Haven’t you figured it out yet? There is a significant portion of the US that will simply believe, desperately have to believe, that whatever their commander in chief says is true, no matter what allegations come forth. Despite every scandal that has come forth in the last four years, you have a large number of people who will immediately take the word of Bush as coming straight from god.
Although i don’t know if its that extreme, it is certainly a reflection/condemnation of the Republican Party’s intellectual base, and who really at the end of the day pushes the Republican agendas; ie,. ideologue thinktanks and rabble rousing hacks.
The real tragedy is the absence of individual duty and ethics among the lower level administration officials and popularized conservative journalists and theorists.
If Republicanism is something more than angry, bible thumping, ruralized reactionaries, you should be having mass defections across the specturm. Every major respected pundit should be putting his career on the line against Bush, and every major administration official should be resigning in protest.
But because conservative commentators are in a lucrative buisness where political identification means everything, and because unscupulous wagging heads will eagerly act as apologist and flag-bearer without batting an eye, few seem to have the self respect to stand up and say clearly and unambigously how Bush is wrong; instead vetting everything with exceptions and pronunciations of their authentic conservative values, so to not alienate their base audience and lose profitable jobs with major publications.
If Powell were to resign now, in good British tradition, his memory and possibly career will be saved. If he soldiers on he becomes like the lower level officers of MacBeth’s army. Without resigning, whatever other protests his supports make on his behalf, it shows that he lacks the courage or intelligence to stand on his own beliefs. Lower level officials, though less important, also have the power collectively to demonstrate their disapproval and resign.
If none of these things happen, if nothing within the Republican party wants fundamental change, either out of fear or stupidity, Bush wins in November. That imo is the decisive point in this election - whether enough of the old guard turns its back on Bush, and if there is any remaining principle in the Republican party other than “megadittos”.