A voter revolt in both parties turned Iowa's presidential nominating caucuses on Thursday into a stunning repudiation of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
Even within their own party, the president and vice president seem to have provoked such yearning for change that a Republican insurgent, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, stormed the gates and now has party elders in a panic. And it should not be overlooked that a libertarian anti-war maverick, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, outpolled the GOP's supposed frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani.
The Democratic left is so eager for a complete break with the past that its protest vehicle, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, overwhelmed Hillary Rodham Clinton and her aim to move the party to the political center.
For seven years (and even going back to their contested election in 2000), Bush and Cheney have behaved like a military junta that views democracy as something to work around. They rolled over anyone who got in their way, especially fellow Republicans who dared to criticize. But to the increasingly furious populace, politicians in Washington -- even some who fought back -- are now seen as part of the problem because they failed to stop the Bush-Cheney junta.
Lucky for Bush and Cheney, they were safely out of the way last night when Iowa voters grabbed their pitch forks and went looking for "change."
More on Craig Crawford's Trail Mix (CQ Politics)