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November 8, 2006

Rumsfeld Resigns!
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:24 PM * 56 comments

The first good effect from hitting the Republicans upside the head with a baseball bat came in less than 24 hours. Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down. Worst SecDef since Robert McNamara — possibly worst ever.

Rumsfeld has long been an interest of ours. Take a walk down Electrolite and Making Light memory lane:

Electrolite:

Making Light:

And much more besides.

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld. We’ll see how that goes, and how long he lasts.

Comments on Rumsfeld Resigns!:
#1 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:27 PM:

Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.

Oh, fuck.

Can we have Rummy back? He's only stupid and evil.

#2 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:28 PM:

Schadenfreude Pie, all around.

#4 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:35 PM:

If today's next announcement is that Bill O'Really publicly called Dubya a big moron, I'll know for sure that I've stepped into the Twilight Zone.

#5 ::: Stephen G ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:48 PM:

Listening to Bush tie himself up in knots about Rumsfeld (he hadn't talked to Rumsfeld or Gates ahead of time -- no, wait, he had; he hadn't decided before the election to replace Rumsfeld -- whoops, where he said that he hadn't he meant that he had) was both entertaining and frightening. Not that I could hear him all that well over the sound of dominoes falling.

#6 ::: Adam Lipkin ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:49 PM:

The Bush Administration: Mastering the art of closing the barn door after the horses have run away.

#7 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:53 PM:

I want to know if Rummy went voluntarily or not. I wouldn't be surprised if he had decided to leave, rather than get kicked out or worse. On the other hand...the weird contortions Bush is in over the announcement of Gates makes Rummy's departure look involuntary.

(This feels almost like Christmas though.)

#8 ::: Jon Meltzer ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:54 PM:

Bush will be out within three months; he doesn't have the character, let alone the intelligence, to face a Democratic Congress. It will be resignation (Poppy is trying to arrange that) to avoid a 25th Amendment removal.

#9 ::: BSD ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 01:55 PM:

A cold warrior who failed to adapt to the post-soviet world? He'll get along great with Dr. Rice.

#10 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:02 PM:

the article being referred to in the "try to imagine" thread, has disappeared, everywhere, and completely.

Every link that I've followed goes to a 404 error.

There is no record of any article that quotes Rumsfeld that I could find.

Apparently, the ministry of truth has been revising history the last few years...

#11 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:04 PM:

Either that, Greg, or George Orr is having a good dream.

#12 ::: Laurence ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:05 PM:

OMG! This is so great.

#13 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:05 PM:

I take my dog for a walk and Rumsfeld resigns. All right!!!

Gates is Poppa Bush's man on the spot, gotta be. The Texas mafia is going to do their best to bail Junior out yet again.

Look on the bright side -- he didn't name Lieberman as the new SecDef.

#14 ::: JC ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:05 PM:

#8: Jon Meltzer:Bush will be out within three months;

Hmm... President Cheney? I don't know if that's actually good news. Can we get rid of both them at once and have President Pelosi instead?

#15 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:06 PM:

Jon, it takes 67 senators to remove a president from office; I don't think we've got 'em.

And what do you mean by "a 25th Amendment removal"? Doesn't the 25th just specify succession?

#16 ::: Stephanie Leary ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:07 PM:

Wow, didn't expect Rummy's resignation to hit quite this close to home.

Texas Monthly just did a feature on Gates for this month's issue, for anyone who's curious about what he's been up to since leaving the CIA.

#17 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:10 PM:

Greg, the "Try to image" thread doesn't refer to an article, it refers to a letter written by a reader of the Washington Post. It'd be nice if the Post had public archives of the letters they've published, but it's hardly a big deal that they don't.

#18 ::: Stephen G ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:10 PM:

Lizzy L, do us a favor and take your dog for another walk. Clearly it's a causative factor in bad people resigning.

#19 ::: Suzanne M ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:13 PM:

This is a hell of a birthday present for me.

#21 ::: aphrael ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:21 PM:

Hallelujah.

#22 ::: Margaret Organ-Kean ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:24 PM:

Re 10

I think that was a letter, not an article. If you google the entire string, it shows up in two other places than Electrolite.

But if you google just Rummy's remark - it's repeated a lot.

#23 ::: Eve ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:25 PM:

I have to say, the Victory Cakes look quite a bit tastier than the Victory Gin.

