Over on Polipundit.com, one of the readers, an active-duty soldier, took great offense when I told him he was “deserting” the President at a time when President Bush was under fire. Looking back at it later, I agreed that the word was badly chosen, and apologized. But I apologized for using ‘desertion’ in connection to an active-duty soldier, not because his actions and capricious lack of loyalty were tolerable. In fact, while ‘desertion’ is a word too loaded with emotion to be properly used in a debate about Politics, it is difficult to find a more appropriate word to describe the so-called Conservatives and Republicans who find it so easy to forget everything which President George W. Bush has done for them in his time as President, all because they are not getting everything they want on a secondary issue. It really seems to me to be dishonorable, this loyalty which only lasts as long as they feel like standing with the President.
As an official, I have seen this happen in sports. Players stop listening to their coach, and the whole team falls into a slump, while the team which sticks by their coach often exceeds expectations. As terrible a leader as Howard Dean is, and as bad for the nation as their platform is, the Democrats certainly can take over control of Congress, if the Republicans give up and let it happen. And the stakes in the Capitol are much, much higher than any sports competition. It’s no better than dishonest to pretend that if the Democrats control either chamber, that they won’t be worse than ever at obstructing reform or the appointment of any competent judges. And they will protect their advantage the way they did in the 1970s and 1980s, by changing rules to make it harder for the Republicans to throw them out. It’s no better than stupid to assume that a loss in 2006 will be made up in 2008, or 2010, or any time in particular. Especially since the MSM can be counted on to spin things all the more in the Democrat’s favor.
This also brings up the behavior of Republicans. Hard-head Conservatives wrongly believe that if they “sacrifice” a few Republicans, the rest will understand they need to be more Conservative and move to the Right. But in the actual historical record, whenever the number of Republicans in a chamber goes down, the remaining members tend to move AWAY from the “extreme”, which is to say they tend to play along with the Liberals. The ONLY conditions under which Republicans become more Conservative as a whole, are when they are increasing their representation and control. Therefore, RINO or not, the only Conservative position in a General Election is to make sure every Republican candidate wins.
I have not mentioned what will happen in the event the Democrats take both the House and Senate. If that happens, President Bush will certainly be impeached, never mind that there is no valid basis for it, and he may well be convicted; remember what I said about weaker Republicans making nice with the Liberals. The best case scenario in such a circumstance may be described as a disaster,and there is no silver lining.
So why does it matter if Bush has support nor not? After all, he’s not running for anything, right? The thing is, people tend to see a political party by its leader, which is why John Kerry has been hidden by the Democrats ever since November 2004, and Al Gore only shows up at Democrat gatherings like a grotesque caricature of a gothic clown. If Republicans do not support the President, the twice-elected leader of the United States of America, then by extension the entire GOP appears broken and in chaos. And that only helps the Democrats. After all, think about it and you will realize that people form memories of political ages by the President of the day. The ‘90s were the Clinton Era, the ‘80s were the Reagan Age, and so on. Republicans who will not stand by President Bush are screaming “DO NOT ELECT ME”, no matter what they intend to say. And Republicans who blame the President without giving him his due, are simply playing ‘Hail to the Chief’ in the key of Donkey.
No, they are not "deserting" the President. They're simply forgetting their debts of honor, and refusing to support him when their nation and party will be damaged by such a course. Call it what you will, it's not honorable.