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Is Bush testing the waters?

With the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld and the instant nomination of Robert Gates, I think I see a little hint of Bush's political strategy for dealing with the newly-Democratic congress.

The Secretary of Defense, like most of the president's top advisors, needs the approval of the Senate to take office. It's part of the Constitution, the "advise and consent" role of Congress in checking the power of the Executive. Gates will have to win the votes of a majority of the Senate before taking office.

Perhaps one of the ideas of losing Rumsfeld so quickly after the election was to not only take away one of the Democrats' talking points, but to see how the Democratic Senate leadership will handle their first real political encounter with the White House.

All the sources I saw said that Rumsfeld's resignation didn't have a specific date attached. My hunch is that he will stick around until his relief is confirmed -- that's been the tradition for a lot of other resignations.

So the Democrats will be presented with a Hobson's Choice: either quickly confirm Gates and get rid of one of their bugbears, Donald Rumsfeld, once and for all, while showing that they can work with Bush, or stonewall the confirmation, keep Rumsfeld in office, and set a tone of confrontation and partisanship for the next two years.

Like I said yesterday -- say what you want, the next two years will NOT be dull.


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Comments (13)

Thankfully, it now also loo... (Below threshold)

Thankfully, it now also looks like the Reps will be spared from giving the Dems another "power sharing" agreement....
"When will they ever learn..."

The reason Bush waited till... (Below threshold)

The reason Bush waited till after the election to get rid of Rummy is another in the endless line of witless decisions made by him.

If he had fired Rumsfeld a week earlier it would have partially convinced and fired up some of those repubs that were disgusted by his incompetence and crossed to the dark side to vote for democrats.

I think all people wanted was a glimmer of hope that he wasn't as delusional on Iraq as he appeared.

Over on my blog, I commente... (Below threshold)

Over on my blog, I commented that the Dems are now in the position of being barking dogs that are used to chasing a car - and now they've caught one. One of my readers chimed in with HIS experience with a Mazda 323 and a golden retriever that loved chasing cars. No harm done to car or dog - but that dog got it's pride pruned a bit.

It WILL be interesting to see what the Dems do in the next two years. The survival of their party depends on them producing results - not simply blathering platitudes and slinging blame.

drlava (and, by extension, ... (Below threshold)

drlava (and, by extension, the rest of the trolls):

It's Thursday. The election is over. Your guys won. Congratulations. now it's time to MoveOn and look to the future, not keep fighting over the past.

There's an old piece of advice I'd like to offer: once you've won the argument, stop arguing. You can't win any more than you've already won. More likely, you'll just make the side you beat all the more determined to win the next time.


perhaps the quick timing of... (Below threshold)

perhaps the quick timing of Rumsfeld's resignation is because Bush had it in the works and was waiting until after the election... but NOT, as you suggest to frame the relationship with Congress, but because he didn't want Rumsfeld's resignation to affect the outcome... the outcome in which the Democrats take control of the House, thereby ensuring passage of his 'let's not call it amnesty' immigration package?

More here

JLawson, You misunderestima... (Below threshold)

JLawson, You misunderestimate the power of the MSM. Even if the Dems do nothing, they will simply blame it on Bush being an obstructionist. It's a Win-Win for them I'm afraid. We had 6 years to reform spending, yada-yada, but squandered it trying to please everyone, pleasing nobody,now it's their turn...

Pardon for being off topic ... (Below threshold)

Pardon for being off topic (but this came to me just this morning).

Although Romney's, okay, I cannot say I'm excited about him.

Instead of Mike Pence as leader of Republicans in the House, how about we support him for the Presidential nomination for 08'? Now THAT'S something to get excited about. If you agree, please consider starting a new thread with the idea.

Reports from insiders say t... (Below threshold)

Reports from insiders say that Rumsfeld wanted to resign for over a year but was waiting for a chance to go out on a high note.

Language note: I think you mean a dilemma, a choice between between two equally distasteful option.

Hobson's choice is named for a livery owner named Hobson. When you wanted to rent a horse, you got what Hobson gave you which was the horse nearest the door. i.e. you took what he gave you, you had no choice.

Hmmm, the ultimate rope-a-d... (Below threshold)

Hmmm, the ultimate rope-a-dope by Bush: the Dems and the MSM "wanted" Congress. OK, they got it, hahaha, what can they do with it now??

Well, according to the MSM:... (Below threshold)

Well, according to the MSM:

First stop next year will be legislation calling for an undetermined number of troops to come home immediately. Though Democrats are divided over exactly what to propose, they say their effort will send a loud political signal to disgruntled U.S. voters, and to Iraqis to assume more responsibility.

The only thing that sends a loud political signal is not knowing what to propose. When the inexplicably vague plans start to come into play, expect as much criticism on them as the Republicans received for theirs.

"I think I see a little hin... (Below threshold)

"I think I see a little hint of Bush's political strategy .."

The strategy is the same as always, F-up big time and have daddy or daddy's friends come bail you out.

From DUI to failed business operations, daddy Bush has had to save his boy's ass. Now daddy's friends are in position to take over the administration's foreign policy with Baker and Gates leading the way.

BarneyG2000,What a... (Below threshold)


What an insightful post. Personal attacks. Well done. Don't address the issues at hand, deflect the argument to a smear.

Don't blame poor Barney, He... (Below threshold)

Don't blame poor Barney, He's the result of years of public schools and the best liberal mindset that colleges have to offer...






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