The Damned Souls of Republicans:
Sunday mornings at Casa de Rude Pundit are quiet affairs, generally consisting of the brewing of a large pot of coffee, the disposing of a stray condom or two, the placing of the half-empty Chopin vodka bottle back into the freezer, and the grabbing of a bowl of Cap'N Crunch before jumping onto the couch to catch one damn Sunday morning talk show or another. Yesterday was no different, tuning into Tim "Behold My Glorious Pumpkinhead" Russert and his splendiferous Meet the Press. Still half-asleep, still waiting for the caffeine and processed sugar to kick in, the Rude Pundit heard former CIA agent Gary Schroen say this about the hunt for the 9/11 masterminds: "He did ask that once we got bin Laden and killed him, that we send his head back in a cardboard box on dry ice so that he could take it down and show the president."

Schroen was talking about orders he received from the CIA's head of counterterrorism, Cofer Black. Russert asked Schroen about where he would get dry ice in Afghanistan, there being no handy Baskin-Robbins around. Schroen replied, "That's what I mentioned to him. I said, 'Cofer, I think that I can come up with pikes to put the heads of the lieutenants on,' which is the second part of what he wanted done. 'Dry ice, we'll have to improvise.'" The Rude Pundit nodded, it all making sense now, put down the sweet cereal, the bitter coffee, and headed back to the freezer, for the day was no longer young and there was half a bottle to get through.

So the "war on terror" began with the call for an act of barbarism to answer the barbarism done to us. How retro. How Genghis Khan. And what would Bush have done with Bin Laden's head? Had it mounted and placed on the wall of the Oval Office? Passed it around a cabinet meeting? Taken it out at a press conference and fucked it until its eyes rolled out and told the world that the same fate awaited anyone who messed with the U.S.?

How much of the American soul has been lost to this war? That is a question for another day. Although it is sad to note that the revelation of the call for Bin Laden's actual, real head in a box has been met with not much more than a blurp in the mainstream media. But something fascinating, but potentially important, is happening to some Republicans.

See, when you realize you've sold your soul to Satan, you may party on for a couple of years without a thought of the damnation that is coming. But at some point, it's going to dawn on you that, oh, fuck, you're gonna have to live for eternity taking baths in bloody shit and being sodomized by screeching demons with pitchforked dicks and being ripped to shreds and eaten by all the people you've fucked over, only to be healed and go through it all again. Every day. Forever. So you may decide at some point you wanna repent, try to save your damned soul and ripped rectum. And a couple of Republicans have indicated they feel the flames licking at their toes and, please, Jesus or someone, rescue them.

It began when Senator George Voinovich stopped the voting on John Bolton's nomination to destroy the U.N. by saying, "My conscience got me." Which was one way of saying that he, like many others in both parties in Congress, have voted for shit without regard to their consciences, as if conscience was a one-night stand, ready to be discarded at the train station after fucking it into silence. Good thing we elect people and not parties, right?

Then, yesterday, Chuck Hagel, talking about the filibuster, said, on This Week, "The Republicans' hands aren't clean on this either. What we did with Bill Clinton's nominees -- about 62 of them -- we just didn't give them votes in committee or we didn't bring them up." Somewhere in hell, Satan belched in agitation.

No, the Rude Pundit is not blindly optimistic, and, yes, with the likely confirmation of Bolton, it could all be a show. But Republicans know from political damnation. They knew when to bail on Nixon to save their electoral souls. And if history teaches us anything, there are rats enough to go down with a ship that a few can bail to give rats a good name.