The fallout continues to drift in the wind


New Democratic Majority Throws Bush’s Judicial Nominations Into Uncertainty

…There is a strong consensus that the four most conservative of Mr. Bush’s nominations to the federal appeals courts are doomed. Republicans and Democrats say the four have no chance of confirmation in the next several weeks of the lame-duck Congressional session or in the final two years of Mr. Bush’s term.

The nominees are William J. Haynes II, the Pentagon’s chief lawyer who was responsible for the much-criticized military interrogation policies; William G. Myers III, a longtime lobbyist for the mining and ranching industries and a critic of environmental regulations; Terrence W. Boyle, a district court judge in North Carolina; and Michael B. Wallace of Mississippi…

Ignore the Times characterizations. What would you expect of the paper that made an issue of the adoption proceedings of John Roberts’ children?

Now that the Dems don’t have to filibuster, will these nominations get out of committee?

Vaya Con Dios, Rummy!

Here is the record of Donald Rumsfeld. (1) Tried to take a top-heavy Pentagon and prepare it for the wars of the postmodern world, in which on a minute’s notice thousands of American soldiers, with air and sea support, would have to be sent to some god-awful place to fight some savagery—and then be trashed live on CNN for doing it; (2) less than a month after 9/11 he organized the retaliation against al Qaeda in the heart of primordial Afghanistan that removed the Taliban in 7 weeks, when we were all warned that the U.S., like the British and Russians of old, would fail; (3) oversaw the removal of Saddam in 3 weeks—after the 1991 Gulf War and the 12-years of 350,000 sorties in the no-fly-zones, and various bombing strikes, had failed. (4) Ah, you say, then there is the disastrous 3-year insurgency—too few troops, Iraqi army let go, underestimated “dead-enders” etc.?

But Rumsfeld knew that in a counterinsurgency (cf. Vietnam 1965-71) massive deployments only ensure complacency, breed dependency, and create resentment, and that, in contrast, training indigenous forces, ensuring political autonomy, and providing air and commando support (e.g., Vietnam circa 1972-4) is the only answer—although that is a long process that can work only if political support at home allows the military to finish the job (cf. the turn-of-the-century Philippines, and the British in Malaysia). He was a good man, and we were lucky to have him in our hour of need.

Rumsfeld was a casualty of stupid political calculation. I.e., cynical and electorally useless. This backstabbing is a resurgence of the unipartisanship George Bush stooped to when he was entertaining Teddy Kennedy and agreeing to gut the education bill.

The Democrats in Washington, George, are nothing like the ones you worked with in Texas. This is a lesson you no longer have time to heed, particularly since you don’t want to.

US Democrats baulk at extending Bolton term, [Chafee among them.]

John Bolton is certainly the best UN ambassador since Jeanne Kirkpatrick and arguably the best of our lifetime. Of course the Democrats want him out. The question here is why Bush bothered to re-up on Bolton’s nomination.

Rummy isn’t going to satisfy these people, George. You can’t negotiate with terrorists, or the Democrat leadership. You show weakness and then ask for a favor sure to be denied? To what end? Most Americans can’t spell “UN”, otherwise we’d long since have withdrawn.

Update: 3:00PM – I can spell UN.

Annan updates Beilin on soldiers in Lebanon

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that one of the problems in the negotiations for the release of the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers in Lebanon is the demand for Hizballah to return them alive.

If true, maybe Kofi can run as John Kerry’s Veep in 2008.

H/T Protein Wisdom