The Great Awakening
Democrats who supported action against Iraq can be roughly broken down into the following categories:
- Those who were gung-ho for war from the beginning and didn't really care about Bush's motivations (Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman).
- Those who thought war was the best option and believed that Bush wouldn't put partisanship above defending the nation and would use the expertise of the American military and our intelligence services to their best ability (Tom Friedman).
- Those who were ready for war and believed that Bush wouldn't put partisanship above defending the nation but had serious doubts about whether he was up to the job (Josh Marshal, Kevin Drum, Matthew Yglesias)
- Those who supported some of the ideas behind the war but believed that Bush couldn't be trusted to either do it right or not to use it for partisan advantage (Me)
Bush lost me long before the war because I knew that anyone who was willing to sacrifice the democratic principles this country was founded on in order to achieve the Presidency wouldn't think twice about using war for partisan purposes. And I never trusted in his abilities from day one.
Bush lost Marshal, Drum and Yglesias just prior to the war as they grew disturbed at his handling of the pre-war diplomacy and they began to wonder whether these guys knew how to handle it for the long-term.
Bush lost Friedman first because of the incompetence and then because the Bushies reaction to the failures brought about by that incompetence shattered his illusions about their motivations.
Frankly I don't know what would turn Lieberman or Miller at this point.
The group represented by Friedman has had the toughest road to slog through because they really did have their heart in the right place, they just misplaced their trust because they wanted to believe that no one could be as bad as Bush is.