Not Fade Away

It looks like the Democrats have been able to dredge up some ornery old generals to take another run at Rumsfeld. There’s no one closer to the president to go after, and if you believe push polls, there is no better time to throw the high, hard one.

But if you listen to or read what the generals are saying, it is pretty much a rehash of old news. Not enough troops. No WMD. Rumsfeld’s a jerk. Nothing really new, so this has to be about something else.

And it is.

The generals are really more interested in screwing up the Pentagon “transformation”. That’s a fancy word for taking money from one group (call them “Big Army”) and giving it to another (call them “Fast Movers”). The Big Army guys are pissed that the Fast Movers are getting all the money and attention and want to gum up the works.

Every day that Rumsfeld stays in the Pentagon, the transformation is increasingly irreversible, the Big Army crowd is more marginalized, and the Fast Movers are more firmly entrenched in the budget.

Then there is, of course, Beltway politics. The Democrats know they need security credibility to make it over the top in November. The generals know that if they help get the Democrats elected, it will be much easier for the Democrat candidate in 2008, and the “helpful” generals will have their pick of the good jobs. Simple as that.

It would be a real surprise if Bush abandoned Rumsfeld. Most voters couldn’t find the Secretary of Defense in a line-up and the Republican base will stay home in droves if Bush caves.

So expect very little from all this. The mainstream media will continue to blather, Zinni will sell his books, and Rumsfeld will stay at his standing desk.

What we should really be talking about is when the hell the Iraqis are going to form a government.