By Nancy Jane Moore
Bush's appointment of Robert Gates to succeed Rumsfeld at Defense reminds me of his business dealings before he got into politics: Whenever he ran into trouble, he got his daddy's friends to bail him out.
Gates was CIA director for Bush the senior. He was part of the committee Jim Baker (Daddy Bush's main advisor and former Secretary of State) put together to review the Iraq mess. It sure looks to me like Dubya is once again looking for help from his daddy's friends.
Of course, some might say he should have talked to them a long time ago. But Dubya's been acting like the arrogant toddler who insists on doing it himself, even when he doesn't know how. He didn't want to listen to his daddy; he wanted to outdo him. The trouble is, he wasn't up to the job. I don't think Bush the elder was much of a president, but at least it didn't feel like amateur hour when he was in office.
The Washington Post credits Bush with "turning on a dime" in ousting Rumsfeld the day after the election. Oh, please! Clearly they had planned all that in advance -- The New York Times even says so. Obviously Bush was hoping the Democrats wouldn't win big, so that he could keep Rummy and continue to thumb his nose at everyone who criticized him.
The Post and others keep mentioning how Bush was so bipartisan when he was governor of Texas. That supposed bipartisanship is a myth -- campaign rhetoric from 2000, when Bush was still pretending to be the compassionate conservative to get moderates to vote for him. Real Texas Democrats will tell you it was never true. I hope the Democrats in Congress aren't going to buy it now just because he's finally calling them on the phone. They need to stand up to him and tell him how things are going to be, not go along to get along.
I am, of course, very glad to see Rumsfeld shown the door. And I hope that Gates can do something to clean up this mess. Though I also hope the Senate is going to hold real hearings on whether he's up to the job -- they better not issue any more free passes to Bush appointees.
But it still looks like Bush is calling in the big boys to clean up his mess.
Worst president ever? The competition is dropping like flies.