Boy, the right-wingers spend most of their time running around condemning the MANY folks of all stripes and colors who are increasingly voicing harsh words against the Iraq situation. They simply can't keep up with the slamming of labels like "unpatriotic" and "helping the enemy."
Look, regarding Clinton, I for one say it's the least he can do after prostituting himself for the Bush clan, joining up with Bush Sr. -- allowing Sr. to appear less cold-blooded -- when in fact Bill could've went it alone with the charity work ala Jimmy Carter. That said, yes, normally a code of silence would apply in most situations as the Post infers. HOWEVER, given the magnitude of failure with this debacle and the many signs of manipulation and underhandedness resulting in its successful marketing, no, Iraq is not a normal situation.
The lead-up and the execution of this occupation has been an unprecedented monstrosity that if anything, DEMANDS that prior presidents speak out, strongly pointing out the wrongs that have occurred. It's their patriotic duty at this point.
Is it any wonder that former president Bush Sr. is reportedly not speaking to his son?!
My prediction: we've already started to see this, but I think Republicans are about to crumble. Pressure is going to mount on the White House to use the December elections as an excuse to declare victory and go home, fueled by equal parts disgust over Dick Cheney's lobbying for the right to torture; unease even among Republicans that the president wasn't honest during the marketing of the war; lack of progress on the ground in Iraq; Congress reasserting its independence of the executive; a genuine belief that the American presence has become counterproductive; and raw electoral fear, what with midterm elections looming in less than a year.Yup, as I've repeatedly written, the GOP is imploding with the rats scrambling for their political lives at this point. With GW's poll numbers in the 30s and Cheney's in the 20s, and last Tuesday's election results speaking volumes, we see the fracturing picking up speed.
I also think the Rove/Cheney/Bush counterattack is going to backfire. Congressional Republicans are looking for cover right now, and I don't think they believe that a ferocious partisan attack from the White House is what they need right now. The public is looking for answers, not administration attack dogs on the evening news every day, but this particular White House doesn't know any other way. It's going to cost them.
Also, as Kevin points out, Rove knows only one mode of operation and that's attack, distort, and polarize. He's once again trying to do that now with GW and Cheney lashing out (with lies and distortions) but it won't work. Times have changed and the public has seemingly smartened up. That slash-and-burn BS is likely to just sink their numbers even lower, and again, you can see that other Republicans are not joining on board with the harsh words (except McCain?!) but rather staying clear, or if anything joining the Dems with harsh words about Iraq.
An active, scheming Rove is now a useful pawn for the Dems. Like a tragic Greek play, the person who delivered GW to the top will have a heavy hand in what ultimately takes him down.