There is discontent in the heartland:

In the solidly Republican state of Nebraska, voters are expressing deep anxiety about rising gasoline prices and the war in
Iraq, a possible early warning sign for
President George W. Bush in one of his most reliable strongholds.

When Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel traveled around his home state this week, citizens at every stop brought up Iraq policy and the inexorable rise in fuel prices.

If people are disappointed with the outcome of the war (we lost), and the high price of gas (not everyone lost), wait until they get the bill…

On Tuesday in the central Nebraska town of Lexington, after a meeting with law enforcement officials on drug problems, three sheriffs expressed serious doubts about what the United States was doing in Iraq and whether it could succeed.

Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, acknowledged the U.S. military presence was becoming harder and harder to justify. He believes Iraq faces a serious danger of civil war that would threaten Middle East stability, and said there is little Washington can do to avert this.

“We are seen as occupiers, we are targets. We have got to get out. I don’t think we can sustain our current policy, nor do I think we should,” he said at one stop.

I think it has been obvious since about September of 2003 that the administration didn’t know what the fuck they were doing in Iraq, weren’t going to make meaningful changes, and that our efforts there were doomed to failure and ignominy. Hagel began mumbling sometime around then, but now he’s done. Maybe he’d like to switch parties and tell us what he really thinks.

“The mood is one of a certain sense of unsteadiness,” he said. “I have sensed that since September 11, 2001. Our people have still not found an equilibrium and when you get these shocks, like gasoline at $2.50 a gallon and projecting natural gas costs doubling and tripling from what they paid last year, that further shakes them.”

“I don’t think there’s panic, I don’t think there’s cynicism. I think there’s this steady unsure sense about where is this all leading — the constant daily reports on Iraq, our people being killed there, the money being spent there,” he added.

What does it take to make a Nebraskan conservative cynical? Does George W. Bush have to walk right up and pinch their wallet?

“The feeling that I get back here, looking in the eyes of real people, where I knew where they were two years ago or a year ago — they’ve changed,” he said. “These aren’t people who ebb and flow on issues. These are rock solid, conservative Republicans who love their country, support the troops and support the president.”

Hagel said Bush faced a growing credibility gap. “The expectations that the president and his administration presented to the American people 2 1/2 years ago is not what the reality is today. That’s presented the biggest credibility gap problem he’s got,” he said.

“I hope he has some sense that something’s going on out in the country, that there’s a lack of confidence that has developed in our position.”

I find this all so frustrating. Why the hell did any of you people vote for these guys? What the hell were you thinking? When will you learn that they only TELL LIES. LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES. O’Reilly lies, Hannity lies, Cheney lies, Bush lies, Rumsfeld lies. They don’t even tell the truth when telling the truth would help their cause.

How in hell are we supposed to make it to 2009 with these criminally corrupt and incompetent sociopaths in charge of our treasury, our military, and our security?

Jeebus.

But at least the scales are starting to fall from some people’s eyes.

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