More Disillusionment

The best way not to be disillusioned is not to be illusioned in the first place. This seems not to have been possible for the courtiers of the Bush Regency. Matthew Dowd donned the rags of repentance yesterday, now it is Vic Gold.

Gold associates with his hero, Goldwater. “Invasion of the Party Snatchers” makes plain Gold’s contempt for the direction of his party and the guidance of its leaders.

“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.

WaPo: Vic Gold

As with Dowd, we should watch for two things. The fact they have gone public means nothing: it’s merely a way of making money. The two things are: what will they reveal, of substance and use, to reverse the disastrous course they were principal oarmen on; how will they behave in coming months and years to give example of the wrong they have done and the good work they are now engaged in?

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