Rumsfeld’s Not Going Anywhere


Many liberals are calling for Rumsfeld’s head on a platter. While I sympathize with the notion, they are wasting their bandwidth on something that’s not going to happen.

Granted, Rumsfeld richly deserves not only sacking, but prosecution. If the debacle in Iraq isn’t enough, the backsliding into drug-warlordism of Afghanistan due to neglect should be. His utter contempt for the professional military, his reckless disreguard for the safety of soldiers by deploying them without adequate safety equipment and without medical exams, his promotion of deceptive recruiting practices, not to mention his utterly hypocritical policy on torture, all point to malfeasance of office that should be enough to ruin any reputation. And now comes the news that Rumsfeld may have personally supervised torture of a military prisoner at Guantanamo. What does he have to do? Personally murder a child on national television?

Well, yeah. In fact, that is about what he would have to do to be sacked by this Administration.

Recall that if Rummy is sacked, there has to be a new SecDef. This presents two insuperable problems for the Administration. One: they have to find someone stupid enough to want to inherit the cesspool that Rummy and friends have left in Iraq. What qualified person would want the capstone of their career to be entangled with Iraq’s civil war? The likelihood of the Administration finding someone willing to take such a bullet for the team is pretty low. They can’t even find someone to take over for Secretary of Commerce Snow. Probably Cheney would have to take over personally, or they would have to get an unqualified crony to sit in the throne with Cheney’s arm up his backside.

But then there’s problem two: Rummy’s replacement would have to be confirmed by the Senate, and Democrats would turn that into a broader hearing on the utter disaster in Iraq. The Administration absolutely does not want open, televised, and substantive hearings in Congress on the subject of Iraq. No way.

No matter what damage Rummy might be doing to the President’s image, no matter how many Generals breathe fire over his stewardship of the DoD, no matter how much we liberals lambaste him, none of it could possibly be worse for the President, and for the GOP’s majority in Congress, than the threat of those confirmation hearings.

Finally, there is the Eastern Shore Gerald Ford Alumni Association. Cheney and Rummy are as thick as theives. Oh, yeah… right: they are theives. No similes required. Anyhow, they are personal friends, having multi-million dollar homes within a few miles of each other on an exclusive stretch of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. These men are not going to turn on each other after 30+ years of friendship. The only way Rumsfeld goes is if either he or Cheney is in a box or jail cell, or if the kid is no longer in office.

No matter how vulnerable Rumsfeld looks politically, short of death, indictment, or W’s impeachment, he’s not going anywhere.

So save your breath for something that might actually happen, like a Democratic majority in either the House or Senate, or both. It’s the best way to enable America to clean it’s own house in 2007.

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Michael founded BlogForArizona as the Howard Dean campaign blog for Arizona in 2003, and has been blogging ever since. Michael is an attorney living in Tucson with his wife Lauren Murata. In 2008, following some health issues and new time constraints, Michael stepped back from regular blogging and began remaking BlogForArizona into a collaborative project. Michael now contributes occasionally to the blog and provides editorial and publishing direction. Also if you want to keep up with the latest Arizona and National political news that Mike finds important, check out the BlogForArizona twitter feed, which he curates.


  1. Great site. I really enjoyed this entry in particular. It’s just so sad that when you get Generals calling for him to step down, people who really have a knowledge first hand of how he is just running on an ego joyride as they watch the carnage and ramifications of his recklessness, and the administration doesn’t listen – that, to me, says volumes about how lacking the administration is. Of course there are many, many things, but it seems to me that beyond partisanship, when it just comes down to egomaniacal big boys with big toys, it’s just so damn sad.

  2. I generally agree. However, I think by far the biggest reason that Rumsfeld won’t be let go is because if he is, then it is an explicit statement that the Iraq strategy and/or implementation has been flawed.

    And given Bush’s personality and the political capital he’s invested into it, there’s NO way the President is going there.

    Bush has a vested personal interest now in making sure that Rumsfeld is cast in the most positive light, because they’re shackled together in this debacle. Hence, it won’t matter who comes out criticizing Rumsfeld or how badly things get: Bush will always be there to say “Rummy, you’re doing a heckuva job!”