Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bush and the Secretary of Defense

Part of Bush's pettiness is that he likes to turn the tables on people. For months, generals and members of Congress having been calling for Rumsfeld to step down. There are many good reasons for Rumsfeld to step down but Bush may replace the Secretary of Defense for reasons that are not good. There's evidence to suggest that it has finally dawned on Donald Rumsfeld that if we attack Iran, we may face a revolt of Iraqis Shiites that may actually force us to leave Iraq; this means Rumsfeld may no longer be on the attack-Iran bandwagon being promoted by any number of neoconservatives.

Another part of Bush's pettiness is that when people have fallen in the eyes of the Decider-in-Chief, he starts playing name games. Kenneth Lay, for example, despite earning a Bush nickname and being a major million dollar campaign contributor to Bush, ceased to exist when Enron went bankrupt. In Rumsfeld's case, Laura Rozen of War and Piece notes:
Reading the transcript of President Bush's press conference yesterday, which was heavily focused on promoting staying in Iraq, even while acknowledging the strain to the American psyche of the task, it's interesting who he does not once mention. He mentions General Abizaid, he mentions Secretary Rice, he mentions commanders on the ground, he mentions Prime Minister Maliki. He mentions strategy and tactics, liberty and freedom, reformers in the region, terrorists, the UN, the French, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Hezbollah, the Democrats, the Patriot Act, searsucker and Connecticut. But he does not once mention Rumsfeld or refer to him. Is that a random omission, or notable, that he doesn't once mention the cabinet secretary charged with running the war when talking about the war?

It's hard to say whether Donald Rumsfeld is becoming a Kenny who? In another post, Laura Rozen has this to say:
Bush has put out a quiet feeler to replace Rumsfeld in recent weeks. He was politely turned down by at least one candidate he personally called. Unknown: is this one of many candidates Bush has sounded out? Is there a Bernacke-style search going on quietly in the background?

The critics of Rumsfeld may get their wish, but clearly the criticism of Rumsfeld has implicitly, and at times, explicitly, included the caveat that he should not be replaced with a clone or someone even more right wing and that a replacement should also be consistent with a turn in Bush's policies towards a more rational course. But if Bush manages to turn the tables, he will no doubt enjoy his petty triumph much to the detriment of the United States.

If these rumors about Donald Rumsfeld are true, Joe Lieberman may not be running for the Senate, but for Secretary of Defense. I wonder if we can identify others who are also running for Rumsfeld's job. Newt Gingrich, perhaps?


Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"Bush has put out a quiet feeler to replace Rumsfeld in recent weeks. He was politely turned down by at least one candidate he personally called."

Not that it matters, but I'd be curious to know who that was. Tommy Franks? Paul Wolfowitz? Sen. John Warner? Probably not Warner because he's eminently qualified and probably wouldn't settle for being an administrator while Dick Cheney sets all the policy.

Hmmm. Sen. John McCain? Brother Jeb? That lowlife shyster who headed the Swiftboat Vets? Now, that last one wouldn't surprise me.

11:51 PM  

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