Posted by Curt on 8 November, 2006 at 9:22 pm. 5 comments already!

So it appears the bloodbath has begun. Rumsfeld is out:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld stepped down Wednesday, one day after congressional elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican Party losses.

So is Hastert:

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., told fellow Republican lawmakers on Wednesday he does not intend to run for minority leader when Democrats take control of the House in January, officials said.

Hastert conveyed word in a conference call one day after Republicans lost control of the House in midterm elections.

The officials who described Hastert’s plans did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.

His decision to step down cleared the way for a likely succession battle. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader, is expected to run, and Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana and Joe Barton of Texas have also signaled they may make a bid for leadership positions.

Who’s next?

Change is good I suppose but you know what irks me? It’s these kind of comments:

The Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate need to take a good look in the mirror, grow a spine and understand why their base is so upset at them.

So because the base was upset we will NOT see another good conservative judge on SCOTUS for a looooong time. Because the base was upset we will not see ANY kind of illegal immigration enforcement. Because the base is upset will we see drawn out silly investigations of Bush while gridlock becomes commonplace in both houses. Because the base is upset we may very well see us abandoning the Iraqi’s to their fate as we did to the Vietnamese.

What a bunch of idiotic bulls*&t!

Teaching a lesson is not putting the worst of the worst into leadership positions. Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House for gods sake!

Oh well, water under the bridge and all that.

Bush made a very gracious speech this afternoon in which he congratulated the victors. The Democrats could learn a lesson or two from him and the other Republican’s who lost about losing graciously. You don’t stomp your feet while screaming “cheating!”. You don’t ask for recount after recount. You take your lumps and move on.

I know they will never learn this lesson but the least we can do is point it out.

Here is Bush this afternoon:

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. I say, why all the glum faces?

Yesterday, the people went to the polls and they cast their vote for a new direction in the House of Representatives. And while the ballots are still being counted in the Senate, it is clear the Democrat Party had a good night last night, and I congratulate them on their victories.

President George W. Bush walks through Cross Hall en route to the East Room of the White House Wednesday, Nov.8, 2006, from where he spoke to the nation regarding Tuesday’s election. White House photo by Paul Morse This morning I spoke with Republican and Democrat leadership in the House and Senate. I spoke with Republican leaders, Senator Frist and Senator McConnell and Speaker Hastert, and John Boehner and Roy Blunt. I thanked them for their hard-fought contests. I appreciate the efforts they put in for our candidates.

I’m obviously disappointed with the outcome of the election, and as the head of the Republican Party, I share a large part of the responsibility. I told my party’s leaders that it is now our duty to put the elections behind us and work together with the Democrats and independents on the great issues facing this country.

This morning I also spoke with the Democrats. I spoke with Senators Reid and Durbin. I congratulated them on running a strong campaign in the Senate, and I told them that, regardless of the final outcome, we can work together over the next two years. I also congratulated Congresswoman Pelosi and Congressman Hoyer. They ran a disciplined campaign. Their candidates were well-organized and did a superb job of turning out their votes.

I told Congresswoman Pelosi that I look forward to working with her and her colleagues to find common ground in the next two years. As the majority party in the House of Representatives, they recognize that in their new role they now have greater responsibilities. And in my first act of bipartisan outreach since the election, I shared with her the names of some Republican interior decorators who can help her pick out the new drapes in her new offices. (Laughter.)

That’s the way you do it folks.

As for Rumsfeld many on the right are saying:

“WHY IN GOD’S NAME DIDN’T YOU DO IT BEFORE THE ELECTION!”

But don’t count me in this group. For those of you who believe that Rumsfeld being canned earlier would have changed the whole election I have three words for you…..get a grip!

Come on, you have seen the polls, while Iraq played a part in it, it most definately was not all of it. The base was upset (as you so obviously know from my rant up above) over many issues and then we have the uber left and their crimey’s, the MSM. Rumsfeld being gone would not have changed anything so get a friggin grip.

