Thursday, June 14, 2007

And the Schuyler Colfax Memorial "Graft in Government Award" goes to . . .

. . . Vice President Dick Cheney.

Do we really have to wait until March 2009 to witness the exit of Bush, Cheney, and their cronies? The more I read about the web of deceit and the veil of secrecy which define this administration, the more I fear for the health of the Republic. Average citizens need to rise up and march on Washington, demanding an end to this war and removal of this "axis of evil." I'd recommend impeachment, but Congress would have to impeach both Bush and Cheney, since the Vice President has compiled a record of complicity in the administration's crimes matched only by some of his Gilded Age peers . . . Schuyler Colfax (pictured left), for example. (At least Colfax, who left office in 1873 having failed to secure the nomination for Vice President in Grant's second term, was guilty of mere graft in connection with the infamous Crédit Mobilier scandal. Cheney's crimes violate the Constitution and his oath of office.)

Having been a presidential historian, I have to predict that scholars will not be kind to the Bush administration, if the details of his presidency are ever allowed to see the light of day. No doubt Bush will try to control his legacy - by controlling access to the documents that define his presidency - in the same way he has tried to manipulate the dissemination of information to the public in the last six years. Ultimately I think that the Iraq fiasco will overshadow Vietnam as the worst defeat for the United States in its history. Here's what Al Gore has to say about it in his new book, The Assault on Reason:

"The historic misjudgments that let to the tragedy of America's invasion of Iraq
were all easily avoidable. The administration's arrogant control of
information and the massive deception perpetrated on the American people in
order to gain approval for a dishonest policy had to the worst strategic mistake
in the history of the United States. But the damage they have done to our
country is not limited to the misallocation of military and economic and
political resources. Nor is it limited even to the loss of blood and
treasure. Whenever a chief executive spends prodigious amounts of energy
in an effort to convince the American people of a falsehood, he damages the
fabric of democracy and the belief in the fundamental integrity of our
Amen, brother!

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