Monday, June 07, 2004

Will Rumsfeld soon go?

According to Newsday, Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has issued a statement which appears to suggest he is voicing an opinion independent of the WH. Rumsfeld's quote, offered with no context, asserts that "It's quite clear to me that we do not have a coherent approach to this." Could Rummy follow the pattern of past WH "mavericks?" In answer to blog commentator XOVER's solid post about Rumsfeld's comments, and whether the statements would be overlooked by liberals, I posted the following:

I believe that liberals, practicing self-censorship like journalists, failed to capitalize on the departure of Paul O'Neill, who was well-respected in Washington. O'Neill, a capitalist and corporate maven by any definition, should have been heavily on the side of the White House, at least by right-wing theory.

However, his disagreements on the various tax plans should have triggered an immediate response by the Dems, calling the WH for losing the support of an expert capitalist, one which had been so heavily supported, til that point, by the conservatives.

I believe this time, though, the Dems are marginally more organized and significantly more motivated to handle political situations. After Richard Clarke's assertions, the Dem's screamed for investigations. Dem's have correctly supported the Families of 9-11, though the eventual findings of the Commission are still in doubt. With the decidedly outrageous, and liberally spectacular, speeches of Dean, Pelosi, Kennedy, and now Gore, there is more optimism about the Dem's political chances following an extremely difficult 10-year period.

Will the Dem's use Rummy's "maverick" statements? I guess what happens over the next month or so will dictate. If they challenge them early, it may provide useful leverage for ousting Rumsfeld, but it may play against the Dems by allowing an easy target to escape the campaign trail in favor of someone who is likely less open to attack.

If Rummy makes it through the Republican convention, and the situation still holds similar to current conditions, I would expect Rumsfeld's statements, along with those of O'Neill, Clarke, and even Perle, to play heavily in making the case for inept, incompetent leadership.

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