Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dems take Congress; Rumsfeld resigns

Great news. The Democrats have captured, easily, the House of Representatives and narrowly captured the Senate. It is not likely that a whole lot will change as a result with respect to foreign policy, but it is a sweeping repudiation of the US policy vis a vis Iraq. The Democrats didn't even have a position, didn't even say anything meaningful, and they still won. That's gotta hurt if you're a Repuglican.

An offshoot of this that is another important development is the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. Bush has chosen former CIA analyst Bob Gates to replace him.

There is certainly no guarantee that Gates will be anything more than marginally better. He may well not be. However, given that Rumsfeld resigned immediately after his party's ouster in the congressional elections, I can arrive at no other conclusion that he has resigned in disgrace. That is entirely appropriate, and that is an important statement on the policies he has supported.

That he has resigned is a good start but not nearly enough though. He should be tried for war crimes.

Constitutionally, all decision-making power with respect to foreign policy rests in the executive branch. However, this also gives the Democrats some leverage on two counts, hypothetically speaking. Whomever Bush chooses must be confirmed by the Senate. If they don't like him, the can defeat the nomination.

Second, if they choose to, they can impeach the president. They can either choose to do so outright, in which case Dick Cheney would be president (gulp), or they can hang it over his head and blakcmail him with it in order to encourage more sensible policies from Bush. I highly doubt it will happen, but it could.