Congressman Doug Bereuter for Nebraska wrote a four page letter today that blasted Bush's Iraq War as the miserable failure everyone knows it has become. What is significant is that Bereuter is a Republican, and has dared to break ranks and criticize the President. In this backbiting political climate, where any sign of "disloyalty" to the King - I mean President - gets you an instant reprimand by Emperor Rove, why would a Republican risk his political future by speaking out?
Congressman Bereuter is retiring next month. He has a rare opportunity as a Republican to speak the truth about Bush's policy without fear of future career consequence. It's my belief that Bushy is rubbing most of the conservatives in Washington the wrong way, but Rove's reputation as a career-ender for whistle blowers goes back to Bushy's days as Texas Governor. Bereuter's 4 page letter probably contains a lot of common sentiment among righties, but only now as a retiree is he free to speak even this small amount.
As the Republican Doctrine dictates, anyone who speaks against Herr President's policies must immediately be attacked and personally discredited (though no actual defense of the criticism itself is given, it's enough in their minds to simply attack the man). Same-day Rove Textbook responses include suggestions that this letter is a parting shot from a bitter man, that he was passed up for promotion and has an agenda, and the fact that he is not in a "leadership" role so his opinion isn't significant. Yawn.
I hope he didn't sign one of those "oath of loyalty" agreements that Cheney loves to pass around, Bereuter might be facing charges soon. More likely, he'll just become Fox News' attack campaign target du jour for a week, following the likes of Richard Clarke, John Dean, Joe Wilson, etc.