A few days ago, the Okie Gardener posted concerning "Bush Derangement Syndrome" (review here). An occasional reader, "JC" took issue with the Gardener's tongue-in-cheek consideration of "liberalism as a mental disease." In the comments section, JC identified herself as a "52-year-old mom, definitely left-leaning." In the process of making her point, JC characterized the Bush administration as the "most dishonest and immoral in my lifetime." To which, the Gardener disagreed with her assessment of the administration as the most corrupt of recent times and asked that she explain her evaluation.

In an off-line conversation, JC made her case in part. This was not originally intended for public consumption; she expressed a desire not to rant. But with her grudging permission, I am including this excerpt as a thoughtful albeit unpolished look into the heart of the Bush opposition. There are several good points here and there are also some things with which I disagree fundamentally, but I see it is a sincere expression of love and concern for our nation and our system. Listening to the other side...

Guest Blog: JC

The Bush Administration has a penchant for bewildering actions. I tend to blame Karl Rove for much of it, but perhaps that is too easy. Maybe Rove is not responsible for all of these terrible things that are attributed to him. Things happen up there. No one takes responsibility. Bush knows nothing, and it makes you wonder who is in charge? Anyone? Attempts to avoid responsibility make one look either dishonest and/or incompetent.

The Bush team possesses an intense ideology that propels decision making without considering all relevant facts. Evidently, the process includes suppressing facts when they do not support Bush policy. We continue to hear reports referencing the muzzling of government scientists and editing of agency reports by the White House. For leaders of the most militarily powerful nation on earth to behave in this manner is frightening. Policy should be supported by evidence...fact, science, expert opinion... not ideology.

I certainly believe that the Bush Administration purposely misled the American People and the Congress in order to get approval for the Iraq war. We were manipulated... treated as fools. I cannot forgive leaders who would treat America this way.

I also hate what this war is doing to innocent Iraqis. I read what they write online, and so many are leading lives that we can not begin to imagine. Just last night I read the blog of an Iraqi teenage girl (14 or 15 years-old) who wrote of seeing the body parts of a suicide bomber on her way home from school, a friend who was having sleepless nights after seeing a headless body, an explosion damaging their home, and on and on. Reading these things can bring me to tears... and Bush tells us "we're fighting the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them at home". It makes Iraqis so angry to hear that. Me too.

I should add that the above-mentioned Iraqi girl sent an email Christmas greeting to her Christian friends around the world; she raises money for sick children and so on, in spite of the scary life she leads. I don't want anything to happen to her. To keep her safe, I'd be willing to live with some fear of my own.

I agree with you that there is a reflexive disgust among those on the Left for Bush and his crew, and it may be overblown on the little things.... but I don't believe it applies to important policy issues. Speaking for myself, I think about issues, and I do not oppose Bush ideas solely because they are his.

For example, I'm not opposed to his "surge" policy; however, it is not likely to work unless he does some heavy lifting on the diplomacy end, which he appears unwilling to do. And the Iraqi government needs to be accountable for some of their disastrous policies as well, which is why the Democrats are right to apply deadline pressure.

Thanks for the link to your post [refers to my post: America Perseveres]. I agree with much of it... although I think you are a bit more optimistic than I am that our system of government is holding up. I worry about hackable voting machines, money buying just about everything, TV smear campaigns, and lots of other things that give advantages to the worst among us and facilitate the wrong people leading our country.

Having said all of that (and I did start ranting, didn't I?) the Left and Right have got to find a way to join forces for the common good. I wonder if that is possible, and who might lead us there?