Late to the Party

Rosa Brooks on shocking recent discoveries of things people paying attention have known for years:

Someday, historians will ponder our strange collective passivity in the face of Bush-Cheney madness. Why did the editorial boards of our major newspapers either parrot the administration line or raise only muted criticism on so many issues, and for so long? Where were the tough journalistic questions? Why didn't more members of Congress protest the administration's blatantly unjustified policies and transparent constitutional outrages?

For that matter, when Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft and countless others found that the administration was, at Cheney's insistence, adopting policies they knew to be irresponsible and even illegal — when they found they had been locked out of the decision loop entirely — why didn't any of them go public with their protests back when it would have made a difference?

I think people who look back on this period from the future are going to have a very hard time figuring out what was happening and why.