George W. Bush's presidency has been a disaster, marked by one fiasco after another: the Iraq war; Katrina; K-Street; etc. But why argue the point any longer? Die-hard or delusional apologists will try to qualify, cloud, dodge, muddle, and spin the record. Progressives need not respond to the particulars.
Instead, we should start referring to Bush supporters in blanket fashion, finding a single apt label for all of them at once. The theocrats, the plutocrats, the neo-cons, the libertarians, the wing nuts, the homophobes -- all of the branches of that 28% base of support -- should be lumped and branded together. I propose that they should be known as "Bush Republicans," plain and simple. We should start using the phrase "Bush Republican" as an obviously derogatory term, sneering it into circulation until it becomes taken for granted that a respectable person would not want to be such. It replaces "Reagan Republican," along with all of the supposedly warm and fuzzy associations conjured up by that anachronism.
Bush Republicans are those who, for a variety of reasons and motives, have remained stubbornly loyal to the man even in full view of this administration's incompetence, cronyism, corruption, and lawlessness. They are, however, merely following cues from their leader. In much the same way that George W. Bush in his earlier years ran Arbusto Oil, Spectrum 7, and Harken Energy into the ground, he is now adamantly insisting on following his instincts for failure again, all the way downward to the bitter end. This time, though, he is leading the entire United States into bankruptcy, literally and figuratively. His lemming-like followers apparently admire that undauntable confidence, while they ignore the cliff ahead.
History will not be kind to George W. Bush, and his supporters should also go down in infamy. This is not simply a petty partisan jibe, a clever rhetorical counterpunch. The situation we face is dire, and real. The Iraq war has weakened the United States in every sense possible. Our prestige throughout the world has plummeted. Our constitutional fabric has been rent asunder. For the first time in decades, concerned citizens need be afraid for the very future of the Republic.
Bush Republicans, therefore, should be identified, stigmatized, and discredited. We should name some names, in order to call the entire group into question. The following list of key Bush Republicans is by no means definitive or exhaustive. Please add to the list. I think you'll agree that a toxic stench hangs over this miasma of enablers, operatives, rogues, scoundrels, and criminals. After all, the Worst U.S. President Ever didn't do it all by his lonesome.
L. Paul Bremer
J. Steven Griles