A political system that was right-side up – rather than upside down – would be debating the need for a “caretaker” U.S. president, not the identity of the likely “caretaker” senator from Idaho.

While few tears will be shed over the resignation of Larry Craig – for allegedly soliciting sex from an undercover policeman in an airport men’s room – there’s a far stronger case for sequenced resignations from Dick Cheney and George W. Bush over a host of misjudgments and misdeeds.

If one were simply considering what was “good for the country,” a reasonable idea might be to arrange a choreographed Agnew-Nixon pas de deux, with Cheney stepping down first (as Vice President Spiro Agnew did in 1973), a replacement vice president quickly getting approved, and then Bush bowing out (as President Richard Nixon did in 1974).

Since Virginia’s 80-year-old Republican Sen. John Warner has just announced he is leaving the Senate, he might make an excellent candidate for “caretaker” president, someone who could finish up Bush’s term and implement a bipartisan strategy for extricating U.S. forces from the Iraqi quagmire.

Bush and Cheney have made it clear that they will never admit their gross miscalculation of invading Iraq in 2003. They will latch on to any positive sign as justification for an open-ended military occupation of Iraq – and might seek to double-down their historic mistake by expanding the conflict to Iran.

In a nation that cared more about its soldiers and its long-term interests, the news shows and the political class would be exploring how these present-and-future disasters might be averted or reversed, how Bush and Cheney could be presented with “an offer they can’t refuse,” either resign or face the humiliation of bipartisan impeachment.

But the United States, circa 2007, doesn’t appear capable of acting expeditiously on behalf of its citizens or its national interests.

The importance of timely action in terminating the Bush-Cheney administration is brushed aside as unworthy of discussion, impossible, crazy. It is far simpler to condemn Larry Craig for his stall-to-stall footsie with a plainclothes cop than to hold Bush and Cheney accountable for an illegal war and a variety of other high crimes and misdemeanors.

So the drift toward the precipice continues with almost no one taking note of the chasm below.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there.

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