For example, Friedman accuses the administration of "fraud" in conducting the war in Iraq because it didn't send enough troops. He also attacks the administration for using the war on terrorism as a wedge issue, asking "would Roosevelt have done that?" The answer to that question I'm pretty sure is yes -- if the Republicans had advocated pulling our troops out of Europe or the Pacific before they had defeated the enemy I'm confident that Roosevelt would have made that an issue. So too if the Republicans had attacked Roosevelt's effort to promote safety on the home front, including surveillance of Nazis and, for that matter, internment of Japanese-Americans.
Before I go any further, I have no idea how FDR would have reacted had someone (of any party) challenged him on Japanese internment, but I damn well wish they would have. Such naked human rights violations are never tolerable, and they should have never been even considered in the land of the free and the home of the brave. That we have patriots willing to criticize analogous contemporary human rights violations (torture, "black sites", etc) shows that we've grown as a society, and that is something to be proud of (although the fact that we are still committing these wrongs is a black mark that will haunt us for generations). Nothing animates me more--as someone who believes in the importance of this struggle--than insuring that we fight it in a manner consonent with our basic moral values as human beings.
Back to the main. The key question is: Who acted first? That is, we all agree that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Democrats and Republicans united and put partisan divides behind them for the good of the country. What cracked that divide?
There are a couple candidates for the dishonor, but the one that did it for me at least was the fiasco surrounding the Department of Homeland Security. Remember, that was a Democratic proposal that Bush opposed, until he realized it polled well. Then he flipped, created an out-of-the-blue technical reason for opposing the plan that he knew would be a Democratic poison pill, and then used their "opposition" as a cudgel in the 2002 elections. This was after Bush had threatened to veto nearly every proposed increase in Homeland Security spending--including ones with bipartisan support. I've told more than one person that this event was what changed my perspective of Bush from a likeable bumbler who I disagreed with, to a loathsome and detestable public figure who viewed even America's security as nothing but a political opportunity. That action was a totally unprovoked stab in the back of Democrats who thought American security was something that transcended partisan politics. And it occurred months before the events regarding the Iraq war that Paul alludes to.
The other major problem is that Bush has not just blurred, but utterly erased the line between those who oppose his foreign policy and those who oppose his domestic policy. From tax cuts for the wealthy to drilling in ANWR, everything on the Bush agenda became tied to the war on terror. It didn't matter if you supported every move Bush made in the foreign sphere (the wiretapping scandal didn't even hit until after the 2004 elections). The primary victims of Bush's post 9/11 purge were moderate, hawkish Democrats. The type of Democrat who was voting against the war in Iraq was never seriously at risk, because they were all in safe Democratic seats. Bush deliberately set out to target Democrats who were politically vulnerable, not politically disagreeable. And he targeted them in the worst ways possible--such as the appalling "Osama Bin Laden" ad that went against Georgia Senator Max Cleland. Indeed, any objective look at how President Bush behaved from 2002 to 2004 betrays a fundamental lack of seriousness in prosecuting this war on terror, and taking positions that would actually keep America safe, rather than keep his congressional flunkies safe.
What Paul and his Powerline cobloggers refuse to grapple with is why folks like Friedman (and myself, for that matter) who supported and still support the Iraq war are so furious at Bush now. They want to just tag us as crazy partisan liberals. But that doesn't fly. It doesn't explain why we supported the war in 2002, and it doesn't explain why we still support it now. Nor does it explain the growing numbers of ertswhile loyal Republicans (e.g., John Cole, Daniel Drezner) and conservatives (Andrew Sullivan) who feel the same way. Something happened to make the center, center-left, and large parts of the center-right apoplectic with Bush.
I'm not mad at Bush because I've suddenly become a hyper-leftist. I'm not angry in spite of my centrism, but because of it. The isn't left-wing anger, it's centrist anger, and that's what the Bush partisans can't fathom about us. Tom Friedman took a lot of flack for his stance in 2002, and for holding true to it up until today. He did ignore partisan lines when he made his decision, only to find that for this administration, the only thing that mattered was the partisan line. That's why we're angry. That's why we're furious. We took this war seriously, only to find that President Bush didn't. It's a basic lack of respect, not just for us, but for every American in the armed service who deserves to more than just a pawn in the GOP's political game. And while Democrats have done their fair share of sniping--sometimes justifiably, sometimes not--it was Bush and his administration that started the trend of viewing the GWOT as an electoral war game. And that's unforgivable.
History will, indeed, be very unkind to these people.