#24 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 02:42 PM:

The "try to imagine" thread talks about a Jan. 8th news story.

the original story is linked to
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25077-2003Jan7.html.

Someone said they looked for a transcript of the conference and found them at http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Jan2003/t01072003_t0107sd.html


Oh, wait, atrios has a copy of the transcription here http://atrios.blogspot.com/2003_01_05_atrios_archive.html#90153423

The washington post and dod links are dead, though.

#25 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:09 PM:

I replied but message got queued for approval. Basically two links broke, including a washington post link and a DOD link. A link to a copy by Atrios still works.

#26 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:13 PM:

Holy cow. And the sun is shining, too. (At least in San Francisco.)

Though last week, when Bush made his "Rumsfeld is doing a heckuva job" statement, someone in my household muttered, "How long you think he's got?"

#27 ::: Alex R ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:19 PM:

Firing Rummy now makes it clear what the Bush administration does and does not consider failure:

Thousands of lives lost in a screwed-up, unnecessary war -- not failure

Losing an election -- failure

#28 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:22 PM:

"Making George Bush look bad" is the mortal sin.

John Meltzer, where did you get that story? Say on.

#29 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:30 PM:

Here's something to think about; if Bush had accepted Rumsfeld's resignation in October (surprise!) would the Democrats have done as well as they did yesterday? I bet not. Stubborn George might have done us a big favor.

#30 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 03:35 PM:

I feel like dancing or singing. It's overwhelming to hear so much good news in such a short period. I keep waiting for someone to announce that sorry, they made a mistake: the Democrats lost and Rumsfeld is personally flying a B-52 into Iran to drop nuclear bunker busters on their secret underground labs. Six years of bad news has conditioned me to expect the worst.

Suzanne M, I envy you. My birthday is tomorrow. Although it would be nice, I don't think any evil men will resign for me.

But, here's hoping. *fingers crossed*

(Looking back on what I just wrote, I have the image in my head of Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Doctor Strangelove. Now, who could I put in his place?)

#31 ::: Sandy B. ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 04:39 PM:

I will always remember Rumsfeld like this:

http://www.poe-news.com/features.php?feat=31845

Bush is no more capable of resigning than a rat is of throwing up.

#32 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 04:42 PM:

What a difference a week makes!

02NOV06:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain in his administration until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-criticized members of his team.

08NOV06:

Bush said while Rumsfeld's resignation had been in the works for a period of time, he held off any announcement until Wednesday because he "didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days" of the election campaign.

Does he think we're stupid? The "period of time" started when the results started coming in last night, particularly how the vote was going in towns that held military bases.

#33 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 04:47 PM:

>Does he think we're stupid?

I go back to the scene in Homicide: Life on the Street where they are interviewing a smart-ass suspect who is making one outrageous, inconsistent alibi after another. "If you're going to lie to me kid," says a detective, "lie with respect."

#34 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 05:07 PM:

Rats can't throw up? I didn't know that...

#35 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 05:14 PM:

The WashPost used to put letters to the editors online, but don't now. This is annoying because I had one published Saturday and it was about SF.

#36 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 06:34 PM:

Lizzy L It's a trait of rodents. There used to be a rodenticide which was, at heart, an emetic.

Somehow, because they can't vomit, it killed them (I'm guessing it has a mild toxicity, and that the small size of the rodents made it lethal).

The nice effect was that, should a child find it, and eat it, they just puked. A bit of negative reinforcement, and no harm done.

TK

#37 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 06:59 PM:

Rummy, clearly, is the appointed sacrifice. The Bushies will now be saying that the Mess o' Potamia is entirely his fault -- and also saying that he did the honourable thing by falling on his sword.

#38 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:02 PM:

In #25,Madeleine Robins writes:

Holy cow. And the sun is shining, too. (At least in San Francisco.)

Also in Illinois.

And there was a transit of Mercury today.

At lunch I went down to the Scitech museum in downtown Aurora. They have a solar telescope on the roof.

Mercury was hitting the disk just as I arrived. The Sun was about three feet across on the projection table. Mercury was the size of a small pea. It was upstaged by a nearby sunspot, but that just added to the fun.

#39 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:04 PM:

Avram #15: The 25th Amendment provides for the removal from office of the president by a vote of the cabinet:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.


Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

#40 ::: Steve L ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 07:56 PM:

Re: 26
It's not a reaction to the election. They had to delay the announcement until after the election. Conservatism is all about the lack of change, a steady-as-she-goes ship of state. If Rumsfeld had left before the election it sends all the wrong signals: uncertainty, an admission that things are not going well, and all of Bush's previous expressions of confidence in Rummy turn out to be less than the truth.

Now they get to pretend that they are listening to the will of the American public, making a change, setting a new course, blah blah. Everything that was wrong until now was Rummy's fault, of course, and they can pretend things will go better from here. And since he'll be out of office, no-one will bother to investigate him or try to hold him accountable for things that went wrong.

#41 ::: NelC ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:12 PM:

No-one will bother to investigate him? But he's outside now. Doesn't that make him vulnerable?

#42 ::: albatross ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 10:47 PM:

Yeah, I think the Bush administration correctly decided that throwing him overboard a week or two before the election would do them more harm than good. In general, these guys are really clever about politics and elections, if not about anything else related to governing.

So, when's Rummy's flight to the Hague?

#43 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: November 08, 2006, 11:49 PM:

ROTFLMAOMSOMN:

http://www.thismodernworld.com/3315

#44 ::: "Charles Dodgson" ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:26 AM:

Steve@26 --- Dubya in his press conference today actually acknowledged that this was all in the works before the election, and that he knew his line about Rumsfeld staying till the end of his term was false when he said it. They're not trying to sell it as a reaction to the election. (He also seemed real ticked at Rove --- I get the feeling that over the last few weeks, he really has stopped listening to everyone except Laura and Barney).

And to the earlier commenter who suggested that more media oddities might make it seem like we'd stepped into the twilight zone --- ummm, I'm not sure when exactly that happened, but it has to have been sometime before Powell peddled his packet of lies to the Security Council, and no one (aside from Hans Blix) publicly called him on it...

#45 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 02:31 AM:

Stefan @42, OMG! That's, that's...wow.

#46 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 07:33 AM:

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

#47 ::: S. W, Vaughn ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 11:59 AM:

hitting the Republicans upside the head with a baseball bat

Best damned analogy I've seen of this election. Can I borrow your bat? Got a few spare dings around here. :-)

#48 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:30 PM:

#43:

...I get the feeling that over the last few weeks, he really has stopped listening to everyone except Laura and Barney.

Would that be Barney the Dinosaur?

#49 ::: Serge ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:34 PM:

Barney Fife? Barney Rubbles?

#50 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 12:50 PM:

I'd bet cash money that if the Repubs had won on Tuesday that Rumsfeld would still have a job today.

#51 ::: Tracie ::: (view all by) ::: November 09, 2006, 01:44 PM:

Actually, Jim, I'd bet against you (but not a whole lot of money). I think either way it went, he'd still be out. A republican triumph and he have gone out "on top" -- see, we won, we didn't fire him really.

#52 ::: Faren Miller ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 10:28 AM:

There's an article about this in today's NY Times.

#53 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 11:39 AM:

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

Hey, now!

#54 ::: RuTemple ::: (view all by) ::: November 10, 2006, 11:39 PM:

Well, well!

If the U.S. won't deal, the world apparently will:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1557842,00.html

Rumsfeld may yet have to face up to taking responsibility for his recent work.

#55 ::: Aconite ::: (view all by) ::: November 11, 2006, 11:56 PM:

Oh, RuTemple, thank you for that link. I'll give up my hopes for a pony in return for this.

Particularly sweet snippits:
Lawyers for the plaintiffs say that one of the witnesses who will testify on their behalf is former Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the one-time commander of all U.S. military prisons in Iraq.

Rumsfeld's resignation, they say, means that the former Defense Secretary will lose the legal immunity usually accorded high government officials

I'm heartened by the names on the list of the accused. And I'm glad that somebody somewhere is willing to stand up and say, "If you will not deal with this yourselves, we will"--although I would, of course, prefer that my own country pull its head out of its rump and clean up its own act.

#56 ::: Juliet E McKenna ::: (view all by) ::: November 12, 2006, 12:59 PM:

Coming late to this party, I know, but I can't resist sharing this snippet picked up from a very interesting article in The Guardian on Friday last.

"He's a ruthless little bastard, you can be sure of that," President Nixon had said of Rumsfeld, a remark captured in 1971 on the White House's hidden taping system.
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