Bush doesn't care about anyone but Bush.
I was up all night reading news and op eds (just got in from Taiwan and my bio clock is screwed up) and was interested in how many Republicans are completely pissed off at Bush et al for the timing on Rumsfeld stepping down. In a nutshell, a lot of them have been quietly telling Bush Rumsfeld needs to go, and thought it would help a little for the election (and a little could have made the difference in the Senate.) So now AFTER they lose it all Rumsfeld is out. And they are completely POed.
Again, as I said on election night, I think this is a good thing for the Republicans. A good wake up call has the potential for them to get their act together and perhaps shake things up.
Bush doesn't care about anyone but Bush.
Politically speaking, firing Rumsfeld prior to the election would have been something a double edged sword. Yeah, you might please a certain number of people looking for any sign of contrition from the administration, but it could also be read as a tacit admission of their incompetence in prosecuting the war/occupation of Iraq, which may in turn have driven voters further away from republicans. It's easy to look back and say "we should have done X instead" without appreciating all of the consequences of X.
I'm irritated because it's been clear that Rumsfeld needed to go for some time now, probably 1+ years.
Bush could have easily replaced him last spring with little impact one way or the other on this fall's elections.
Bush's political instintcs are nonexistent. He really has no clue as to the consequenses of his actions.
Well looking back (hindsight and all that)...its hard to imagine that dropping him *before* the election could have lead to a worse result so that is probably why some Republicans are pissed.
He should have been dropped a while back, I agree. Although I am sure no one man, especially not an infidel American, can make the difference in Iraq, he just seemed a little out of touch with the day to day goings on there and should have been benched a long time ago.
It think it ties back into the whole "we make our own reality" comment so famously passed around from that White House staffer a few years ago. As long as Bush doesn't have to do anything, he won't. Tow the line and get everybody on board by sheer "will"; make dumb stubbornness look grit and resolve. And as long as the American public buys it, why change? Now, for the first time in, quite probably, his whole political career (at least since his time as governor), he's had a real political setback. Now he can't make reality fit his views; so, out Rumsfeld goes!
Of course the tragedy of it all is that it shows he doesn't really care about what's happening is Iraq as much as the perception of that reality. As Sidney Bloomenthal points out in meandering, hyperventaliting moonbat-Koontz fashion over at Salon, for years the Republicans have been riding a wave of fashion over substance. For the first time, and perhaps the only time, they took a brave step foward and did an act that wasn't mutable, debatable, or pass-the-buck-able. You can't blame Democrats for Iraq; it's just impossible. And now the public finally sees the emperor has no clothes.
All of the Top Ten Biggest Rumsfeld Shitbonerz were during the first 6 months of the Iraq War. The fact that they didn't get a new Secretary of Defense after the 2004 election says a lot about what's fucked up about the current administration.Originally Posted by Phil_Stein
Something that is kind of interesting: my dad is a great guy, very kind hearted to people in need, etc. but so politically conservative he makes Limbaugh look like Pelosi's lap dog. Shaved head Air Force vet. So it made me stop and think when, about two years ago, I was visiting my parents and my dad said he really, really disliked Rumsfeld and wished Bush would get rid of him. I asked him why, and he said he reminded him of McNamara and his incompetence and stubborness and refusing to listen to the officers in Vietnam (my dad is a Vietnam vet.) He also said he didn't know any of his military friends who did like Rumsfeld.
Even before that. There was a report from before the invasion that to be successful they would need 400,000 troops on the ground. Rumsfeld ignored it. I'd argue that was the fountain from which all of his other blunders have flowed. Although the worst might be emailing vague Power Point slides instead of actual orders and objectives. That's so close to satire it's surreal.Originally Posted by Glenn
Well, you have to keep in mind something about Rumsfeld's Pentagon operation. It didn't happen in a void. You've got Cheney there giving him cover and the whole neocon corridor between them and speckled throughout the administration pushing for Iraq, as the first step, in a massive restructuring of the middle east. Some of the stupid things, inexplicable things, only make sense in this context. Why a light force? So Rumsfeld could prove his views were right about light high-tech forces? Maybe in part but it was also so other troops would be available for the next phases of the operation into Syria and Iran, eventually. And that's a neocon jones right there.
The shitty intel coming out of Defense? Wolfowitz, Pearle and especially Doug Feith. The shitty intel coming out of the CIA? What Cheney and the gang wanted to hear and what Tenet, a team player natch, was willing to give up despite what his analysts were saying. The same analysts who leaked to the press about a lack of WMD argument and the non-existent connections between Saddam and al-Qaida - and who were promptly hunted down and purged.
This really doesn't stop with Rumsfeld. He's just the face we associate with how screwed up things got.
Why did Bush drop him now? Sacrificial lamb. Rove's calcuating that the Democrats know they need to look housebroken and well-behaved for the public in the wake of this victory. With Bush beaten and Rumsfeld gone, going full-bore into investigations right now will just look like kicking a guy when he's down to the public. Instead Bush waves the bipartisan flag, a whiplash inducing 180, and points to the Baker-Hamilton Report as a way out of Iraq.
