We Face A Crisis Without Equal
Editor and Publisher notes many of the same trends we have. “Fox News poll this week shows his approval rating sinking to 33%, with grassroots Republicans abandoning Bush in droves.” “This week at Vanity Fair online, Carl Bernstein is calling for a Watergate-style congressional probe of possible high crimes and misdemeanors. Even Neil Young is weighing in with a soon-to-be-released song that urges, “Let’s impeach the president — for lying.” They give more extended coverage to Thomas Friedman’s column, starting by observing:
Friedman, who still supports the Iraq war, opens by declaring that given a choice between a nuclear Iran and an attack on that country engineered by the White House, he would choose the former. That’s how little he trusts the diplomatic and military chops of Bush, Rumsfeld, Condi and Co. He cites “the level of incompetence that the Bush team has displayed in Iraq, and its refusal to acknowledge any mistakes or remove those who made them.”
Editor and Publisher calls this A Crisis Almost Without Equal:
Our president, in a time of war, terrorism and nuclear intrigue, will likely remain in office for another 33 months, with crushingly low approval ratings that are still inching lower. Facing a similar problem, voters had a chance to quickly toss Jimmy Carter out of office, and did so. With a similar lengthy period left on his White House lease, Richard Nixon quit, facing impeachment. Neither outcome is at hand this time.
They find no easy solutions:
I don’t have a solution myself now, although all pleas for serious probes, journalistic or official, of the many alleged White House misdeeds should be heeded. But my point here is simply to start the discussion, and urge that the media, first, recognize that the crisis—or, if you want to say, impending crisis — exists, and begin to explore the ways to confront it.
If anything, this column understates the problem which people of both parties are recognized. This country was established under a set of principles including respect for the rights of the individual, religious freedom including the necessary condition of separation of church and state, and separation of powers. Over most of the course of this country, the trend has been to more consistently apply these principles, such as with the extension of rights to women and blacks. We’ve had periods of increased power being grabbed by the Executive Branch, but they inevitably lead to new limitations to maintain our liberties. George Bush is a reactionary who desires to take this country in a direction different from these traditions. Not only is he trying to take the country in a direction different than that desired by most Americans, he has been incompetent in the exercise of the powers of his office, compounding the problem.
As long as his political party places politics over the good of the country, impeachment is not a likely remedy unless there should be a tremendous change in the composition of Congress in the next election. The current Republicans are the only ones with the power to end this crisis now. When faced with problems which were less severe than those we face today, some Republicans such as Barry Goldwater ultimately spared the country continued suffering by convincing Richard Nixon he must step down. This solution is unlikely, but if Republicans wish to show that they love America as much as they claim it is time for them to encourage George Bush and Dick Cheney to step down.