Driving through Wisconsin this weekend to visit family, I saw Kerry sticker after Kerry sticker. A guy in a van with Minnesota plates was sticking Kerry signs in the grassy medians of the parking lot at the gas station we stopped at; we rolled down the window and thanked him. Walking down the street where I used to live, I saw no less than three GOTV people walking with clipboards, handing out buttons and signs.
Something not enough people realize: This election is not just about firing George W. Bush and hiring John Kerry. It’s not just about being, as Al Gore put it so beautifully the other day, the very last branch of government still able to hold the president in check.
It’s about being the last branch of government still able to hold the president’s hires in check. This election won’t just fire George W. Bush. It’ll fire Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz. It’ll fire Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Greg Mankiw. It’ll fire everybody who planned (and I use that word lightly) this war, and raped both Iraq and America in the process.
It’ll fire those responsible for Abu Ghraib. It’ll fire those responsible for the looting and the lawless days that brought about the resentment of the good people in Iraq, who hoped better of us, and whom we disappointed so cruelly. It’ll fire Tom Ridge, who has not the slightest idea of how to protect the “homeland,” and Porter Goss, who’s more concerned with Bush’s re-election than the war within his own agency.
It will fire all the people the president wouldn’t fire when it became clear their incompetence was so overwhelming that they damaged his own claim to power. It will fire John Ashcroft. It will fire Karl Rove.
This election isn’t just about “hating” or “bashing” Bush (how I hate those terms, with the implication that this is trivial schoolyard insult games instead of life and death). It’s about saying to a group of people who collectively embody the antithesis of all we hold dear, I’m sorry, this just isn’t working out. I don’t believe we have a place for you here any longer.