I am disappointed that Rumsfeld is the fall guy for the 2006 election losses for the Republicans. Clearly this was something discussed before last night as evidenced by the announcement within hours of electoral defeat and the immediate nomination of his replacement. I surmise that his resignation prior to today would have been seen as a political move to strengthen the Republican electoral chances, thereby weaken the morale of our troops and strengthened the nay saying hordes on the left. His resignation was an appeasement offering to the Republican Party who viewed that Bush's unpopularity as contributing to their electoral defeat. I do not believe he was forced out. I believed it was freely given, as it was before. Rumsfeld did what he could to transform the military, and I believe he served honorably and contributed significant improvement to our arms forces. His departure is our nations lost.
I am also disappointed because his resignation will not help the Republican cause. I am fairly certain the Republican defeat was in no way related to Bush. Bush's approval rating has consistently been higher than that of Republican controlled Congress. While the Iraq war may have been a factor, it was not the deciding factor. The deciding factor was the failure of the Republicans to deliver to the American people.
What have been wrought?
A drug prescription plan that was needed but birthed with unnecessary complicated rules for an elderly population that needed simplicity.
And little else comes to mind.
Where is the social security reform?
Where is the tax reform?
Where is the immigration reform?
Where is any meaningful legislation to make America better?
Note that G.W. Bush led the campaigns for all of these things, as well as the War on Terror.
Unfortunately, and fortunately, I do not foresee and significant programs or changes in the next two years either.
My advice to the Republican Party:
Start preparing now for 2006 by cleaning out all taint of corruptions now. And that may include forcing corrupt members to resign their seats. As there is no longer a Republican majority, their temporary absence would not be lost. Their replacement should be chosen with an eye toward 08. And on the way to 08, make it about an "ownership society" and about "personal responsibility."
Related on Rumsfeld's resignation:
On the post mortem:
Roger L Simon