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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What The Rumsfeld Resignation Means

I didn't see the Bush presser, but I gathered (from those that did) that the pundits are seeing this the same way as me.

This is Bush finally finally finally breaking himself away from the neocon doctrine of pre-emption and aggression.

This is Bush saying to Cheney (and Rumsfeld), "I'm not listening to you anymore."

[UPDATE:  Here's an excerpt from the presser to prove my point:

Q: It's "full speed ahead" on Iraq, Cheney said. Are you listening to the people or are you listening to Cheney?

"No question Iraq was on people's minds...As you have just learned, I have made a change in Secretary of Defense."]

Part of the reason I say this is because Rumsfeld's replacement is Robert Gates, a man from Bush the Elder's Administration.  Gates comes from the camp of, and was a protoge of, Brent Scrowcroft.  These were men who told Bush 41 that going into Iraq after the Persian Gulf War would get us bogged down in a quagmire.  In fact, Scrowcroft has become one of the biggest critics of the Iraq War.

So Gates isn't Rummy-lite.  He's something else.

It looks like Bush 43 has finally listened to the wisdom of his father's advisors -- men who heretofore had no voice in the present White House.  And the neo-cons and PNACs are now historical footnotes.  That's my take.

UPDATE:  Jonathan Schwarz says:

Let’s remember this section from Bob Woodward’s book State of Denial:

[Andrew] Card kept pushing, at one point raising the possibility of change at the Pentagon with Vice President Cheney.

No, Cheney said, he was predisposed to recommend that the president keep Rumsfeld right where he was. Card was not surprised.

In private conversations with Bush, Cheney said Rumsfeld’s departure, no matter how it might be spun, would be seen only as an expression of doubt and hesitation on the war. It would give the war critics great heart and momentum, he confided to an aide, and soon they would be after him and then the president. He virtually insisted that Rumsfeld stay.

UPDATE:  The Left Coaster agrees with me, but says it better:

Poppy has taken charge of the last two years of Bush's term. The Baker/Hamilton report is now hotwired for implementation when it is issued in January, and the Democrats should get behind it now.

It also means that Dick Cheney is about to have a health problem and be replaced for the last two years. Yet just two weeks ago, Bush strongly defended Rummy and Cheney, and he and the GOP rubber-stampers in Congress said that no one could do a better job than Rummy. And they were all sacrificed today for Bush's stubborn refusal to accept responsibility, and correct a problem and chart a new course before the election when it could have mattered politically.

From The Talent Show:



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