For most Americans, the arrival of fall means the World Series or the beginning of the football season.
But here, in an election year, it's "issue-framing" time, when the parties furiously battle to position themselves on what they think will be the winning side in November.
So when Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld implied last week that Iraq war critics were as misguided as Neville Chamberlain when he dealt with Adolf Hitler 's demands, the Democrats were shocked, shocked at the comparison.
They called on President Bush to fire Rumsfeld. Then Senate Republicans quickly de-railed a Democratic move to force a floor vote on Rummy's tenure. The maneuvers forced the White House to dig in behind Rumsfeld, with spokesman Tony Snow saying Rumsfeld's going nowhere.
"It's not going to happen," Snow said. "Creating Don Rumsfeld as a bogeyman may make for good politics but would make for very lousy strategy at this time."
No surprise that the usual idiots on the far Left would be calling for Donald Rumsfeld ouster, but what's really sad is how the media has played right into their hands. For example, why no mention that Rumsfeld himself has asked President Bush to fire him like 3 different times? Then too, why is Rumsfeld role constantly be played for more than what it really is? Is it because they know that they have to deal with Bush and Cheney for another two years that the Left keeps going after Rumsfeld?
Of course it is.
The role of the Secretary of Defense is to implement the policy established by the President, not to set that policy. The Secretary advises, and the President decides. Furthermore, the Defense Secretary is more responsible for the political and international aspects of military decision, not personally responsible for strategic or tactical decisions. Those are ordered by the president, and implemented through the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the forces in field. Because Rumesfeld was only responsible for implementing policy, not for setting it, he is not responsible for any bad choices made.
And the choices made were implemented as best as the situation would allow, given the intelligence available at the time. He was also only responsible for using the intelligence gathered, not for acquiring it himself, so the failures in intelligence gathering were also not his fault. Rather, he was using what was available to do his job, put a good political face on the military decisions made by Bush. Since his only real job was political spin, and he managed to get a large portion of the world and the US to go along the effort, he accomplished that job to the best of his ability. This isn't to say that Rumsfeld doesn't deserve some blame (especially for his handling of the troops body armor issue some time back), but going after Rumsfeld is nothing but political pandering and for that alone, the Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.