The neocons are all but tossed overboard. Political expediency trumps all. These guys, it should be absolutely friggin' clear to everyone, do play politics with foreign policy as a matter of course. That's the first, last and middle thought in their minds. Hell, we have Bush saying that on two different subjects he lied to our faces, your faces Republican faithful, during the last election in his most recent press conference. Hot on the heels of that Limbaugh claims to never, really, have had any respect for the people he's been boosting on the air all these months.
If the rank-and-file Republicans don't understand now how little respect the Bush administration not only has for objective reality but for them, they never will.
His policy instincts do suck; from that perspective, ditching Rumsfeld this late was a bad idea.Originally Posted by RickH
The firing occurred just 30 minutes after Pelosi said she'd like to see Rumsfeld step down. What's more, Rumsfeld's replacement is part of Baker's bipartisan commission seeking "alternatives" to Iraq. Next, after the Democrats miraculously gained both houses of Congress, the change at the Pentagon stole all of the headlines away from that historic event and put the spotlight back on the White House. And beyond even that, the answer to the question, "The Democrats got their power; now what policy will they pursue?" has now been answered by Bush.
In other words, in one full stroke:
1. Bush gave the Democrats a basis for cooperating with him,
2. Bush stole the thunder of the Democrats' landslide victory, and
3. He put himself back into the driver's seat for defining policy on Iraq.
You're right... his political instincts are terrible.
Last edited by Rimbo; 11-10-2006 at 12:37 PM.
yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyes.Originally Posted by Rimbo
Rove and co. clearly thinks things through, but when Bush pulls shit like this, especially just blatantly lying about it last week (and obliterating that carefully cultivated I'm-not-even-aware-there-is-such-a-thing-as-polling fascade), it's pretty clear that when he's on his own he often doesn't put any thought into ramifications.
Ninja-editing Bastard. Also you're a total shmuck if you think this was a master stroke.
Last edited by Glenn; 11-10-2006 at 12:49 PM.
Whether I'm a total schmuck or not is irrelevant; the evidence supporting my position speaks far better than I can.Originally Posted by Glenn
Yeah, admitting that he lied was a BAD move by Bush. And then to say (essentially) "Well, I just lied to manipulate the press" is even worse. I'm not sure this guy has any clue how to act without someone pulling his strings.
Where are these admissions by Bush and Rush?
From: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0061108-2.htmlOriginally Posted by TheSelfishGene
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Last week you told us that Secretary Rumsfeld will be staying on. Why is the timing right now for this, and how much does it have to do with the election results?
THE PRESIDENT: Right. No, you and Hunt and Keil came in the Oval Office, and Hunt asked me the question one week before the campaign, and basically it was, are you going to do something about Rumsfeld and the Vice President? And my answer was, they're going to stay on. And the reason why is I didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign. And so the only way to answer that question and to get you on to another question was to give you that answer.
To paraphrase: I lied to you guys about Rumsfeld because I was afraid it was going to affect the election.
It would have been sweet had they canned his ass based on the job he was doing, not on the effect it may or may not have had on the election either way.
Because, you know, his job, and the president's, is to do the best possible for the U.S., not to win more elections.
Of course he did. That's been the strategy all along. Just keep saying everything is going great. If you get caught in a lie or mistake, ignore it and keep going. There are quite a few famous Cheney interviews where a reporter asks about something terrible he said, and he responded with, "I didn't say that." The reporter would say, "Uh, we have you on video saying that." And Cheney would reply, "I didn't say that."
For a while now, the administration's press strategy has been this kind of house of cards. Admitting Rumsfeld was wrong after all the deflections he'd made over his entire term in election season would have been disastrous. The dems aren't going for blood on this now because the day is won and because it isn't worth spending a bunch of money to get the word out. They need to look gracious in their victory.
If anything, I'm shocked that he admitted all this.
It amazes me that with all the stuff that has come out since then, much of it posted by you BR, that you essentially lump Tenet in with the administration like this.Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
Brian, I think that most mainstream Republicans and certainly all moderate ones did figure this out, and that was a key reason for the election results. The Democrats did not convince a new large group to vote for them, IMO - the Republicans lost a lot of the formerly faithful. I've never before known so many of my Republican friends tell me they were thinking about voting for the Democrat or the Independent candidate for the ones that just couldn't push the button for the Democrat. And I also can't remember a previous time when so many of my Republican friends were not voting.Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
Now is the chance for the Democrats to win some people over. They better not make the mistake of being arrogant enough to think they earned this by doing anything but not being a Republican. For the first time in a long time (including the 2004 elections) that was enough. So now they have a shot at finally showing what they can do.
I'll have to take a wait and see on the masterstroke you think he's achieved.Originally Posted by Rimbo
But I stand by my position that he's a shitty politician, at least from the perspective of advancing the interests of the party at large. The Republicans only got more gutless and wasteful under his leadership.
