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Rumsfeld Out, Gates In

Rumsfeld is resigning. Sounds from Bush’s careful wording as though he may have been pushed.

The replacement is interesting: Robert Gates, former head of the CIA. Gates had a bit of a confirmation fight when Bush Senior appointed him to head the CIA in 1989: Will the new majority Senate Democrats make a fuss over Gates now? I wonder. Could be the first of several well-placed Bush traps for Democrats to make themselves look bad. My guess is he will face a sober grilling about career military officers’ complaints about Rumseld, and then win easy confirmation.

Discussions - 12 Comments

I think it’s a sad day when a man of Rumsfeld’s quality is pushed out...yet another error, in my opinion.

I don’t think the Democrats are going to be inclined to make anything easy for the GOP up on the Hill. Why should they? Their tactic of constant resistance has led them back to power. I anticipate they will continue to harass this administration. And he won’t be able to get any of the GOP platform approved, certainly he won’t be able to get anything genuinely Conservative through the legislative process.

But they’ll probably take up his whifty proposal of another amnesty. Makes sense. That’s just more voters for the Democrats.

I think Hillary is looking good right now. The Ohio GOP has imploded. The damage they’ve done to themselves, to citizens of the Buckeye state and the national GOP is literally incalculable. The GOP has NEVER won the White House without carrying the Buckeye state. And I don’t expect that in ’08 we’ll create a precedent.

The thing that is truly troubling is that in our culture there is a growing ridicule, a growing mockery towards our party. If it becomes a WIDESPREAD fashion statement to mock Republicans, then this nation is headed for a disaster. It’s always been a fashion statement among elites, among the Washington establishment to mock Republicans and Conservatism. But if that takes amongst the wider electorate, then we’ve got a real nightmare to deal with.

And DAIN is dead right. Rumsfeld is being discarded in a shabby manner. There is no reason that Rumsfeld is gone, but Condi is staying. Condi has been a disaster too.

The real problem is that Bush is carrying on a war effort of half-measures. But worse. A war effort of half measures pursued half-heartedly.

We’re in a proxy war against Iran in Iraq. We’ve allowed the enemy sanctuary in both Syria and Iran. Terror camps exist right across the borders in both Syria and Iran. Iranian intelligence is training men IN Iraq to kill us, to kill our Iraqi allies, and to cause one vexation for us after another. Yet GW hasn’t done a damn thing about it.

ALL terror and guerrilla campaigns NEED places of sanctuary to be successful. Without sanctuary, such movements collapse.

The fundamental problem at the heart of our war effort is our failure to properly identify our enemies. Flowing from that problem of definition is our studied refusal to deal with IRAN.

Gates will win easy confirmation because everybody knows that the back-up plan is Harriet Meyers.

I agree with Dan. This was not a "minor setback," where "postive signs" are evident throughout. This was a disaster.

Make no mistake about it ... this was not an anomoly. This was something that was coming on for some time. Control of the House has been steadily eroding for years. The Senate looked solid after 2004, but then they fumbled horribly with issues like spending, earmarks and immigration.

The Republicans may not recover from this for a decade or more. Truly ... I mean that. In the meantime, the Democrats will do irreparable harm to America -- judges, taxes, laws, etc.

I recall the gloating after the 2004 election. That election was close -- too close given the buffoon the Democrats put up. That should have been a signal for the Republicans to get serious and get humble. Instead they got arrogant and foolish. Think "Ted Stevens" and "Trent Lott."

Re: Ohio GOP imploding. I’ve been looking at the results from afar. Even my home county (Knox) went for Space over Padgett and split 50/50 on Blackwell v. Strickland. I’d say "bad night for Republicans" is a gross understatement, since Knox is arguably one of the most conservative counties in the state, save the tiny blue enclave of Gambier.

On Rumsfeld, apparently he offered to resign, at least twice in the past. His departure does take a major issue off the table and Rumsfeld’s effectiveness has been on the wane for a long time. I am a little more concerned that W seems to be circling the wagons using a lot of re-treads (Baker, et al.) from the Bush 41 administration. More mainstream, more establishment, consensus-building, don’t-rock-the-boat types. Quite unlike Rumsfeld.

I just do not understand why Gates, the current president of Texas A&M, would leave his position to become the SecDef for the last 2 years of GWB’s lame duck presidency.

Texas Monthly recently put up a piece on Gates, in which Gates specifically said that he was committed to completing his vision for the University.

This just makes no sense. Why would Gates take this?

Texas Monthly recently put up a piece on Gates, in which Gates specifically said that he was committed to completing his vision for the University. This just makes no sense. Why would Gates take this?

