Each day, it seems more likely that there could be an utter collapse. Schadenfreude (and the chance to say "I told you so") notwithstanding, I cant say I'm happy about it. But here's this: Colonel Wilkerson's speech to the New America Foundation (the full transcript), and some advance buzz about the article, to be published Monday in The New Yorker, by former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. The fault line running through the ranks of the Republican establishment threatens to split wide open. Given that the structure of the administration is already shakier than ever due to the recent fiascoes involving cronyism and such, and the fact that Congress is in disarray over its own scandals, I get the feeling that even a moderate disturbance could dislodge the whole edifice. I suspect that the disturbance set off by Scowcroft's article will be anything but moderate, and I suspect that more is to come.
Inevitably, I have mixed feelings about all this. Certainly, it's high time that Republicans such as Wilkerson and Scowcroft speak truth to power. Certainly, the long-bemused segment of the public needs to have pointed out to them, from unimpeachable sources, the incompetence and mendacity of the Bush administration. My suspicion has long been that the corruption runs very, very deep in this administration, and once we begin probing its dark places, terrible things are apt to be revealed. But I really fear the consequences of their exposure, not least as a result of the likely public fury-- of those who will be newly disillusioned about the administration they supported, and of those who see their power slipping away. It's possible that the Bush administration will do even more damage in collapse than it has already done while in power. I have never felt as apprehensive as I do now of something I know to be necessary. I've never been as pessimistic as I feel now about the ability of this nation to rationally and civilly correct its errors.