Apartheid, Bush style

By EDITORIAL  |  April 19, 2006

Why Rumsfeld may not matter
Seven retired Army and Marine Corps generals made headlines last week with their call for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to resign. These guys are not exactly Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. They spring from the vest pocket of the American military establishment. Hell, until recently, they were the military establishment — or at least members of its innermost circle. These generals — together with 60 percent of the American people — know something that President Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Rumsfeld can’t seem to get through their thick skulls: things are not going well in Iraq. We may have won the invasion, but we are losing the war. And the odds of our even stabilizing Iraq — let along making it safe for democracy — are slim.Bush is almost admirable in his pigheaded support for Rumsfeld. He’d certainly buy himself some breathing space if he got rid of Rumsfeld. Even right-wing partisans such as William Kristol and Robert Novak have called for his exit, as have the conservative National Review and the more centrist Economist. Nut jobs like Rush Limbaugh may still be backing Rummy, but Rush’s hold on reality has always been tentative — even under less-stressful circumstances. For once we agree with the Wall Street Journal, which, in an editorial supporting Rumsfeld, concluded: “We suspect the President understands that most of those calling for Mr. Rumsfeld’s head are really longing for his.” The buck does indeed stop with Bush. And since Bush shows no signs of reappraising the situation in Iraq, it probably won’t make much difference who is secretary of defense. As long as Bush is president, it looks as if American soldiers will continue to die, while the civil war in Iraq spirals further out of control. So, it seems, Rumsfeld is as good as anyone else.

Romney has no shame
Memo to America: if you like George W. Bush, odds are you’ll like Mitt Romney. Governor Romney has that same penchant for double-dealing as President Bush. Case in point: some may remember Bush’s much-talked-about education reform known as No Child Left Behind. Bush even convinced Ted Kennedy to support it. He then turned around and royally porked Kennedy — and others — by not adequately funding the measure. Bush got the headlines. Kennedy ended up with egg on his face. And American kids got screwed. Hat trick, Republican-style. Because the Republicans control Congress, there was not much that Kennedy and others duped by Bush could do. Now it’s Romney’s turn to play bait and switch. Romney shared the local headlines and dominated the national ones when the news broke that Massachusetts had enacted a historic compromise aimed at delivering health care to a larger share of state residents than receive it now. Good news for Massachusetts and good news for Romney’s presidential ambitions. Then, several days later, and away from the national headlines, Romney issued vetoes to eight sections of the bill, at least one of which would make it easier for businesses to avoid paying a share of the costs. The Democrats in the legislature say they plan to override Romney’s veto. It’s important that they do. Bush and Romney: peas in a pod. Bush is already a national disaster; Romney is a disaster waiting to happen.

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