Oh, btw, it appears Cheney may have played a part in Bush keeping him a bit longer also:

[A] source told NBC News’ military analyst Bill Arkin that prior to the election, Vice President Dick Cheney argued with other politicians over whether Rumsfeld should stay. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and others said Rumsfeld should be removed, the source said. Both sides agreed the decision would be made after the election, when Bush would make the final call based on how Republicans did.

According to the source, Bush agreed Rumsfeld should be removed after seeing election results favoring Democrats. Cheney then lost another argument, protesting Gates’ nomination as Rumsfeld’s replacement.

Either way, I do not think that Rumsfeld being removed would have changed the outcome of this election. So the anger is misguided. If indeed it was the base who sent the Republicans packing then we know it wasn’t Rumsfeld. It was a host of other issues but he was not that huge of one to the base.

As far as Rumsfeld himself, I am not of the opinion that he was a loser. Under his leadership we took out the Taliban and Iraq. Could things have been done differently? Yes. Were their mistakes made? Yes. But this is the case of every war, and will be the case of every future war.

What we have accomplished in Iraq is nothing short of incredible and don’t let the media spin it otherwise. We have deposed a genocidal murderer who was a clear and dangerous threat to the United States, we ensured that there was NO chance of that country using WMD’s on anyone, brought freedom for 27 million people who have never lived under it before, brought 3 free elections which put in place a freely elected Government, killed MANY terrorists, both low and high level, and will now see Saddam hang. Democracy, albeit a slow evolving one (tell me one that did not evolve slowly), is now in place. Smack dab in the center of a area of this planet who is quite hostile to the west.

All this with fewer then 3,000 casualities. Think about that. While every death is sad the amount we have accomplished in comparison to the amount of casualities is incredible.

And this was done under the stewardship of Rumsfeld.

But someone had to fall on the sword I suppose.

And now we get this man:

On at least one Persian Gulf issue, Gates has been associated with a different approach than the one now being pursued. In the summer of 2004, Gates and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski co-chaired a task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations that argued for opening a dialogue with Iran. The task force’s report contended that the lack of American engagement with Iran had harmed American interests, and advocated direct talks with the Iranians. “Just as the United States has a constructive relationship with China (and earlier did so with the Soviet Union) while strongly opposing certain aspects of its internal and international policies, Washington should approach Iran with a readiness to explore areas of common interests while continuing to contest objectionable policy,” said the report, entitled “Iran: Time for a New Approach.”

Robert Gates said these words….read them and weep:

… An unacknowledged and unpleasant reality is that a more militant approach toward terrorism would, in virtually all cases, require us to act violently and alone. No other power will join us in a crusade against terrorism — in fact, some ”friendly” governments protect their countries against terrorism by cutting deals with the groups, allowing them operational freedom. No political or economic sanctions would work. Only violence. Only alone. And only if we can figure out how and against whom to retaliate. A third reality is that retributive violence, no matter how massive, almost inevitably begets more violence against us in response. … We will never prevent all — or even most — such acts. In the world of real choices, we can protect ourselves better. We can bring some terrorists to justice. But, above all, we can pursue policies and strategies that in the long term weaken terrorism’s roots.

This is the man that will now win in Iraq? It appears the left is getting what they hoped for…..

But in the end I have confidence Bush will not allow our country to cut and run, that’s the only thing keeping me going right now. I take heart in this news from Austin Bay Blog:

One of the very smart young officers I know suggests the resignation is political prep for prosecuting the war even more vociferously. I think he’s on to something.

We shall see.

UPDATE

Ann Coulter at her best:

History was made this week! For the first time in four election cycles, Democrats are not attacking the Diebold Corp. the day after the election, accusing it of rigging its voting machines. I guess Diebold has finally been vindicated.

So the left won the House and also Nicaragua. They’ve had a good week. At least they don’t have their finger on the atom bomb yet.

Democrats support surrender in Iraq, higher taxes and the impeachment of President Bush. They just won an election by pretending to be against all three.

Jon Tester, Bob Casey Jr., Heath Shuler, possibly Jim Webb — I’ve never seen so much raw testosterone in my life. The smell of sweaty jockstraps from the “new Democrats” is overwhelming.

