Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Meet The Press, A Bombshell Was Dropped About Bush and Rumsfeld. But No One Cared

Mike Allen, a political reporter for The Washington Post, dropped a bombshell on the March 6 edition of NBC's Meet the Press, and no one seemed to notice.

Try to remember that Allen made his comment to a roundtable of journalists -- Kate O'Beirne, Paul Krugman, Joe Klein, and of course, host Tim Russert.

ALLEN: What you're seeing is the beginning of trying to attach the president's positive developments in Iraq and separate him from negative. And I think this isn't imminent, but I think over the next year, we'll probably see the departure of Secretary Rumsfeld. I think people in the White House are a little tired of him and I think the idea will be to try to sort of attach Iraq baggage to him. ... So the president can be out taking credit for the purple revolution even though people are seeing -- you know, passing 1,500 (deaths), passing $300 million spent on this.

In truth, there are two scoops for the Meet the Press roundtable:

1) Donald Rumsfeld will depart sometime over the next year.
2) The Bush Administration plans to spin things so that Rumsfeld is blamed for all the negatives associated with Iraq, and the president is congratulated for all the good Iraq news.

But O'Beirne, Krugman and Klein were too busy with their pet topics. And Russert, more interested in firing questions in as many directions as possible, wasn't interested in pausing to deliberate over Allen's comments.

What's worse, as far as I can tell, no newspapers or other media picked up on Allen's bombshells. Too busy with Martha Stewart and Michael Jackson, no doubt.

Maybe I'm just being naive. But when a reporter from a major newspaper offers that the Secretary of Defense is essentially going to be dumped within a year, and oh by the way carted off with every alleged high crime and misdemeanor of the Iraq War, that should be news.


The GOP spin game-plan, if Allen is correct, is typical Bush. The ends justify the means. Details aren't important.

Bush can go out and give his John Wayne speech to the hand-picked crowds in Nashville, Austin or Cheyenne, and talk about how he's spread the God-given right to freedom and democracy in nation after nation.

And on talk shows and editorial pages across the land, "honest" conservatives will take a closer look at how "Rummy" lacked post-war planning, which contributed to U.S. deaths. How Rummy underestimated the resistance. How Rummy didn't secure the borders, allowing terrorists to flood into Iraq and kill our brave troops and countless Iraqis. How Rummy failed to move Iraqis -- training to be police and security and a new army -- to a neutral site, so that they could learn without the threat of being blown to bits. The conservative pundits will all simultaneously come to the conclusion that while there are many positives from the Iraq War, things could have been handled so much better by Rummy.

And the irony is that none of those pundits will look back at statements made by John Kerry and other Democrats during the 2004 election cycle, when Kerry campaigned on the idea that he could run the Iraq War more efficiently and honestly than the Bush administration.

Kerry was mocked for suggesting he could do better, mostly by pundits and politicians who spliced some Kerry statements and took others out of context. But watch those same conservative pundits make Kerry's point -- after Rummy resigns.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is a bombshell?. for a second i thought i was a genius considering i expected Rumsfeld to leave shortly into Bushs second term. And i also figured that they would hope to separate out the negative from the positive as any politician would.

I havent read the Post or heard Meet the Press (as I am currently in Europe where everyone cant believe the dems couldnt win the past election) so i cannot be sure if what you say about how far the Bushies will go to rip Rummy on the way out is speculation on your part or the pundits - but i doubt they will ruin him on the way out. This is an exageration. They will try to pin some of the negatives on him no question.

I now realize that I am no genuis. I thought all this because i have heard it all before, right after the election, before the election, and since the election. Not sure bombshell fits.....

Also should mention that my european colleagues, all of whom hate Bush and were staunchly anti iraq war, have suggested that the Bush middle east policy, no matter how misguided at times, may be beginning to show signs that it is working. Even my french friend stated "maybe he isnt a complete clod; maybe a strong stick can promote democracy in the region."

Another said, "no matter, it is all about america imposing its will on the rest of the world." I told her she would fit in well here and gave her the blogsite.

and the beat goes on...

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pundits seem to have at least for the present moment memory block on how Bush mismanaged the War. The only thought on their tiny little minds -- besides Dan Ranther -- is how all the purple fingers vindicates Bush from all the criticisms against his tryist in Iraq. Gag.
The Republicans stance appears to have been one of denial about the past problems. I therefore don't foresee a momunmental shift towards a mass GOP pooping on Rumsfeld should Bush make him the scapegoat.

8:06 PM  

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