BUSH'S FILTHY LITTLE HOUSE OF CARDS COLLAPSING? YESTERDAY IT WAS DOWD. TODAY IT IS VIC GOLD. WHO'S NEXT... GEORGE TENET?
As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. News & World Report the next up to spill the beans on Bush's corrupt and incompetent regime will indeed be Medal of Freedom winner George Tenet. But that's a month away and anyone who has read Ron Suskind's chilling The One Percent Doctrine already knows what Tenet thinks of the criminal bunch he threw his lot in with for the sake of misplaced patriotism. Still his own book, At the Center of the Storm is something that "could be the biggest storm yet over who knew what before 9/11 and about those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq." U.S. News says he "names names."
Meanwhile, you probably read about Matthew Dowd's duplicitous and self-serving mea culpa in yesterday's NY Times. Dowd is a repulsive character but his turnaround on Bush must be even all the more painful because he really and truly has been one of them, heart and soul. Today's right-wing rat jumping off the sinking ship is Vic Gold, a personal pal of Lynne Cheney's who spills the beans to the Washington Post. Actually all the beans are coming in his soon-to-be-published (this month) book, Invasion of the Party Snatchers: How the Holy-Rollers and the Neo-Cons Destroyed the GOP.
Until then we'll just have to be satisfied with what Gold, a close associate of Bush's father and a true believer from the Barry Goldwater days of conservatism, had to say to the Post:
"For all the Rove-built facade of his being a 'strong' chief executive, George W. Bush has been, by comparison to even hapless Jimmy Carter, the weakest, most out of touch president in modern times," Gold writes. "Think Dan Quayle in cowboy boots."
Gold is even more withering in his observations of Cheney. "A vice president in control is bad enough. Worse yet is a vice president out of control."
For Gold, Cheney brings to mind the adage of Swiss writer Madame de Stael, who wrote, "Men do not change, they unmask themselves." Cheney has a deep streak of paranoia and megalomania, Gold suggests -- but he says he did not see it at first.
He was hiding who he really was," Gold says. "He was waiting for an opportunity."
In many ways, Gold's tale of disillusionment is a familiar one. There are plenty of veterans of Reagan and Bush 41 around town who believe Bush and Cheney trashed the institutions and party they helped build from the wreckage of the Goldwater campaign.
But there aren't many who have been on a first-name basis with those they believe are doing the trashing. There aren't many like Vic Gold.
Response from inside the Regime has been... interesting. Lynne Cheney called him yesterday to ask if the stories circulating in Washington like a wildfire was just an April Fool's joke. When Gold told her that it was no joke, she said, "I am sorry to hear that," exactly what Senator Pete "Sneaky Pete" Domenici (R-NM) said to U.S. Attorney David Iglesias before slamming the phone down on him and calling Rove to get him fired. Bush's father's reply when he was informed-- by Gold-- about the book was more gracious: "You always called them like you saw them," the former president told him.
"As a father, he's got to feel torn up because he sees this going on and obviously, obviously he has not been able to influence [the president]," says Gold. "George W. had one of the greatest resources in foreign relations and political experience in the world -- his old man! What if he didn't have this hubris of 'I am going to do it on my own'? If he had listened to his old man in terms of what to do after 9/11 and everything, he wouldn't have been in the mess he is in right now, and the country would not be in the mess it is right now."
Gold says he felt compelled to write his book because what he considers the depredations of the Bush administration -- the war, violations of civil liberties, expansion in government, the politicization of the Justice Department, to name just a few -- have violated his sense of what the Republican Party should stand for.
"Kennedy said sometimes political loyalty, party loyalty asks too much," he says.
Writing the book was hard because of his past associations. But, with a chuckle, Gold borrows the line that Cheney used after cursing at Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on the Senate floor:
"I feel better for having done it."
UPDATE: ANOTHER RAT DESERTS
After Joe Klein, who's next? Cheney? Lieberman?