Republican On Paper
David Iglesias gave an interview with GQ today. He's obviously quite disillusioned by what happened and is pulling no punches. Here's one little bit I thought was interesting:
Are you at all interested in running for office some day?
Had you ever been?
I was interested. Now, I cast a jaundiced eye towards the political process.
Because of the firing?
Oh sure. Yeah. Because if running for office means you’re willing to cheat, you’re willing to lie, you’re willing to slander people, then I’m not interested. And, frankly, I’ve got a practical matter. I’ve got four kids—all girls—so I’m going to have four weddings and four college educations in the next 15 years, and based on what members of Congress make…just do the math! It’s not very encouraging.
That's a bit of a cop-out. It doesn't have to be that way and usually isn't --- unless you are a modern Republican. He even says, in another part of the interview:
I’d heard that things had gotten more political under Bush from career people in Justice. My first assistant has been around since the Carter administration, and he told me that he’s never seen anything like this, that politics historically don’t play any role in our prosecutive decision-making.
But it hasn't really sunk in yet.
Do you still consider yourself a Republican?
Do you consider the people in the White House to be Republicans?
I think they’ve lost their way. They’ve lost their moral compass. On paper, we would probably be in agreement on most of the major issues, but in terms of actual practice and treating people fairly and respectfully and decently, I’ve lost my faith in our leadership.
In the interview he says that he's against torture and that the justice department is the most political anyone can remember. He complains that the executive branch overreached because there was one party rule. But while this stuff was going on, the entire Republican establishment as well as a large number of the press and the entire base were not just supportive, they were ecstatically enthusiastically supportive. Bush was being lauded as a new Winston Churchill. Not everyone agreed, of course, but we were called traitors.
At some point you have to look past the leadership and ask why people were so willing to follow them over the cliff. It wasn't the system that failed --- it was every single Republican (like Iglesias) who looked the other way because their boy was on top and they wanted to be in the winners circle. Many of them knew that something was very wrong and yet they said nothing. They need to think about that.
It's kind of sweet that he's lost his faith in Bush and the boys, but it's an illness that goes all the way to the bottom. All he has to do is look at those local fellow Republicans who proudly swiftboated him today to know that the Republican party is rotten to the core. And the "philosophy" itself,such as it is, is part of the problem --- all that talk about responsibility and independence and rule of law are just talking points. This is about loyalty to a party which, when you strip all the marketing away, really exists solely as opposition to its enemy. They hate liberalism. Everything is in service to that single animating idea and has been for a long, long time.
When Iglesias failed to go after the enemy regardless of the evidence, he became that enemy. It didn't matter how much he agreed with the party "on paper." All that mattered was that he wasn't loyal, period.