As I’m sure everyone has heard by now, Rumsfeld finally resigned. If there’s ever been a good riddance, it’s this one. We can only hope the guy will disappear completely from public life. It also looks like John Bolton is on short time as the UN Ambassador.
I’m sure Bush was hoping the lame duck Senate would affirm his recess appointment of John Bolton as the UN Ambassador, but he got some bad news on that front today. Lincoln Chafee, moderate Republican voted out of office, has said he will oppose the nomination. Chafee says that Americans have spoken and expressed their clear dissatisfaction with the current foreign policy.
I suspect he and others might also be harboring some resentment with the Administration. These guys generally supported the Administration, and what they got was a foreign policy so detestable, the voters turned them out of office in droves, with Bush expressing his support for Rumsfeld right up to the a few days prior to the election. I suspect a lot of these guys are pretty sore at the Administration for getting them in this fix, and probably don’t feel a strong need to continue to support W.
The Rumsfeld story is the most interesting. As noted, Bush had issued a strong public statement of support for Rumsfeld late last week. This created a lot of headaches for a lot of Republican candidates. Now we all know Rove is still a political master, and he would never have allowed W to add to the hurdles faced by the Republican Candidates. If the plan was, as W said, for Rummy to go this week, why would he lie about it (not that lying isn’t something he embraces). In this case there was no upside to the lie, and actually a serious downside.
So why would Bush make such a statement? I think they all had been drinking their own kool aid and really thought they’d maintain control of one or both houses of Congress. If that had happened, I believe we would not have seen this announcement today, and Rummy would have stayed on. Since the whole Congress was lost, the Administration knew they had to get rid of Rummy.
Clearly Congress is going to hopefully step up their oversight, and call in a few people to testify under oath. Certainly Rummy can and should be called before Congress to account for his actions, but this move does diffuse some of the impact of any hearings. Rummy’s replacement can sit at the witness table, and just say…”Hey, I just got here and can’t be held accountable for what went on before. I plan to do better, but you have to give me a little time.”
This sort of move is consistent with other tactics employed by this Administration to obfuscate and otherwise hide the truth of what is going on.