In the past few months, as the seeds of problems planted years ago have bloomed into plants so large they've started to block the sun, those voters have held their tongues while filling up their trucks and ignored the obvious while their houses continue to sit idle on the market. When Bush comes up at the dinner table, they steer the conversation elsewhere.
But the fact is that everyone's hurting, and the blame game is hardly a salve to our wounds. For Democrats, the healing agent is not retribution, and for Republicans, the ability to move forward will not emerge from an admission of a wrongly cast vote. It's interesting to note, however, that the Bush name now elicits deft changes of subject from its former trumpeters. Is he even still in office? He's flying so far below the sun, he's practically scuba diving. Perhaps he'll resurface in January.
When private people become public people through things like getting elected to office or becoming a Hollywood box-office heroes, they lose rights. Privacy and personal feelings become fond memories. Every floor becomes a stage and every citizen a judge. Accountability is the main component of their job descriptions.
Bush set aflame his semi-good name during his presidential tenure; he'll have to deal with that until the end of his days. But what about those who so flagrantly, and stubbornly, stood behind the bullheaded leader without having to sacrifice their identities? They can easily weave themselves back into the quilt of the country or hide under the thin blanket of Sen. John McCain. But maybe they could use the past eight years as an excuse to try something new.