Hmm... What to do, what to do... running Texas A&M or running the United States military during a time of war? Hmmm....

Ok, guys, I just figured out why America kicked the Republicans outta Washington. "We got the right, to fight... or party!"

5: Don -- that’s a very good, clear-headed analysis of the situation. Bush’s anemic performance in the 2004 election against a lousy opponent should have been a warning signal. The same is true of our failure to make significant gains in the House in ANY election since 1994 and our unimpressive performance in most of the recent Senate cycles. The old media, which matters far more than the vaunted "new media," controls our political process. A substantial chunk of the American people cannot think past what it sees on the idiot box. To elect a functional Republican government (which we haven’t since the 1920s) would require either an enormous disaster on the order of the Great Depression, or a fair media. We know there won’t be a fair media.

7: Paul, may I help with your puzzlement over Gates’ decision to take over at the Pentagon rather than raise money for a university? Maybe, sir, Mr. Gates is a patriot who believes he can do some good for his country at a time of peril. Here and there, such people do exist.

I remember the Democrats’ opposition to Gates back in 1992 or thereabouts. I take it as a good sign. We should never appoint people whom the Dems are fine with.

Dave and Don,

there is another way to read ’04 though. We sent up a verbal cripple, whose debate performances were pathetic, nothing short of pathetic, YET WE STILL WON. Let’s review rapidly the actual results. GW won with a greater share of the vote than any man since LBJ. And only THREE Democrats have ever won with a greater share of the vote than GW, {they were Jackson, FDR and LBJ}. GW’s campaign was lackluster, just as it was in 2000. Sure he won against stiffs, but even with his woeful campaigns, he took a good chunk of the electorate in both campaigns. Republicans became complacent because the Democrats were demonstrating themselves to be so radical, that they thought the American people would never turn to the Democrats again.

So there is a great Conservative undercurrent in America to deal with, and to ride to victory. But the question is leadership, and articulateness.

Our leaders are inarticulate, corpulent and unprincipled. Hastert was appropriately the face of a Republican Congress, and his face was that of a man who let himself go. Take a look at the men we’ve lost over the last decade, look at how principled and savvy they were, compared to their replacements. Gingrich, Don Nickles, Delay, et al. You can’t lose heavy hitters in your lineup, then be surprised that you’re not producing enough runs to win the game.

I made a mistake there in the previous post. GW didn’t win with a greatest share of the vote since LBJ. Nixon and Reagan won higher percentages of the vote. What I meant to say was that GW’s win eclipsed any Democrat victory since LBJ. And that’s not something to simply overlook.

Sorry about needing to make that correction.

Steve,

Is it safe to conclude that Gates is but the Iraqi campaign’s version of Clark Clifford? As Clifford was brought in to replace McNamara, and LBJ thought that Clifford shared his thirst for victory, {or at least stalemate in RVN}, is it that Gates is somewhat deceiving Bush, and that though brought into wage the war more effectively, Gates privately is determined to do everything he can to extract our forces as rapidly as possible, with or without victory, with or without chaos left behind?

Is this another case where the past is prologue, and the fraud that Clifford played on the nation and LBJ’s administration is now being repeated in that of GW, by Robert Gates, praised by Bzrezinski, deputy to Scowcroft, instrument of Baker.

ONE AND ALL,

This is my opinion of the whole Baker/Hamilton drama and report to come. It is the device by which we will go to Iran, and ask them what is the price that it will take to get them to stop killing Americans, stop blowing up Americans, disfiguring and maiming Americans, and what is the price that they will they demand to receive all of Iraq on a silver platter, presented by the administration of the 43rd President of the United States, leader of the free world, champion in arms of the free West.

We are on the verge of tendering a surrender instrument to Iran. It is the equivalent to that which we extracted from Japan on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri. Of course it isn’t quite so naked as that, it will be dressed up in diplomatic speak, diplomatic verbage. Tribute won’t be called tribute, it will pass now under the language of "economic engagement" and "sweetener packages." But it is tribute nonetheless.

Gaze now at the contours of the international landscape.

After the greatest terror strike in human history, initiated by a terror gang that Saudi Arabia and Iran have various and vague attachments to, seen by much of the world, IN REAL TIME, and after a rhetorical display by the President which fully committed the prestige and honour of the United States, AND AFTER that very same Iran has been training men IN Iraq to blow up Americans, WITH devices designed by Iranians and CLEARLY manufactured in IRAN, we are now going to approach that very same power and ask what is the price that we need to pay to get them to stop killing us.

Has there ever been so pusillanimous moment in American statecraft?

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