When Ariel Sharon passed out of the world of the living he left behind to his unintended successor, Ehud Olmert, a party and a government that had been built around him. Ariel Sharon had been known as the bulldozer and when he was thwarted by his own party in his plans, he decided to set up a new party built around himself. Sharon jotted down over a hundred proposed names for the party and the one that he picked, Kadima, had no political ideology attached to it.
In imitation of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Go Italy), Kadima (Go Forward) was created, except unlike Forza Italia, Kadima tellingly stripped away any mention of country. Like Berlusconi, Sharon founded Kadima as a coalition of complete opposites, a rag tag coalition of parliamentarians motivated by political adventurism and ambition.
Before each member was approved for the coalition and the list, Sharon personally conducted a private interview with each one of them. The goal of the interviews was to gauge independence as the critical notes on one potential candidate who displayed too much independence testify. The final Kadima coalition that emerged consisted of morally bankrupt MK's willing to betray their parties and allegiances to be in the ruling party. Kadima stood for nothing. Devoid of ideology and purpose it was meant as a rubber stamp coalition to allow Sharon to maintain power. The final undemocratic stamp came when Sharon was illegally allowed to hold office after resigning from the Likud, the party which had in fact won the election.
The damage that Sharon did to the IDF was far worse than even the damage that he did to the Knesset. Sharon dismissed some generals and promoted others purely based on their perceived loyalty to him. He purged able generals and replaced them with men completely inadequate for the job, such as Dan Halutz. He conducted surveillance on generals to determine which were loyal to him and which were not. The IDF in the Second Lebanon War was a broken machine because its hierarchy had been undermined in a Stalinist fashion and the crucial piece that had been intended to operate it, the presence of Sharon himself who expected to the one in complete control of all military operations, was missing.
Ehud Olmert had been chosen for his role not because of his capability, but because of his craven obeisance to anyone in power. Like the rest of Kadima, Olmert was devoid of any real ideology or morals and ethics. But he had set himself apart early on as a hatchet man willing to do anything for the party boss. Consider this chilling anecdote from Shmuel Tamir, the man who had briefly attempted to set up a political party together with Sharon premised on a Palestinian state, before Sharon stabbed him in the back.
"Olmert’s father was the secretary-general of the Free Center party. He was hard to deal with but was honest, diligent and very experienced. People were hesitant to appoint him as secretary-general because they knew he was hard to work with. Indeed it turned out that it was impossible to work with him. There was always friction with him and I had to be the one to straighten matters out. Although I respected him I realized that he is not capable of working with others. One morning after I met with him in the Knesset, Ehud walked into my room. I sighed deeply and said: “Your father, may he be well, is not an easy person to deal with.” His response stunned me. “Shmuel [Olmert said], if you want to get rid of him I’ll arrange it within 24 hours.” I said, “I am not suggesting to get rid of him. I just think that it’s hard to deal with him, maybe you can persuade him to become more flexible.” “OK,” said Ehud Olmert, “as you wish, but if you want that he leave his job I’ll arrange it within 24 hours.” I was appalled. This aspect of his personality gave me the chills and a hard feeling."It is easy to see why Sharon would have wanted Olmert as his number two, a man so devoid of any human feeling beyond greed and ambition, that he was casually prepared to dispose of his father simply to curry favor with the party leader. When contemplated in this light, the rest of Olmert's crimes and actions become easily comprehensible.
With Sharon's virtual death, Olmert, who like the rest of Sharon's stooges had never been meant to rule found himself in power and in charge of a coalition of traitors and liars who had nothing in common except having burned their bridges with their old parties and having nowhere left to go.
Sharon had built Kadima out of men and women from every part of the political spectrum, a government of rabble. Now the rabble had lost their whip and Olmert was forced to improvise in order to stay in power. Every disastrous course of action Olmert has taken, from Amona (a bloody deed to clinch the deal) to Lebanon (an attempt at a war) to Annapolis (an attempt at a peace) has not been the product of a well thought out policy or plan, but the frantic attempts of a low level political criminal made king to try and hang on to the throne.
Olmert's Kadima is a true Erev Rav government, a government of rabble bound together by treason, ambition and desperation. It came to power illegally, it is manifestly undemocratic and in opposition to the principles and values of the nation and opposed by the majority of the nation. It has no more legitimacy or right to rule than the Herodian dynasty did. Now it has barricaded itself in the machinery of government flitting from one failed policy to another and tossing money at the religious sector in the hopes of keeping the people of Israel from throwing them out.
Now a special bunker is being built for the government with a tunnel directly to the airport. The rabble are preparing to run away if things get too hot for them, along with their ill gotten gains. They cannot be protested or legislated out, only thrown out.