Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sullivan: Will Lieberman Save The GOP?

That's the question. A reader sums up the argument:

Assuming that the Dems get the Senate, could Rove's final play be: Bush accepts Rumsfeld's resignation, appoints Independent Lieberman as Secretary of Defense and Connecticut Governor Rell (Republican) appoints a Republican to fill Lieberman's Senate seat, putting the Senate under effective Republican control with Cheney's vote as tie breaker?
That is possible, but it would, I think, be politically suicidal for the president. (Still, his campaign rhetoric was suicidal, so maybe he'll stay that way.) If Lieberman holds the key to a Senate majority, appointing him SecDef would be too political a move, even for Bush. It would divide far more than it would unite.

But there I go again, giving Bush the benefit of the doubt. He's done crazier things, hasn't he?

LSB: Oye, more conspiracy theories! Let me walk you through this, Andrew. First, it appears that the Dems WILL get the Senate. MT vote count is above the limit required for a mandatory recount; the VA win is nearly above the mandatory recount level; the Dems, with the two Independent senators, will be a majority in the 110th Senate. Second, Rumsfeld offered his resignation after the 2004 election, so offering to resign again in the face of this overwhelming show of no-support for the current Iraq policy is not out of the realm of possibility. Third, Liebermann is a chickenhawk (no military service), so putting him in charge of the DoD would continue the Bush tradition. Fourth, with Liebermann in the DoD it would allow a Rep governor to fill that Senate seat with a Rep and thus create the scenario described above.

So far so good with this theory.

Unfortunately, there is only the slimmest of possibilities that President “No-Brainer” would ever accept the resignation of Don Rumsfled. Not only is Shrub intensely loyal (which in another case might be admirable), but accepting Rumsfeld’s resignation would be tantamount to admitting the war was wrong. Legacy and all, you understand, and in the last two years of a Presidency it is all about "the legacy." This petulant asshole will NEVER admit he was wrong about this war. Besides, Cheney and the war-profiteering corporations supporting the Repugnants will not allow it. They are making too much from this government gravy train to let it slip away. If a few hundred thousand Iraqis have to die in order to line their pockets, so be it.

Rumsfeld is in his mid-70s, so theoretically he could fall over dead (or he could stroke out, or become incapacitated in some other manner) and that would open up the possibility of a new Sec DoD. But even in that happenstance, why would Liebermann give up a highly prized chairmanship (and we can discuss later if this “independent” should get a chairmanship) for a 2-year maximum run as Sec DoD? After screwing his own party, if he saddles up with the Repubs immediately after grabbing his Senate seat back, the good people of CT would never again elect him – even for dog catcher!

I think Liebermann will hold onto his Senate seat – he’s worked too hard for it to just give it up for a supporting role (and outsider) in the Bush regime. Besides, Liebermann has no plan for Iraq and would have no support inside the WH even IF he had a plan, so there would be nothing but agony there for him – a lose-lose situation for him.

Nope, the scenario above is not gonna happen.

UPDATE: Oh, shit, it happened! I had better keep my day job, as political prognosticating doesn’t seem to be my forte.

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