The Bush administration's case for invading Iraq was a house built on sand and the only question remains whether anyone in the Bush administration other than the good soldier Colin Powell believed what he was saying at the time. But even beyond all those infinitely disturbing questions about whether people in a position to know really believed in weapons of mass destruction, there was something more screwy going on. Those of us who are not party hacks were forced to witness Democrats, who had been so bellicose during the Clinton years, suddenly become peaceniks. And Republicans, who were against sending even our bombs, much less our boys, overseas to the former (and god forbid, the future) Yugoslavia or anywhere else when a Democrat ran the military, suddenly come out in favor of not just nation-building but region-sculpting. And now we've got a president-elect who somehow ran as the peace candidate who has talked about increasing the size of the military, invading Pakistan or Iran, and finally getting American forces into Darfur.
Fast-forward to the past eight weeks or so and feelings of dizziness and epistemological irritable bowel syndrome have reached uncontainable levels. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson appears virtually out of nowhere to inform us that the U.S. economy will collapse if Congress doesn't pass the economic equivalent of the Patriot Act. In eight days, no less. Congress passed it and the markets still tanked. So Paulson changes his mind about what the bailout is for. And then again. Or maybe he simply loses his mind (watch him on the TV sometime with the sound turned off). The important thing is that the former head of Goldman Sachs has given his company $25 billion in tax dollars (at a minimum) and the government is on the hook for oh about $8.5 trillion in direct subsidies and guarantees related to various bailouts. Which Republicans are already blaming on Obama, who has yet to take office. And Democrats keep talking about how Bush and the Republicans deregulated everything, when the exact opposite is true.