One was the admission about Rumsfeld, as nailed earlier by Benny Profane. A second was that, nah, those Democrats aren't so bad - I was just saying that because it was an election, you really didn't believe me did you? And Rush's was an on air admission that he was "carry the water" for people he didn't believe in because the cause was just too important to tell the truth about them. Largely his complaint is that they aren't conservative enough but the fact remains he admitted, on air, that he was telling his audience crap all this time. The backpedalling and explaining is priceless as soon as he, or his producer, realizes what's come out of his mouth.Originally Posted by TheSelfishGene
I mean, puhlease.
Tenet has to be lumped in because he, knowing better, didn't stand up to the administration. Yes, there are isolated incidents where in order to retain any credibility whatsoever he tried to do the right thing. Get the president to take back the "16 words" or just stop using them. Along with Richard Clark tried to get a special audience with NSA chief Rice to impress upon her how serious the al Qaida threat was back in the summer of 2001. Help Colin Powell remove the worst of Cheney/Libby/Addington/Feith's exaggerations and nonsense in the UN report. However, there was much more information out there he wasn't willing to take a stand on and his analysts leaked like sieves in an attempt to warn the public. Don't forget "slam dunk" and the medal of freedom...Originally Posted by shift6
Most of the reporting I've seen sizes up Tenet as a competant beaurocrat and a very charismatic individual but it also seems to play up his real desire to stay on the "inside" of this administration. Much like Tony Blair he strikes me as a guy who knew better than to drink the Bush/neocon koolaid but possessed the hubris or rationalization that he believed he could do more good from the inside than the outside considering just who, and just how loopy, the other players were. And in order to be a player he had be on the team. That meant feeding the beast and toeing the line.
It's not as simple as Tenet bad or Tenet good. It's a complicated story and until we hear from him, if ever, we may not really understand exactly what happened and how.
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 11-10-2006 at 06:21 PM.
It's definitely complicated, but I think he clearly made the case that he was not part of the inside. I think he stood up to them as much as could reaonably be expected before caving. My understanding from the 9/11 commission is that the CIA did continually include Al Qaeda in the daily assessments before that point, and Condi was called to the carpet pretty harshly about that fact.
In any case, it was the "team player natch" comment that made me raise an eyebrow. Did he play along? Yeah, after making as much of a fuss as he could. I don't call that a team player, I call that someone who was brow-beaten into submission.
I disagree. He could have quit. He didn't. And he gave them ammo they used to go to war. Now, Tenet was by far not the worst of the lot, that special circle of hell will be reserved for Feith's OSP outfit, but in order to stay on the inside and try to mitigate the damage being done he had to compromise. Now, it's possible he believed it was likely Sadam had WMD, if only a small quantity, but he had no solid proof. There was no "slam dunk" case based on anything anyone has seen yet. Hell, according to Woodward, even Bush balked when he was presented with the CIA's evidence - that's where "slam dunk" came from, Tenet's response to Bush's, Bush's mind you, incredulity!
But the pressure was on and intel was flowing around the CIA in regards to WMD and the al Qaida connection via the Rumsfeld-Cheney axis. You had the OSP in the Pentagon just rifling through any report at all that seemed to support the claims of the administration and then just pipelining it in to Addington and Libby in Cheney's office. It shouldn't be any surprise that this Vice President has the largest personal intelligence gathering and analysis staff of any Vice President at any point in our history.
Bush's brain has two lobes. Rove and Cheney. Cheney was pushing all this crap onto the President and riding the CIA like a rented Thai whore to provide a second opinion that concurred with his. And if Tenet didn't play along he'd probably have been replaced. As it is, yes, he did mitigate some of the worst exaggerations but he still enabled the process.
"You might be a Bush team player if..."
"...you bungle your job and end up with a Medal of Freedom."
Originally Posted by Brian RuckerOriginally Posted by Brian RuckerThe boss already knew what it wanted and Tenet would have been fired if he didn't provide it, so he gave what little he could to stay inside and try to mitigate damage. Fair enough, but I just can't see hammering on the guy about it.Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
Data on that:Originally Posted by jeff lackey
Can I point out that Bush is the one at fault for Iraq here, not Rumsfeld? He hired and supports the morons surrounding him.According to exit polls, the combination of lower support from conservatives and lower turnout among conservatives accounts for 4.9 points of the roughly 11-point swing from Democrats to Republicans in 2006. But lower support among moderates accounts for 6.3 points of the swing. So the rejection by moderates is about 30 percent more important in explaining the defeat than the demoralization of conservatives. Or, put differently, Republicans could have defeated Democrats despite their performance among conservatives. The performance among moderates was crippling.
I thought everyone pretty much acknowledged that Bush couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag and that his administration is basically run by his supporting staff: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, etc. Is he no longer incompetant and back to the evil genius? I'm confused.Originally Posted by Jason McCullough