The Moose observes that Donald Rumsfeld is the Ron Artest of the Bush Administration.
No, the Secretary of Defense has not waded into the press section at the Pentagon briefing and slugged a pesky reporter. Not yet, at least. What the Moose is referring to is Rumsfeld's lobbying against the White House-supported intelligence reform bill. The Washington Times reports this morning,
House and Senate leaders yesterday blamed the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld for the demise of the intelligence-reform bill and called on the White House to lobby harder for passage of the legislation during a final lame-duck session, set for December.
Apparently, Rumsfeld feels threatened over the prospect of ceding budget authority to the new director of intelligence position that is created by the bill. Clearly, the Secretary has some self-esteem issues that should be addressed.
In an administration that is famous for its blind loyalty, Rumsfeld is clearly out of control if he is lobbying against the President's position. The Moose has never been a fan of Rummy. He believes that the secretary is guilty of gross negligence in the mismanagement of the post-war period in Iraq. Even conservatives have expressed their dismay with Rumsfeld. Note this excerpt from Bill Kristol's editorial in the current Weekly Standard,
What remains to be done is to announce new leadership for the Department of Defense. This, surely, would be an opportunity for a strong, Bush Doctrine-supporting outsider, someone who of course would be a team player, but someone who could also work with the military and broaden support for the president's policy. Is John McCain, or Rudy Giuliani, or Joe Lieberman too much to hope for?
Don't expect, however, that the President will force Rumsfeld to sit out the rest of the season (or the second term). For while Rummy may be Artest, W. is no David Stern.