The evidence continues to mount that Cheney was at least as dangerous as many of us suspected, and perhaps moreso than we might have imagined. From torture to Gitmo to domestic spying to using the military on our own soil, the hits just keep on coming. It’s also clear that Bush, in the waning of his presidency, may have become wise to the manipulation he was subjected to. He did ultimately fire Rumsfeld, refuse to pardon Scooter, and put the brakes on some of the more outrageous Cheney plans. That certainly doesn’t get him off the hook. After all, as President, it’s still all his responsibility. But perhaps it indicates that he was more self-aware of his situation than was apparent from his public statements.
While I understand and respect Bush’s decision (like most Presidents) to go quietly into the night so as not to disrupt the new administration, as a man concerned about his legacy, perhaps it’s time to speak up anyway. Not to speak up about policy or the Obama administration, but perhaps it’s time for him to speak out against Cheney and the nouveau neo-Cons who are trying to monopolize the voice of the Republican party. Maybe Bush should expose them as the dangerous anti-Americans they are. People with no regard for our Constitution who would like to strip us of our rights and have us live in fear as a way of maximizing political power and lining their pockets with our money.
While this admission by Bush would never put him in the President’s All-Star league, it might gain him some modicum of respect in his twilight years. Better to be thought of as belatedly enlightened than to have gone to the grave in the dark. More importantly, it might give the moderate Republicans just the breathing room they need to begin to focus the conversation on important issues like health care and the economy, rather than focusing on Obama’s birth records and how he is destroying America. We need constructive dialog and debate. We do not need more of this destructive political posturing and pandering that the Cheney crew is continuing to litter the airwaves with.