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John Wayne's Holster: A Day Late and a Dollar Short!
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Monday, November 13, 2006

A Day Late and a Dollar Short!

As I am sure most of us are already aware, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld resigned last week – the day after the GOP got “thumped” at the polls. I am sure some will differ with me, but overall I think Rumsfeld did a fairly good job during his tenure with the DoD. That being said, the situation in Iraq is in dire need of new leadership and a new direction. I don’t think many will argue with me on that one.

Bush himself recognized this, but somehow he was a bit slow to act. Perhaps a bit stubborn as well. Had Bush replace Rumsfeld a few weeks ago - before the mid-term elections - he may very well have saved more than a few seats for the GOP.

The past weeked on Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer interviewed White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. Asked why Bush did not make the change prior to the election, Mr. Bolten stated that “…[the President] was determined not to inject an important national security decision into the electoral process just a few days before the election, because that would have sent a terrible signal to our troops, to our allies and to our enemies.”.

Sounds like spin to me. If that is indeed the case, then why change after the election? Isn’t the President still sending the same kind of signal to our troops, allies and enemies?

In all likelihood, the President made decision to remove Rumsfeld at the suggestion of James Baker and the Iraq Study Group. It is no secret that Mr. Baker is not a member of the Donald Rumsfeld fan club. In a recent New York Times article Baker states “…that neither Mr. Bush’s “stay the course” message nor what the White House calls the “cut and run” approach of critics offers a way out”. Moreover, in his book, Work Hard, Study and Keep Out of Politics, Baker points out many of the “costly mistakes" made in the Iraq war, but he lays the blame for those mistakes at the door of the Defense Department (read: Rumsfeld), not the White House.

When you consider that the decision to remove Rumsfeld was most likely made weeks before the election, it seems even more ridiculous that Bush did not make the move sooner! Bush may very well have cost his party the majority control.

If the last two years of his Presidency turns into a lame duck session - as some think it will - he can go stand in front of the mirror if he is looking for someone to blame!


At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Roy said...

There is no doubt that Bush made a stupid political move by not ousting Rumsfield prior to the election. However, that would have been politicizing the war, which both parties have already done to the point that our goals might not be attainable any longer.

In my opinion, Rummy should have been sent packing about one year ago. He was unwilling to evaluate his decisions and make necessary adjustments as the situation on the ground changed. I really am optimistic about Blake. From what I read he will bring an extremely different view and that is sorely needed.


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