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I read over at kos that Gates is a good friend of Jim Baker's. Sounds to me like the grownups are coming in to clean up the mess.

I mean, I know Baker and the other consigliari for poppy are the most corrupt, soulless bastards on the planet, but maybe they'll be at least competent.

I'm not expecting the moon.

blue girl

I agree merciless. That's what I've been thinking.

I mean, I know Baker and the other consigliari for poppy are the most corrupt, soulless bastards on the planet, but maybe they'll be at least competent.

Or at least just a tad more competent than the guys now. We can't expect miracles thinking out and out, complete competency though.

Tom W.

Hey Lance, who called it - huh,huh - 11:37 last night - you were huddling with Spitzer's "people" I think....


Lance, I was thinking the same. I was following things online and read that Rumsfield was resigning about the moment it hit the news and I thought, "Hmmm, gee, what's coming now."


I love the fact that a couple of days ago Bush said Rumsfeld would be around for a couple of years. As they pointed out, a couple of days ago, Bush was interviewing Gates. Yet another lie. I know, I know, it was for our own good...

blue girl

Geez, Watson! You are cracking me up with this 11:37pm thing all over the Internets.


Ok. Ok. You did a fantastic job in your 11:37pm live blogging entry. Ok? Ok?


Tom W.

The series of tubes was blocked up for a while....then we unstuck it and I made my bold and famed 11:37 prediction, to which Chervokas said, and I quote, "nah."


Hmmmm. I seem to recall the 11:37 prediction being attributed to a blogger at the CNN blog party, not to anyone in NY.


It just speaks to the president's complete detachment from reality - no, detachment indicates some sort of distant observation - complete indifference to reality that, with his entire party clamoring for some show of reason in the interim between Foley and the election, Bush opted to shove Rumsfeld in the electoral face, trashing his party's chances at hanging on to power.

And he was interviewing the guy's replacement all along.

It worked out well for reasonable people everywhere, of course, but you know the party powerful (or once-powerful, or wish-they-were-powerful) are even now huddling over their sputtering gas lamps and wondering how to name this overwhelming feeling they've never before experienced.

It's called betrayal. And it's what the American people have been feeling for a long time now.


Yeah, kiosan, the whole thing smells to high heaven, but it's interesting...there've been lots of rumors that Rumsfeld would resign, and lots also that his replacement would be Lieberman (especially if the Senate was close, that way the republican governor of CT could name an R senator to take his place, etc.).

Also interesting that Bush has made it very, very clear that he has absolutely no plans to implement any other course than the one he himself chooses, and the Congress can go sit and spin. Atrios and others have warned that Baker's commission would go nowhere, that it would be a miracle of courtesy if Bush even held a meeting with them.

But this new guy is a Baker man. Bush can hide behind Cheney for a while, but I think they're coming to get him. He no longer has any cover in congress (all this talk about Dems moving right is poppycock; if anything, the Rs will move left).

Maybe Gilliard is right, and Bush won't last through 2007.

blue girl

Bush can hide behind Cheney for a while, but I think they're coming to get him.

I think so too!


There's still a lot about Iran-Contra that has never come out, I think, and Gates was right on the edges (see Wikipedia entry). Remember Poppy himself claimed he was "not in the loop" about that whole affair. (Where IS Richard Secord these days?)

OTOH, he's at least an adult (which I also said about Cheney and Powell after Bush 2000, to my everlasting shame).


Susie just posted this.

Curiouser and curiouser...Cheney apparently wanted Rummy to stay, and he was dee-nied.


Arrrrgh! It didn't link

(hangs head in shame)

Well, y'all know where to find it...

Tom W.

The poseurs at the CNN party - yeah right.

Wil Robinson

Example of the successor being worse - throwing out Powell and replacing him with Rice.


Alterman has a good reminder of Iran-Contra and the CIA's role therein.


I'm not sure about the Republicans moving significantly left en masse, not the crop reelected last night, anyway. Moderate Republicans like Chafee, who could be counted upon to vote with Dems on many social issues, and maybe provide a little cover for those who had to play more right while admiring the center, were ushered out along with the obviously corrupt and the extremists who made Pat Buchanan look cuddly - the wheat with the chaff, baby with the bathwater, etc. The GOP may, and should, move left enough to resemble the small-government party they were before being hijacked by religious ideologues, but I can't see them offering up a wholesale adoption of centrism. Not within the next year, anyway.

And Dems have already moved slightly right. Shuler in NC, Clinton in NY, Marshall in GA, Jim Webb in VA, Harold Ford in TN (who, although he lost, put a previously unwinnable race in play), Evan Bayh in IN. I know the DLC is a bad word in certain circles, but it is a political reality.

As for Bush, much as it galls me to say it, I don't want him booted from office prematurely. Right now, that would mean putting Cheney in charge. And sure, Cheney could resign, but I'll guarantee you then - to borrow a phrase - his brother will be worse.

Better, IMO, to hamstring the administration with competent babysitters n a mission from dad and a Congress enforcing vigilant oversight and blocking the more heinous flights of Bush fancy. Though I'm not sure how competent Gates will prove, at least he may listen to people with sense. We knew Rumsfeld never would.

Now, if Cheney were to resign and Bush were to be removed from office before replacing him - then we'd have a President Pelosi. That would be interesting. Incredibly farfetched, but interesting.


It's not hard to imagine how it went down:

Dick, can you get me off the hook--for old time's sake?

Can't do it, Donny.

[Nods to buttonmen.]

Except, somehow, I bet it was even more chilling. Though of course Rumsfeld gets to walk away from his one-way ride. All that's left, I suppose, is the inevitable final act in his awful career: a full pardon in December, 2008.

Kevin Hayden

Perfect story to drive home the point. Actually, because of the military rags calling for his head, I fully expected Rummy was gone, post-election, no matter who won.

The only surprise was that they did it so soon. But yeah, you're right, it was done to hog the newsprint and to look like a pleasant peace offering before they slam everyone left of Hitler as terror-loving liberals who practice partisan politics.

Nice to win a battle. Someday, a conclusion of the internal war will be nicer.


Good post Lance. You covered some of the same thoughts I had been having. Bush lied in the press conference, he knew Rummy was going if the Dems won and he knew Gates would be the nominee.

Just like you said, Bush did it to spin the media story and because he needs to make the change before the Dems come in in January. Gates has alot of baggage, not just with Iran Contra, but also the original October surprise, supplying weapons to Iraq and Iran, and another biggie, he helped start the ball rolling with the politicization of the CIA so that they gave the info the executive wanted and not the unbiased analysis. That has been a truly disasterous trend in our time, directly responsible for the invasion in Iraq.

I hope the Dems show some backbone and grill this guy in the confirmation hearings but past experience suggests otherwise.

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