Third Party & Independents Archives

Republican Lockstep

You have to admire (or not) Republican Party members’ ability to present a united front even in the face of obvious wrongs, breeches of public trust, and the blatant skirting of U.S. and International law by those entrusted to uphold it. The unfolding shame of the systematic torture and murder (25 dead at last count) of Iraqi and Afghanistan prisoners by American soldiers and civilians is just the latest in a long list of ugly episodes where the Bush Administration has stumbled and fumbled, but still enjoys the support of Republican citizens, members of Congress, and member of the Bar, both state and federal.

Despite the fact that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has bungled this war from the beginning, not one Republican Congressman or Senator has called for his resignation. Isn’t his incompetence clear? Meanwhile, predictably the chorus of Democratic Party voices is loud, clear and unambiguous: Rumsfeld must go, and changes must be made in order to win the War. You might say, well that is expected, they are Democrats after all. But, you have to admire (or not) the fact that Democrats are not afraid to disagree with members of their own party; they can and do think for themselves, and occasionally put principle above politics for the good of the whole. The same cannot be said of Republicans—with the noted exception of Senator John McCain of Arizona. He is a Republican I actually admire, because he is a man of principle, who frequently places the good of the country above partisan politics.

Not one can credibly argue that the U.S. has managed the War in Iraq with anything approaching the professionalism we should expect—and demand—from our government. The Pentagon under Rumsfeld has made a mess out of a project it should never have been given; governing postwar Iraq. The country is now unarguably in a quagmire with no end in sight, a money pit with no bottom, a killing field where American and Iraqi lives are being wasted to no discernable end. And Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld are to blame for the morass; their arrogance, lack of foresight, and lack of leadership at every juncture have sown the seeds of our international shame and disgrace. And yet, not one Republican voice has been raised—with the exception of John McCain, and he has stopped short of calling for Rumsfeld’s ouster—in protest of what is going on not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan as well. I, quite frankly find their stance reprehensible and unforgivable.

The situation reminds me of political parties in the annals of human history where members have followed the leader in lockstep, never questioning, never ruffling the feathers, never causing ripples in the pond of party unity. And in the end, the world’s people always lose, lives are scattered, societies fractured and torn asunder, and untold numbers of bodies are heaped upon the mound of Party unity…

Related Stories:

Rumsfeld Faces Angry Congress

Kerry Takes Aim at Bush Over Prisoner Abuse Scandal

Source: Rumsfeld to Form Abuse Probe Panel

Posted by V. Edward Martin at May 7, 2004 9:21 AM