But as Lance at Americablog says, nothing happens at the White House with Karl Rove's approval. Firing Rumsfeld was Rove's way of knocking the Democrats off the front page. The mainstream media, Rove's other bitch, will now switch from "Americans trust Democrats more" to "Bush charts new course for Iraq".
First off, nothing is done in the Rove-controlled White House except for the most brazen and obvious of political reasons. Rumsfeld resigned today so that his resignation would drive some of the election news off the front pages of the newspapers and so it would be the lead story on the TV news all day.I'm not quite that cynical. Robert Gates is a foreign policy realist who knew from 2002 onward that using military force to bring democracy to an Arab country was a foolish use of American blood and treasure. It's no coincidence that Gates sits on the Baker commission, which is charged with finding an honorable way out of Bush's War. It's Dubya's best fall back position: relying on his dad's pals to get him out of trouble.
Second, I doubt that if the Republicans were sure they would be holding onto the Senate come January, Rumsfeld would have resigned now. But with the real possibility that the Democrats will be running the show come 2008, Rumsfeld had to get out of the way fast so that this Senate, this still Republican-controlled Senate, can gear up to quickly confirm his successor with a minimum of actual advise and consent.
And third, no matter how bad the guy leaving the job was, with the Bush Administration one thing’s certain—his successor will be worse.
By this point, the pool of competent, honest, decent people who are willing to go to work for George Bush must have evaporated to the point where if it’s even a puddle, it’s the kind of puddle you find on the hood of your car in the morning after a heavy dew, the thinnest of watery sheens.
And if there are a handful of competent, decent, honest men and women out there who are foolhardy enough to think that they can go into the White House and save George Bush from himself and Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, you can be sure Dick Cheney and Karl Rove know who they are and have them on a list labeled DO NOT APPOINT!