Loyal Bushies

| July 6, 2007 | 0 Comments

Josh Marshall has a great post referring to an Andrew Sullivan critique of the Republican messaging that the Libby prosecution was all political. The charge is ludicrous on its face. Everyone involved in moving this case forward was appointed by George W. Bush, most particularly the prosecutor and the judge. Everyone, of course, except for the jury. But I’m sure if they could have found a way to rig the jury, they would have. IRS audit, anyone?

But the point Marshall makes is a good one. To the extent anyone, in this case New Republic publisher Marty Peretz, can claim the case was political, it was because the Republicans pushing it were not “loyal Bushies.” This point made something clear to me; that George W. Bush has divided the Republican Party in to two camps, Bush loyalists and all others. The Bush loyalists believe in the Divine Right of Bush. The others, not so much. So you have a category in the spreadsheet evaluating the U.S. attorneys as to their “loyal Bushiness.” Anything short of that is suspect. Think of some of the Republicans who fail this test; John Ashcroft, Paul O’Neill, the old John McCain, Colin Powell, etc., etc. If you are not willing to subject your personal will to that of George Bush (really Dick Cheney), your resistance becomes “political.”

The problem is these “loyal Bushies” are both ignorant and passionate. They are what’s left of the base of the Republican Party. They are now completely divorced from reality, but can’t be ignored by Republican presidential candidates. So, you have the spectacle of people like Mitt Romney, who prides himself on never granting a pardon and commutation as governor, defended the Libby commutation. Tough luck for the Iraq War veterans whose conviction at age 14 for a bb gun incident prevents him from achieving his dream of becoming a police officer. For Romney, it’s all black and white….except for the Libby case. He can’t risk alienating “loyal Bushies.”

At what point does it matter that the principle of being a “loyal Bushie” above all else disqualifies a candidate being president.

Soon, I hope.

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