I bet President Bush was a little ticked at his Defense Secretary when he was told the DAY BEFORE THE ELECTIONS that their strategy was not working:
Two days before he resigned as defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld submitted a classified memo to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq as not working and called for a major course correction. “In my view it is time for a major adjustment,” wrote Mr. Rumsfeld, who has been a symbol of a dogged stay-the-course policy. “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.” Nor did Mr. Rumsfeld seem confident that the administration would readily develop an effective alternative. To limit the political fallout from shifting course, he suggested the administration consider a campaign to lower public expectations.
Of course, the message from the GOP on November 6 was that we were winning and that we should stay the course. Thank goodness the memo was classified so the voters didn’t have to know the truth. Then again – the results of the election show the American people were not as stupid as this White House assumed.
While their serial dishonesty has me too sick to even think about the various horrible options in this memo, we should be thankful that Kevin Drum has the clarity of thought to address the policy implications. Which is doubly amazing given that his team just blew their chance at the National Championship. Which means USC returns to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Good luck Trojans!