Meanest man in County Cork dies and the kind-hearted pastor of his church, preparing to say the funeral mass, can't think of single nice thing to say about the bastard in his eulogy.
So he asks around town, looking for anyone who has one good word for the deceased to say at the mass, and finds no takers. He gets the idea to call over to the church in the village where the old man was born, figuring that there might be someone there who remembers him from when he was a boy and who might then have at least one fond memory to impart. The priest over there is a very old man himself, and he grew up with the dear departed and offers to come to the funeral and say the nicest thing he can think of.
Day of the funeral comes, the old priest arrives, it's time for him to give the eulogy. He totters up to the pulpit, looks out at the very few people who've bothered to show up, and says the one nice thing there is to say about the dead old man:
"His brother was worse."
Now...about Donald Rumsfeld.
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.
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 in 2007, 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!
Sure enough...ladies and gentleman, I give you Robert Gates.
His brother was worse.
Thanks, again, to Susie.
Cross-posted at the American Street.