Monday, November 13, 2006

Repubs. now blame Bush, not because Iraq is a disaster, but because he didn't play better politics

Oh, sure. The Republicans all stood by Rumsfeld. They all stood by Bush. They never challenged their President. But, now that Bush caused them to lose power, the GOPers are saying they wanted Bush to play smarter politics with national security.

The Republicans weren't willing to stand up to Bush over Iraq. Now that he's a defeated lame duck, they're piling on. Bush gets what he deserves. But, it's so disingenuous for Republicans to say Bush should have acted differently on Iraq when they never, ever questioned his Iraq policies:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has suggested that if Bush replaced Rumsfeld two weeks before the election, voters would not have been as angry about the unpopular Iraq war. Republicans would have gained the boost they needed, according to Gingrich, to retain their majority in the Senate and hold onto 10 to 15 more House seats.

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the outgoing chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, agreed with that assessment.

Bush should have removed Rumsfeld "as soon as he had made up his mind. And that's a hard thing to calculate. But it's highly doubtful that he made up his mind between the time the election returns came in on Tuesday and Wednesday when Rumsfeld was out."

"And if Rumsfeld had been out, you bet it would have made a difference," Specter said. "I'd still be chairman of the Judiciary Committee."

The same thought occurred to veteran Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fla., who was on the verge of becoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. After the election, Shaw said that if Rumsfeld had stepped down before last Tuesday, Shaw and other Republicans might have won.

"It could have made a difference in who is running the Congress," said Shaw.

They're only upset because they lost politically, not because the policy is a disaster. They're pathetic. The message isn't that Bush should have canned Rumsfeld because Iraq is a disaster. They wanted him gone for their own political gain. That's been one major problem with Iraq all along. The GOP is still missing the point. To the GOP, firing Rumsfeld was a political stunt and had nothing to do with the underlying policy failure.

Joe in DC, AmericaBlog

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