So wait, you just said that you yourself first supported the war, then changed your mind once you saw that there was no threat, without admitting any great lapse in judgment on your part, yet you’re castigating Kerry for allegedly doing the exact same thing? What Kerry said, not just now but on the same day as the original vote you’re referring to, was that he was authorizing Bush to act only if there were a threat and only if all other avenues had been exhausted.
When one has ideas about how something should be done, and then one encounters facts that clearly disprove those ideas, it is irrational and dangerous not to change those ideas. Bush’s presidency is based on ideology, not reality. Whenever reality contradicts Bush’s ideology, Bush’s reaction is to deny reality. His administration doesn’t analyze facts in making its decisions, it ignores them. It believes that government is empowered to create its own reality, which is why it keeps lying so transparently. That’s why Bush can’t admit that he’s made any mistakes - because his administration doesn’t think it has.
For that reason, the Bush administration is extremely vindictive. It doesn’t allow its own members to present dissenting opinions or even so much as ask for an open discussion about the party line. Christine Whitman, former head of the EPA under Bush, said that when she asked at meetings about what facts were available to support the administration’s case, she was regarded as disloyal. Paul O’Neill, Bush’s former Secretary of the Treasury, has spoken at length about how the Bush administration doesn’t really try to read into issues, doesn’t seek out contrary opinions, and actively tries to squelch such opinions in its own ranks. O’Neill supported tax cuts, but because he supported moderate tax cuts for the middle class, and not gigantic, unfunded tax cuts for the rich, he was marginalized in the Bush administration in favour of tax-cut ideologues who just kept hammering on the party line without troubling themselves with having to build a case. When Bush’s counter-terrorism head Richard Clarke warned about the danger posed by Osama bin Laden, and told the administration that Iraq posed no threat, he was told to go and make up a case for an invasion of Iraq anyway, because the administration was so fixated on Iraq that it refused to listen to reality. The administration exacted revenge on Ambassador Joe Wilson for exposing the fraudulent “Niger uranium” claim by leaking his wife’s identity as a CIA agent. This is not “leadership,” this is the government believing that it is infallible and refusing to listen to anyone who says otherwise. Not only is such an attitude extremely harmful to the country’s political and economic interests, it is extremely anti-democratic.