Monday, December 18, 2006

How Will History Judge Rumsfeld?

You know the worm has turned when even Parade Magazine is saying that history will be harsh on Donald Rumsfeld’s service as Secretary of Defense. There appears to be a growing recognition of the severe blunders of this administration. If this is what Parade will say about Rumsfeld as he leaves office, what will it say
about George W. Bush when he leaves office? By then the scale of the disaster will be even broader, the extent of the waste in human life and American treasure even greater, the sweep of the humiliations before the world even more evident, even to Bush’s most loyal followers. By that time not only Bush and his administration will be vilified for its follies but also the public who supported him – the minions who followed him, accepted his misreprentations of truth at face value, and provided the grass-roots operations that activated a movement to support the implausible claims and promises of the neo-cons who could never have gained so powerful a voting constituency without them. Those hard core followers were of course the “far right,” the white middle-class church-going “evangelicals” – among them many of our closest friends – who were animated by the wedge issues, abortion, gay marriage, flag burning, etc.

A disturbing element of the Bush follies has been its linkage with a religious movement. As the Bush administration’s excesses of ignorance and arrogance become broadly recognized the religious elements that supported it will be impugned along with it. The claims and ideals of the evangelicals will be discounted along with those of the neo-cons who scarcely respected them even as they found them useful.

The pendulum is swinging. What kind of excesses will be generated in the other direction?


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