Naturally the whole book centres round one question: Why did Rubashov confess? He is not guilty--that is, not guilty of anything except the essential crime of disliking the Stalin régime. The concrete acts of treason in which he is supposed to have engaged are all imaginary.
Now replace Rubashov with "Democratic Congressman Pete Stark", and Stalin with "Bush" and you have the scene in today's House chamber, where Rep. Stark was forced to recant his statement of last week regarding the obscenity of the Iraq War.
Stark's comment came as the House failed Thursday to override President Bush's veto of legislation to expand the popular State Children's Health Insurance Program.Here is Rep. Stark's recantation, courtesy of the leadership of the Democratic Party, which refused to defend him:
"You don't have money to fund the war or children," Stark accused Republicans. "But you're going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the president's amusement."
All you Democrats, hang your heads in shame. Today a good man was sent down, under what pressures we can only guess. Fate and temperament decreed that Nancy Pelosi would play party potentate to Stark's old-guard stalwart Rubashov. Meanwhile, how many soldiers had their heads blown up in Iraq today? How many innocent people were blown up between the time the Democratic caucus celebrated their escape from political calumny and the GOP leadership toasted their incredible good luck in having such "reasonable" opponents?