Having predicted this paltry Democrat win, my next prediction is how long it will take all these new “gun totin’ Democrats” to be fitted for leotards.

Hell, they had the leotards ready for them as they exited stage left. Just in time for their meeting with KOS.

More:

In fact, if the Democrats’ pathetic gains in a sixth-year election are a statement about the war in Iraq, Americans must love the war! As Roll Call put it back when Clinton was president: “Simply put, the party controlling the White House nearly always loses House seats in midterm elections” — especially in the sixth year.

In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s sixth year in 1938, Democrats lost 71 seats in the House and six in the Senate.

In Dwight Eisenhower’s sixth year in 1958, Republicans lost 47 House seats, 13 in the Senate.

In John F. Kennedy/Lyndon Johnson’s sixth year, Democrats lost 47 seats in the House and three in the Senate.

In Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford’s sixth year in office in 1974, Republicans lost 43 House seats and three Senate seats.

Even America’s greatest president, Ronald Reagan, lost five House seats and eight Senate seats in his sixth year in office.

But in the middle of what the media tell us is a massively unpopular war, the Democrats picked up about 30 House seats and five to six Senate seats in a sixth-year election, with lots of seats still too close to call. Only for half-brights with absolutely no concept of yesterday is this a “tsunami” — as MSNBC calls it — rather than the death throes of a dying party.

Get outta here! The left and the MSM having no concept of history? No way.

Sigh.

UPDATE II 2340hrs PST

Tune in and listen to our new Speaker tell us how to win in Iraq….basically comes down to we don’t:

UPDATE III 11/09/06 0800hrs PST

In From The Cold, a former spook, agree’s with me:

Don Rumsfeld has been a loyal administration soldier for almost six years, trying to manage the War on Terror and the transformation of the U.S. military, Herculean tasks that would be difficult under any circumstances. Attempting to both–simultaneously–is unprecedented in our military history.

And I cannot over-emphasize the difficulty of those tasks. Clearly, there are problems in Iraq, and those difficulties ultimately led to Mr. Rumsfeld’s departure. But there have also been successes in the War on Terror, namely the liberation of more than 50 million people in Iraq and Afghanistan, and untold victories that we may never know of. Such victories are accomplished by a special forces team that takes out a high-value target in the back alleys of Baghdad, or an NSA analyst who identifies–and prevents–a money transfer to an Al Qaida cell preparing an attack in the Middle East, or here in our homeland. Prevailing in these small and seemingly unrelated events is how the War on Terror will eventually be won, and Mr. Rumsfeld deserves some of the credit for those successes. Marshaling our forces to fight this war was an exceptionally difficult job, and Rumsfeld should be commended for re-orienting our military to fight a long war against Islamofacism.

In summarizing Rumsfeld’s performance, it’s also worth remembering that Defense Secretaries fight wars with military forces that are largely shaped, trained and equipped by the predecessors. Today, we have an Army with only 37 active duty combat brigades, a result of cutbacks endorsed by Bill Cohen, William Perry, Les Aspin and even Dick Cheney. Ditto for the military brass that warned we would need 350,000 troops to secure Iraq. They offered those warnings with the full knowledge that troop cuts they had previously supported–or failed to prevent–would make such force levels an impossibility. Yet, critics who assailed Rumsfeld for “insufficient” force levels in Iraq conveniently ignore the fact that our current combat structure was heavily influenced by decisions made a decade ago–or longer.

It’s just plain wrong that Rumsfeld was thrown to the wolves when clearly he accomplished so much given what little he had.

Other’s Blogging:


What we have accomplished in Iraq is nothing short of incredible and don’t let the media spin it otherwise. We have deposed a genocidal murderer who was a clear and dangerous threat to the United States, we ensured that there was NO chance of that country using WMD’s on anyone, brought freedom for 27 million people who have never lived under it before, brought 3 free elections which put in place a freely elected Government, killed MANY terrorists, both low and high level, and will now see Saddam hang. Democracy, albeit a slow evolving one (tell me one that did not evolve slowly), is now in place. Smack dab in the center of a area of this planet who is quite hostile to the west.

>