I'm still not as thrilled as I ought to be about Tuesday's election returns flipping the Congress from red to blue. There's much that is historic about what occurred: 28 House seats, six in the Senate, six new Democratic governors, lots of new faces in state legislatures -- even including the ones I personally know going to Austin in January -- and no incumbent Democrats having lost, provided Rep. William "My freezer is my bank" Jefferson in Louisiana survives his runoff, a hopefully unlikely occurrence. (To that end, I have renamed my ActBlue page "The Jefferson/Bonilla Retirement Fund".)
But Texas, and particularly Houston and surrounding Harris County, built a red levee strong enough to withstand the blue tsunami that washed across the land.
I have a lingering taste of quinine over that.
But the cold comfort part of this posting regards the political epitaph of one Donald Rumsfeld, the architect of military failure in the Middle East, whom President Warmongerer sacrificed on the rubble of his two-year-old political capital just before lunchtime yesterday.
Rumsfeld wasn't just one of the sorriest men Bush brought back to Washington six years ago, he was probably THE sorriest. His contempt for the military -- "people are fungible", "you go to war with the army you have, not the one you wish you had", and on and on like that were verbals displays of it.
The physical display of his contempt can easily be found lying in beds at Walter Reed, and in eternal rest in Arlington National and many more cemeteries around the country.
His contempt for those who who dared question him in the media room at the Pentagon was legendary and obvious. Last week it had moved from "Henny Penny the sky is falling" to "Back off". Well Rummy, this week it's "back your ass out the back door and don't come back". And take that goddamned PNAC manual with you.
And from the Decider-in-Chief last week it was "Rumsfeld will stay until the end of my term"; this week it was "fresh assessment". The president now simply mocks the White House press corps with every lie that falls out of his mouth.
I don't expect a McNamara-like change of heart from old Don in a few years regarding his Iraq/Afghanistan folly. I do expect him to land not on his front porch in a wooden rocking chair but in a plush leather seat in a defense contractor's boardroom, in short order.
Where he can no doubt continue his good work for America.
And don't expect any revealing truths to be told by his replacement, Bob Gates, who as deputy chief spook in Ronald Reagan's government and the top one in Poppy Bush's, kept the dirty details of Iran/contra covered up. Gates has been an efficient trucker of smiling insincerity throughout his life.
When Dick Cheney comes back from his Wyoming hunting trip he'll find another old pal in the Pentagon, one with plenty of secrets to tell but also with a lifetime of of CIA discipline meant to enforce their secrecy. Gates isn't at Defense to win the war on terror; he's there to keep the mess Rumsfeld made safely under wraps from a Democratic congressional investigation.
See, Big Daddy Bush dispatched Gates to Arlington from College Station and his post at Texas A&M where's he's been zealously guarding the Bush library's papers, raising money from Republicans for the university, visiting with Governor MoFo about reigniting the Aggie bonfire tradition and other important tasks like that.
James Baker says he's perfect for the job.