"Itís a terribly hard job to spend a billion dollars and get your moneyís worth."
     -- George M. Humphrey, U.S. Treasury Secretary, February 23, 1954.
"According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions."
-- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary, September 10, 2001.


Some Advice to Republicans
Posted November 22, 2005 | Link

I feel sorry for you. I really do. In just the past few years, your party has increased the national debt by more than any president except Reagan ($1.6 trillion), sacrificed more of our military without an official declaration of war than any president since Nixon (2,096 at last count), suffered the first indictment of a White House official (I. Lewis Libby) in 130 years, and generated perhaps the highest number of simultaneous criminal investigations since the Civil War. While all of this sounds pretty bad, the worst is yet to come.

The worst you say? Yes, the worst. The debt youíve given us (Republicans have created more than 70% of our nationís debt) cannot be forever financed by selling treasury notes to Asian banks. Youíve also done nothing to address the massive Chinese trade imbalance except to encourage corporations to continue outsourcing there. Thereís also been an inexplicable resistance to putting together even a hint of a plan in Iraq. Donít you think itís more than just a little irresponsible to invade a sovereign country on false pretenses and put Americanís finest in harmís way without even the slightest hint of a game plan or an exit strategy? Too bad you just canít campaign your wait out of Baghdad, eh?

And then thereís the corruption. First, our country had to endure Clintonís extramarital shenanigans and the impeachment circus that followed. Now, after promising to restore ďtrust, pride, and respectĒ to Washington, we have to read almost daily about Abramoff, Libby, DeLay, Frist, Cunningham, and a long list of other crooks and cheats. Allow me to clue you in: Nixon (Watergate) proved that no one is above the law; Reagan (Iran-contra) proved that charisma alone canít cut it; and your partyís founding father, Abraham Lincoln (suspension of habeas corpus), proved that taking the law into your own hands tends to sour any chance of being a uniter.

Okay, so whatís the advice? Simple, clean house! Presumably, youíre all adults, right? Youíve been campaigning for years as the party of personal responsibility, so why not actually take some of your own medicine. Have a congressperson that isnít under investigation stand up on the floor of the House or Senate and actually demand accountability for whatís going on. Take the high road. Stand in the light. Be counted. First of all, whoever stands up is going to look pretty darn good to their constituents and whoever stands with them will shine too. Imagine the sense of pride that your fellow Republicans will feel when some of your own stand up and do whatís right rather than hide in their offices and take cheap shots through their spokespersons and the media. After all, who wants a coward representing them?

This wave of legitimacy shouldnít stop in the Congress of course. President Bush should stop his childish preening and posturing and fire Dick Cheney and Karl Rove now, before it gets any worse. Iím sure there are dedicated Republicans standing by somewhere to help Bush figure out where Asia is on the globe. Do we really need our country to continue setting records for White House indictments? Should our president be inspiring millions of people around the world to hold protests every time he visits? George W. Bush could realistically repair most of his reputation by simply doing whatís right for a change. I doubt that Cheney, who received only a 19% favorable rating on a recent CBS News poll, or Karl Rove, the master of disaster, will be missed.

Why not go even further and replace Cheney with John McCain? Bush certainly owes the man a favor after viciously smearing him in the 2000 primaries. Such a move might also dovetail nicely into the 2008 elections. If you donít like McCain, you could also nominate Condoleezza Rice for the vice presidency. Future history books might then recall your selection of the first African-American woman to help lead this country, perhaps forgetting about the CIA leak scandal and your frequent tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

While some Democrats might be enjoying the current mess that the Republicans are in, Iím not. Our country is suffering right now, both at home and abroad, and we need some of you Republicans to stand up and do whatís right regardless of how bad this might look in the short term. If you want to keep the status quo of ducking and covering, then donít come running to us in 2006 or 2008 pretending that youíre running on your values. Weíre smarter than that.

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