August 26, 2006
Putting Rumsfeld To A VoteThis sounded like a good idea at first glance:
Campaign strategists seek intraparty consensus by focusing on accountability rather than Iraq troop withdrawals. A “no-confidence” vote in Pentagon chief, which Democratic lawmakers might offer on defense spending legislation, could embarrass Bush while appealing to Republicans who defend ousting Saddam but criticize war’s execution.As Steve Benen pointed out, forcing a confidence vote on Rumsfeld would put the Republicans in a bind. Voting yes means they are turning a blind eye to all of Rumsfeld's costly failures, mightily ticking off a voting public increasingly against the Iraq fiasco.Voting no would embarrass Bush who insists on keeping Rummy no matter what.
Then again, what are the chances of this issue even making it to the floor and coming to a vote? Let's not forget that the Republicans control both Houses, and can manipulate resolutions in such a way that it blows up in the Democrats' faces, like what happened with the timetable for an Iraq withdrawal which they maneuvered into a vote for immediate withdrawal.
And even if Congress passes a no-confidence vote on Rumsfeld, what can a non-binding resolution achieve? Only Bush can fire him, and with Bush's penchant for rewarding failure and hiring yes-men, I doubt Rummy's replacement would be any different.
The Democrats are better off focusing on the more important goal which would make a difference: winning majority rule of both Houses in November.
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