Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The NARLs Come Out of the Woodwork

“I am a Republican. I am a conservative. But I’m not a raging lunatic. This is lunatic.”
--Anonymous (for obvious reasons) neocon think tank operative, on Cheney's orders to prepare a PR blitz for invading Iran; as reported by George Packer
Also Not a Raging Lunatic: Jack Goldsmith. Unlike, for example, David Addington:
Months later, when Goldsmith tried to question another presidential decision, Addington expressed his views even more pointedly. “If you rule that way,” Addington exclaimed in disgust, Goldsmith recalls, “the blood of the hundred thousand people who die in the next attack will be on your hands.”
More NARLs: James Comey. Dr. Richard Carmona. David Iglesias. General Peter Pace.

And so on.

My immediate reaction in most of these cases, of course, is: where were you when it mattered? Disillusioned enablers may deserve some credit for turning against the raging lunatics, but they still spent a lot of time on the wrong side.

My second reaction is to marvel at the kind of people Bush et al have managed to alienate. As Kevin Drum observes,
Goldsmith is no centrist. He's a hardcore conservative, he's unmpressed with civil libertarian arguments, he was thrilled to work with the Bush administration, he was a close friend of John Yoo, and he's convinced that we need to be on a war footing in the fight against terror. But even at that, he was appalled at what he saw during his tenure in the Justice Department.
Goldsmith, Carmoney, Comey, that unnamed neocon: all dedicated, ideologically-committed conservative Republicans. They have every single qualification for serving in a Republican administration--except, I guess, that they aren't raging lunatics.

My third reaction is to remind myself that the raging lunatics are still running things...and that, more importantly, the Republicans who would replace them are at least as crazy (if not more so). We are still screwed, and will probably be for a long time to come, and it could still get a whole lot worse.

Update: name corrected, thanks to Kathy in comments.