My instincts were right back in 2004.

I should not have pulled the lever for George W. Bush and I should never have urged others to do so.

Even my wife, who coaxed me to break my vow never to support a candidate who doesn’t honor the Constitution, agrees now it was a mistake.

Without making more excuses, all I can say for myself was that I was so moved by the action of the Swiftboat Vets and their righteous campaign against traitor John Kerry, my emotions got the best of me.

I lost my head. I was not true to the promise in my own book, “Taking America Back,” just out in paperback, to avoid supporting the lesser of two evils, to avoid making insidious compromises in electoral politics, to avoid, at all costs, supporting politicians who do not understand and abide by the Constitution.

I didn’t support Bush in 2000 for precisely this reason. Asked what he would do if faced with congressional legislation that was clearly unconstitutional, I heard candidate Bush answer with these words, which I shall never forget: “How will I know if a law is unconstitutional?”

On the basis of that remark alone, it should surprise no one that Bush has been a massive failure as president.

Let me remind you of the record:

  • He pursued wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without a congressional act of war. If he had followed the Constitution, his war policies today would have far more support – and justification. Instead, today, Democrats who voted in favor of invading Iraq and Afghanistan can suggest they were merely authorizing the president to act, not endorsing the conflicts.

  • While pursuing foreign wars, he forgot the first responsibility of anyone in combat – secure the perimeter. Our border remains wide open today, just as it was Sept. 11, 2001. If penniless migrant workers can enter our country at will, what is to stop determined, armed and well-funded terrorists? Bush’s irresponsible inaction on the border ought to be considered an impeachable offense.

  • Bush has encouraged the Republican Congress to spend like drunken sailors. Actually, that is an insult to drunken sailors, who only spend their own money – not their grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s money. How bad is the record? All you really have to know is that Bush has failed to veto even one piece of legislation in five years in office.

  • And, finally, there are Bush’s selections for the U.S. Supreme Court. After he chose John Roberts, there was much speculation on the right that Bush was saving his best selection for the second time around. After he chose Harriet Miers, his personal lawyer and White House counsel, a trial lawyer whose own record running the Texas Lottery should be the subject of an investigation and possible indictment, Bush’s true intentions became clear. He was not going to remake the Supreme Court. He was not going to stop judicial activism. He was not going to fulfill his campaign promise to appoint Clarence Thomases and Antonin Scalias to the bench.

It’s time for every “conservative” in America to realize you’ve been played for the fool.

It’s time to wake up.

It’s time to acknowledge you will not save America from ruin by supporting people like Bush and his Republican-majority band of co-conspirators in the House and Senate.

It’s time to play hardball.

It’s time to hold politicians to higher standards.

It’s time to stop looking to Washington to solve the problems that have been created in Washington.

It’s time, in short, to stop thinking and acting like “conservatives.”

It’s time to get radical. It’s time to fight on offense. It’s time to begin emulating men like Washington, Jefferson and Madison, not Bush, Cheney and Rove.

If this be revolution, let’s make the most of it.

It’s time to take America back.

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