This morning’s Washington Post reports:
Under assault from Republicans on issues of national security, congressional Democrats are planning to push for a vote of no confidence in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld this month as part of a broad effort to stay on the offensive ahead of the November midterm elections.
In Rumsfeld, Democrats believe they have found both a useful antagonist and a stand-in for President Bush and what they see as his blunders in Iraq. This week, Democrats interpreted a speech of his as equating critics of the war in Iraq to appeasers of Adolf Hitler, an interpretation that Pentagon spokesman Eric Ruff disputed. But Democrats said the hyperbolic attack would backfire.
But even before that, Democrats and some Republicans had maintained that Bush has never held anyone in his administration accountable for decisions in the Iraq war that many military analysts say went disastrously wrong. The decisions include not mobilizing enough troops to keep the peace, disbanding the entire Iraqi army and purging all members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party — including teachers and low-level technocrats — from the Iraqi government.
“Secretary Rumsfeld’s stewardship of this effort is a failure, and he has let down our armed forces,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, who is pushing for the no-confidence move.
The fact that this whole charade is being orchestrated by Rahm Emanuel, the man charged with winning back Congress for the Dems this fall, is very telling. The story goes on to note the connection between this tactic and Dem political hopes for this fall:
By demanding accountability, Democrats hope to blunt what has been an all-out assault on their positions on national security.
…”We will not be Swift-boated on this issue,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview, alluding to the assault by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on the Vietnam war record of Democratic candidate John F. Kerry in the 2004 presidential campaign. “We will fight them on national security.”
Sadly, it appears Pelosi-liberals are indeed fighting conservatives on national security. Time and time again they fight…they vote against funding for missile defense, they vote for pulling out of Iraq and ceding the territory to terrorists, they vote against domestic anti-terror programs and they incessantly push for staged votes in the House and Senate like the one mentioned above in order to score political points. To this observer, that is anything but being tough on national security.
UPDATE: The Political Pitbull is questioning the timing…