Alright . . . So that's a bit lame and off-base but, after reading this piece in the WaPo this morning, I'm thinking that the Preznit's appointment of Gates' to replace The Don really is just one more example of his "stay the course" hubris.

While Gates, or any choice at all for that matter, is perfectly and politically within his purview as Commander in Chief, Chief Executive and The Decider, just a wee bit o' digging illuminates this cat's background and shows him to be, rather than "Rumsfeld Lite" as so many unknowing pundits have quipped, more of an ideological clone of the man, cut from the same neocon cloth and, in fact, part of the same trail of Machiavellian mischief which highlighted the Reagan years.
Understanding Gates
It's Not as Simple as Father's Team vs. Son's

By James Mann

Friday, November 10, 2006; Page A31

In the early months of 1989, the overriding foreign policy issue for the new George H.W. Bush administration was how to deal with Mikhail Gorbachev. Did the Soviet leader represent fundamental change, or was he merely a new face for the same old policies?

The administration was divided. James Baker, the secretary of state, wanted to test out Gorbachev. The anti-Gorbachev hawks were led by Robert M. Gates, the deputy national security adviser. Gates's principal ally was then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

For the rest of Mann's column]
To my view, that right there, says all you need to know about whether the current Vice President's health will become an issue requiring his imminent retirement. It also shows clearly where Gates' loyalties lie. To find out just what he's been up to, beyond his well-known stint as the head of America's Intelligence apparatus, please to be reading the rest of the column.

Quite a few folks, both online and in person, have asked what I know about Bob Gates and his prospects as our nations new Secretary of Defense. I hope this article rings a few bells and sheds a little light on the man who is, quite unfortunately as it turns out, much
more than merely Rummy Lite.

And since such is apparently the case, and our Decider has decided not to veer from his course Captaining a ship crewed by much worse than fools, I'd also like to leave you with linkage to an important and now oh so relevant essay by the inimitable Helen Thomas.

[Seattlepi Link] The people have spoken and their message was one of disgust with the militant Bush-Cheney policy that set "victory" as the only exit strategy.

On the campaign trail Bush took a hard line, saying "If the Democrats win, the terrorists win and America loses."

It's now up to the rejoicing Democrats -- out of power for many years -- to find a way out of the quagmire. The ball is in their court.

So far they have not stepped up to this challenge, offering only vague bromides and nebulous goals.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., a retired Marine officer and staunch defender of the Pentagon, deserves credit for his call earlier this year for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, starting "at the earliest practicable date."

But now that they are empowered, it's time for the Democrats to come up with specific plans and take a strong stand against continuing the mayhem the Bush administration ignited by invading oil-rich Iraq. Although the president has conceded Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., he insists that defeat by the Iraqi resistance "is not an option" and he continues to mush terrorism with the U.S. occupation of Iraq.


  1. I'd just as soon the new Dem majority not focus on stopping this appointment unless the guy's got major skeletons in the closet. The mandate is clearly "Get the hell out of Iraq." Failure by Bush and Gates to do so could cost them the White House in 2008, so I expect they will start winding things down, regardless of any neocon pressure that might be brought to bear.

    The butt I would like to kick is John Bolton's, whose appointment Bush is trying to ram through during the lame duck session. That he has any job at all in government sends such a bad message to the rest of the world.

  2. I hear ya, Larry. Despite the numbers of new Dems coming in, I'm pretty sure that they can't challenge an appt of this nature. Gates is what we gets. Like him or not.

    And you are Dead On per Bolton. As a Ohio, I am really Really hoping Voinovich reverts to his initial stance on that crank, and we force W's hand on another choice; someone who will have real ability to influence the current U.N.'s much needed structural changes.

    Here's hoping!

  3. Oh totally, Bolton ranks up there with Alito for AG.

  4. Politically, it would be tough for the Democrats to oppose a guy who has been appointed to fill in for the dude they wanted gone in the first place. I think after six years most people know Bush is an idiot. His support is going to come from make believe land. I agree with Larry, let's ax Bolton first.

  5. He will be cut from the same neoconservative cloth.

  6. I believe the issue of Presidential appointments is covered, though not so precisely as might unequivocally answer the Cabinet question (in my non-attorney's opinion,) in Article II, Sect 2, near the end of the paragraph.

    Per Bolton, and Dub's ability to slip his arse thru again w/o Congressional approval, I think I'd like to see a 5 word Amendment to the last parargraph of the same section: but not in successive sessions.

    Any Constitutional scholars out there who could set me straight/back me up on this?


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