Bush Asks Rumsfeld to Stay

December 3, 2004

The AP reports that President Bush has asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to remain on the job and continue to “run” the Iraq war and shape military policy for the War on Terror in general.

Rumsfeld has been a target of the Left’s venom for several years now. Everything that has gone wrong in Iraq (and many things that haven’t) have been blamed on this tough-as-nails scapegoat, from criticism that we have too few troops on the ground to Abu Ghraib. I have admired Rumsfeld from the outset as a rock-solid official with no vested interest except love of country.

Rumsfeld didn’t need this job in the first place and probably didn’t want it. For a while he enjoyed a honeymoon with the press and was even made into a rugged sex symbol before the mainstream media turned him into their whipping boy.

The article says not only that Dubya asked Rumsfeld to stay, but that Rumsfeld agreed to do so. It takes mighty broad shoulders to agree to put up with what promises to be more abuse from these armchair quarterbacking naysayers. But Rumsfeld strikes me as a guy who doesn’t require the slightest approval from these lightweight know-nothings whose seeming mission in life is to second guess and ridicule him.

The thing I have always found most refreshing about him is that he doesn’t suffer fools gladly — which is another way of saying he doesn’t suffer most of the mainstream press gladly. His straightforward responses to questions, completely devoid of any deference to political correctness, annoys these self-appoointed mockers. In their view, he should genuflect before them, instead of according them the derision their often-asinine questions deserve.

This move also says something positive about President Bush, though it will be interpreted precisely the opposite way by the MSM. I anticipate another round of hysterical editorials lamenting Dubya’s manifest close-mindedness, his arrogant stubbornness, his refusal to admit his mistakes, his insistence on pursuing the wrong course, and his usurpation of a non-existent mandate. Because liberals have made Rumsfeld the focal point of what they believe to be Bush’s failed foreign policy, they will interpret Dubya’s retention of him this as a personal insult.

Ironically, these guaranteed criticisms will reveal/confirm more about the press than about Dubya. He isn’t thinking about them with this decision. This is not about getting even with them or disregarding their idiotic advice. This is about staying the course and persisting in doing what he believes is right. He isn’t about pettiness; that’s the MSM’s department. While in their collective narcissism they’re thinking this is all about them and his defiance, the truth is that this has nothing to do with them. Unlike during the Clinton administration, which was run by polls, focus groups and media reaction, Dubya is running his office based on what he believes is right. The MSM happens to be irrelevant in this equation.

So major kudos to President Bush and to Secretary Rumsfeld. I don’t know how much of the silent conservative majority, if any, has bought into the MSM’s lies about Secretary Rumsfeld, so I don’t know how the public will react to this news. But I can tell you that I’ll sleep well with this gratifying development.

Update: Amy Ridenhour says (and documents) that Donald Rumsfeld’s honeymoon with the press didn’t begin until after 9/11. I’ll readily concede that point and thank Amy for her post and trackbacks. Check out her National Center Blog, if you haven’t already.