April 15, 2006

The Captain Veers Off Course

Hatched by Dafydd

Captain Ed appears to join the Ignatius Chorus calling for Bush to throw Rummy overboard "in order to bring Congress back in line on the war and to reassure the electorate that fresh eyes will review the military plan for it."

From deep 'neath the crypt of St. Giles...

Honest to goodness, this is about the rummiest idea I've ever seen on an otherwise excellent blog. I mean, this is bonkers.

I admire Rumsfeld greatly, and wish that the situation did not bring us to this question. But if replacing Rumsfeld with another SecDef with a better relationship with Congress and higher credibility with voters can assure our full and unified commitment to the war on terror, then bringing in John McCain or Joe Lieberman may be the best move for the war.
Came a shriek that resounded for miles...

First of all, the very idea that Bush can regain momentum and swing Congress to his side by caving in to the liberals is nutty. When has showing weakness and appeasement ever helped a president?

Check out John Hinderaker's insightful addendum to a Paul Mirengoff post on (duh) Power Line (I've reparagraphed it, because I have a phobia about big lumps of text):

Here is why I think so many liberals are anxious for President Bush to replace Rumsfeld: they have staked a great deal on the proposition that the Iraq war has not gone well, and, in fact, has been a disaster. But they are troubled because they are not at all sure that is true.

By any reasonable standard, casualties have been low and Iraq's progress toward democracy has been impressive. This doesn't mean the project couldn't still go off the rails; it clearly could. But it is also possible--likely, I think--that the Iraqis will succeed in forming a government, violence will continue to decline, our troops levels will be substantially reduced, and, in a year or two, the consensus will be that the war was pretty successful after all.

This, I think, is what liberals fear most. They want President Bush to stipulate, in effect, that the war has been poorly conducted and has been a failure. That's the way in which firing Rumsfeld would rightly be interpreted.

This would largely insulate liberals against the consequences if the war does, in fact, turn out to be successful. The same logic, I think, explains why liberals are always hectoring President Bush to "admit his mistakes." What they fear, deep down, is that the President's policies haven't been mistakes at all.

The vicar said, "gracious"...

John's point is well taken: where do David Ignatius and Captain Ed get the idea that keelhauling Secretary Rumsfeld would be seen as anything but a complete capitulation to Harry Reid -- as well as the tacit admission that the Democrats have been "right" all along?

Everyone, and I do mean every Man Jack of them, Jack, would take such an action as a sign that the war was a fraud and a terrible failure, the last three years a "complete waste," and that all those soldiers died in vain.

McCain would immediately send an additional several hundred thousand troops, trying to refight Vietnam (and this time winning it, by Jiminy!) Lieberman would sit and stare, a deer in headlights.

It would be an unmitigated political disaster of the first division.

Has Brother Ignatius...

But more to the point, if we step away from politics for a bit -- what makes anyone think that either McCain or Lieberman has the slightest ability to actually run the Department of Defense? It's one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world, full of hotheaded generals (every one of whom knows how to really win this war), with a budget in the hundreds of billions, employees in the millions (including civilians), dealing with tens of thousands of defense contractors, hundreds of other countries (scores of them our enemies), liasing with every other department in the country, and with responsibilities ranging from guarding the White House to housing NORAD and US Strategic Command in Cheyenne Mountain, whence we could unleash nuclear devastation upon the entire world.

And upon that single entity rests the continued existence of the United States of America.

My God, it was bad enough when Clinton stuffed Les Aspin and Bill Cohen into the job (William Perry was at least qualified on paper). I don't care how long somebody has served on the House friggin' Armed Services Committee; that doesn't make him eligible to run the Pentagon. Not even during peacetime.

Rumsfeld was ambassador to NATO and then Chief of Staff to the President of the United States before he was Secretary of Defense the first time -- and even he was arguably unqualified (on paper) back then, though he proved his mettle by successfully fighting Hammerin' Hank Kissinger in a turf war -- and beating him. He was far more qualified in 2001, when Bush appointed him; besides his previous stint as SecDef, he had served as CEO of several multinational corporations by then, as well as on many Defense-oriented administrative boards, commissions, and committees.

Oh, and have we forgotten that Donald Rumsfeld was eight years in the Congress? Obviously, being a Congressman does not automatically mean you can get along well with your colleagues: neither McCain nor Lieberman seems to have much cachet with his own party these days.

Forgotten the bishop has piles?

This is silliness compounding silliness. Let's see if we can all stop panicking long enough to recognize that Donald Rumsfeld is no more a liability today than he was five years ago... and that he has now won two wars, is currently winning one and a half peaces (I only give him half a star for Afghanistan), and has almost singlehandedly -- and successfully -- instituted the biggest change in how we fight wars since Ulysses S. Grant.

Let the man alone to do his job, please.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 15, 2006, at the time of 1:48 AM

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Tracked on April 15, 2006 6:03 AM


The following hissed in response by: JGUNS

You have it nailed dafydd. I am SOOOO sick of conservatives getting all frantic over attacks on Bush by obvious democratic demagogues. Why are republicans/conservatives so easily sucked into the latest volley of cheap shots at Bush every single time they are made?

