Rob Knight

The Cabinets are bare

November 26, 2004

I don’t mean to editorialize so much, but this has been nagging me.

Since the reelection of the Bush doctrine, many of his cabinet secretaries have departed for the highly desired “time with family” or the more likely “high-paying corporate position.” It is not unusual for a cabinet member to leave after one term. What strikes me about these departures is not how many, but who. Specifically one person.

Rumsfeld.

Can you name a Bush cabinet member who has done a worse job? From institutionalized torture at Abu-Grahib and Guantanomo to insufficient troop numbers and lack of post-war strategy in Iraq, Rumsfeld has been nothing if not incompetent and out of touch with reality. Yet he stays. Why?

Of course there is the usual argument against a changing of the guard during a war. But with this administration, you have to assume arrogance plays a larger role.

If Rumsfeld left, that could be interpreted as an admission of mistakes in the Bush administration during first term concerning its combative foreign policy. Plus, many of us who opposed the war in Iraq might feel vindicated by Rummy’s departure.

Not going to happen. Nope. This administration will never admit that maybe the Iraq debacle was a bad idea. No admission that things were mismanaged or ill-planned. From the first debate between Bush and Kerry, we are all aware that Iraq is-by Bush’s own words-“tough work,” which is, by any account, insulting to anyone above a 2nd grade education in its oversimplification of 1,100 troop deaths and potentially a decades-long military presence.

Rumsfeld will stay because he was pushing for Iraq from day one of the Bush presidency and got his wish. Regardless of how he got the war or ran the war, he gets to stay, and we get to continue to pay for it.

Can’t wait for the sequel.

By the way, Iraq and Rummy go back a long way, into the 80’s when Rummy was telling them not to worry about using chemical weapons on Iran. Declassified government memos are available here.