Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld resignation

A few quick thoughts:

1. What would have happened if Rumsfeld had resigned one week ago? Sure, it would have damaged Bush politically, but Bush was already toxic, and also elected. Arguably, a Rummy resignation would have provided GOP candidates with a helpful talking point to moderates -- "see, we're not staying the course, we're forcing change, etc." -- and might have boosted candidates in certain swing states, such as, oh I don't know, Virginia and Montana.

2. I don't think I've ever changed my feelings about a politician/administration official as much as I have on Rummy. Way back in 2000, I thought he was a remarkably smart, blunt bureaucrat who'd bring much needed change to the military. Afghanistan seemed to confirm that. It was only when I watched the BBC documentary, "Power of Nightmares," and realized that Rumsfeld had been convinced that Russia had secret, hidden nuclear weapons that were going to destroy us that I realized that, no, he's just a paranoid right-wing asshole. My bad.

3. With all that said, you have to admit he gave a great quote. Some highlights:

"We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."

"Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."

"Needless to say, the President is correct. Whatever it was he said."

"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

"Secretary Powell and I agree on every single issue that has ever been before this administration except for those instances where Colin's still learning."

"If I know the answer I'll tell you the answer, and if I don't, I'll just respond, cleverly."


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