Conservatives as a group know that the media is not on their side and I think that they just don't listen to this stuff anymore. In fact if you ask me, I think conservatives and republicans are digging in deeper and deeper the more this happens. Captain Ed and other pundits are always oh so worried that "if Bush doesn't do something" then everything is lost. Bush does need to do a better job at commmunicating to the masses at times, but as for republicans and conservatives, I think they are angry, angry at the democrats "scandal du jour's" and if anything, they will show up in support in great numbers at the polls. It is not conservatives or republicans that we need to worry about in terms of support. They showed up in 2004 and they will show up in 2006. Stay on point, and don't let ourselves get sucked into a desperate parties politics of LOSING. If we do that, then WE WILL be the losers.

The above hissed in response by: JGUNS [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 8:31 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I stopped watching TV news and I rarely panic. Maybe the Captain needs to do the same thing. These guys live in a small world. Most people know politics when they see it. If conservatives want to do something to help, they could start by backing the president instead of bitching, giving him unsolicited advice and acting like they know better than him who should be running what.

If Bush caves on this, the opposition will just move onto demanding that someone else, like Rove, get the axe.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 12:45 PM

The following hissed in response by: jd watson

If there is anyone who needs replacing, it is Scott McClellan, the White House Press Secretary. The man is way out of his depth.

The above hissed in response by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 12:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Davis

History will record Rummy as the first SecDef to liberate 50 million people, win three wars, and serve two full terms. I doubt he Rummy, Cheney or Rove really worry much about their legacy, let alone what the MSMsays today to boost ratings.

My regret is that Rummy never got to run for President.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Davis [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 12:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: Mr. Michael

I have no problem at all with replacing Sec. Rumsfeld, as long as you do it with somebody who would be BETTER at the job! ...and I don't see any good possibilities being offered up. If this were a campaign to roll out the Red Carpet for the new guy, fine, let's hear from him. Hey, let's hear ABOUT him? I'll settle for name him.


Well, if we are going to try to find somebody who will both help Protect America and satisfy the Moore/Reid/Pelosi Left Democratic Critics then Rummy is safe... no such person CAN exist.

The above hissed in response by: Mr. Michael [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 1:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: justphishing

Firing Rumsfeld would be counter-productive. He is getting things done that are historical. Read the in-depth article on Rumsfeld by Thomas P.M Barnett, written in July 2005. It is very useful in understanding the GENERAL confusion today.

I have a link to the article at my new (first time) BLOG SITE

The above hissed in response by: justphishing [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 2:16 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

If Rumsfeld does go, maybe they could give him McClellan's job. I would love to see one of those Washington Press Corps briefing with Rummy answering the questions.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 2:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: DaveR

Here's the note I just left our wobbly Captain:

Dammit Captain - what gives you the idea that the support of the lefties can (or should) be bought?! Rumsfeld is the best SecDef for these times, period. If we have learned anything in the past few years it has been that compromise with those who are undercutting us is just as stupid as compromising with terrorists - it just sends the message that we can be defeated with enough patience. I am REALLY disappointed in you.

The above hissed in response by: DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 3:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: bpilch

That was not the Captain, an extraterrestial has taken over his blog. Anyone who for the moment thought that Rumsfeld leaving would help us in Congress, would believe all sorts of junk. Leave Iraq and they will be so happy that they will live peacefully together. Stop criticizing Iran and let them have their nuclear electricity and they won't build a bomb. Besides, what about standing up for a guy who has done a good job in a tough situation. A good portion of the brass hated Rumsfeld when he came in btw. He is changing the bureaucracy there.

btw, biglizards is now my favorite blog. The only one that can manage to get it continually right and explain his positions. Thanks

The above hissed in response by: bpilch [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 4:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: richard mcenroe

The fact that McCain and Lieberman are the the kind of names the Rumsfeld hunters are throqing around reveals the bankruptcy of their argument.

Lieberman is an old Senate lag, who has never showed the kind of energy or initiative needed to actually lead a country.

McCain is basically Clinton in a Republican suit, triangulating his positions on every issue... but the apex of his pyramid is not the country's welfare, but John McCain's. Worse, it doesn't work... there is no real world evidence I've seen that McCain's appeal reaches one step beyond the newsrooms.

And neither man has the sort of record for virtue, between McCain shilling for Keating and Lieberman for Arthur Andersen, that makes for peace of mind setting them to oversea Defense procurements.

The above hissed in response by: richard mcenroe [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 8:18 PM

The following hissed in response by: JGUNS

I just want to concur with one of the above posters. I read about 35 blogs on a daily basis and I found this one from a link on one of them a few weeks ago...it has quickly become one of my top 3. GREAT JOB!

The above hissed in response by: JGUNS [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 15, 2006 9:09 PM

The following hissed in response by: RBMN

I also think it would be a big mistake to replace Rummy. With who? Who can pull the MSM knives out of his back any faster than Rummy can? Nobody. Very soon it would be more of the same from the media. Probably much worse, because they've tasted blood.

The above hissed in response by: RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 16, 2006 8:16 AM

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