The depression one feels at the state of American politics these past two weeks is only intensified by the news that Moveon.org has managed to raise $500,000 off the opportunism of Bush, McCain and those elements of the pro-Bush blogosphere who think attacking Moveon is somehow an alternative to figuring out how to move forward in Iraq and the Middle East. The Moveon ad was dumb and crudely hyperbolic. In other words, it was Coulteresque. Moveon.org would have opposed this president in this war whatever he did. But they are now the president's unwitting ally in deflecting responsibility from his criminal negligence in Iraq.

This is how it goes. And when you consider the prospect of a Clinton-Giuliani race next year, you know that in wartime, the major parties will be far more interested in tearing this country apart for their own Rovian purposes than in uniting us against a deadly and increasingly successful foe. This is how democracies perish - by picking short term polarization over long-term strategy, by deciding to fight each other as a distraction from intelligently fighting our real enemies. And when the next attack comes, it will divide us more profoundly than ever before. If that's what you want, then Rudy and Hillary are your candidates. They will keep this cycle going; in fact, they need it to succeed.

It is a cycle to hell.

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