Monday, September 04, 2006

Resign, Rumsfeld, Resign

So advises New Jersey's Republican senatorial candidate Thomas Kean Jr., according to The Moderate Voice's Joe Gandelman (linking to a prominent NYT piece).

I can say without much exaggeration that I despise Donald Rumsfeld and would be happy to see him go -- it may indeed be this year's October surprise. But what would his resignation accomplish? Would it not send the message that he, and essentially no one else in the Bush Administration, was to blame for Iraq? Would he not be scapegoated both by proponents and opponents of the war? Would it not be a great public relations event for Bush himself, who could be made to look authoritative and in control, not to mention for the militarist neocons who were behind the war far more than Rumsfeld ever was and who continue to argue that all would be wonderful if only the civilian leadership, particularly at the Pentagon, had managed the whole thing better?

On this, I'm with Yglesias: "The issue... is Bush, not Rumsfeld. It's not as if Rumsfeld just did some one dumb thing two weeks ago and Bush has the chance to wash his hands of it. The problem with Rumsfeld just is the problem with the Bush administration's national security policy. Pretending that there's some 'Rumsfeld issue' that could be resolved with a resignation at which point everything will be back on track is absurd."

It is absurd. But that's precisely how a Rumsfeld resignation could be spun. We all should know by now that Bush will never take responsibility for the disaster that has become his misadventure in Iraq.

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