calculator knew it would be economically disasterous.

We’ve forgotten the names of all the Americans detained without legal counsel in this country because of the war on terror.

Americans gave Bush a 78% approval rating of his handling of the War on Terror.

The same Americans believe, 2 to 1, that Saddam Hussein was behind the Twin Towers act, thought there’s never been one iota of proof.

We rewarded our leaders for lying to us, we lied to each other, we lied to ourselves. We screwed up. Not just Bush. Not just Rumsfeld. Not just Ashcroft. We screwed up, and we’re not going to admit it.

When I visited smalltown Kentucky this last weekend, there wasn’t a store billboard that didn’t say “Support our Troops. Support our President”. There wasn’t a home that didn’t have a yellow ribbon, right next to that big American Flag. These are not stupid people who don’t know how to read, but these are people who believe, “My Country. Right or Wrong.”

And that’s who Bush, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft play to and that’s who the rest of us dismiss. We have a huge fight on our hands to prevent four more years of that Man in the White House.

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