Tuesday, December 21, 2004

More reasons why Rummy should go

As if using an auto-pen wasn't outrageous enough, Sean Gleeson provides Ten More Reasons to hate Rumsfeld.
This morning, ten more outrages were added to the big outrageous pile of outrages over outrageous revelations that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had used a so-called "autopen" to sign condolence letters. Even though he has not denied these ten additional outrages, Rumsfeld still refuses to resign.
  • Instead of dialing his telephone by pressing all the digits, he makes use of a "speed dial" device for frequently called numbers.

  • Instead of dicing, boiling, and mashing potatoes, he sometimes mixes freeze-dried mashed potato flakes with hot water.

  • When he needs donuts, he buys them from retail outlets, instead of frying his own donuts from scratch ingredients.
Here's the whole thing.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Last says the "auto-pen" criticism is a valid one.
It goes without saying that if this story had come out about a Democratic president's SecDef, the Republican end of the blogosphere would be purple with indignation, and rightly so. As it is, I've seen only a handful of cross words, from a pair of posters on a Lucianne.com thread and a few lonely voices at FreeRepublic. No mention whatsoever of the story at the Corner.

While it would have been impractical for the SecDef to sign condolence letters during World War II, the Iraq War is a low-grade enough conflict that it wouldn't take more than 5 or 10 seconds of Rumsfeld’s time every day to put down his John Hancock.

Signing these letters wouldn't change anything. It wouldn't bring back the dead. It wouldn't salve a family's grief. It wouldn't help win the war.

But it would be the right thing to do. And conservatives are supposed to care about that sort of thing.

Point taken. But it's not the use of an auto-pen that's outrageous. Rather, it's outrageous that the press is grasping at anything that'll take down Rumsfeld, even something quite insignificant in the grand scheme.

More: Thomas Lifson breaks it all down for you.
We are now in the midst of the “widening scandal” phase of the PR offensive. The Auto-Pen “scandal” is a classic example of the art. The simple fact is that Auto-Pens are found in virtually every major administrator’s office in any organization of size. Given a choice between spending time inking thousands of signatures and actually attending to the complexities of a difficult job, most executives opt for the Auto-Pen, which reproduces an actual signature of the person in question. But because we are talking about military deaths, the appearance of callousness and insensitivity, the very theme of the ongoing campaign, can be highlighted. It was the perfect time to focus public attention on an administrative practice which has been well-known for years, awaiting the best moment to use it against the SecDef. Does anyone seriously believe that Donald Rumsfeld is the first Secretary of Defense to employ an Auto-Pen in signing letters of condolence? The media, of course, are entirely uninterested in the question.

Now, we are seeing the resurrection of the old prisoner abuse stories, with the aim of heightening pressure on the SecDef. And, now that the media campaign raising critical questions about Rumsfeld has been in the headlines long enough to reach a broad swath of the public, polls are conducted on the question of the public’s level of confidence in the Secretary. It is a classic media trick: run a slew of critical stories to create a broad image of “trouble” and “controversy.” Then, run polls to generate data indicating a “fall in confidence” about the targeted figure, in order to generate further negative press, hoping to reinforce the negative momentum.

The ultimate target, of course, is President Bush. He supports Secretary Rumsfeld because the Secretary is accomplishing the goals of the President. He knows and trusts the capabilities and loyalties of this brilliant man. If President Bush succeeds in instilling democracy Iraq as effectively as it has begun taking root in Afghanistan, the prospects of the Democrats in 2008 will be poor, and the intra-party rivals of Bush will have little chance of regaining control of the party apparatus and presidential nomination. The syllogism is simple: if America succeeds in Iraq, Bush succeeds. If Bush succeeds, they lose. So they attack the President’s key instrument in achieving ongoing victory in Iraq. Get Rummy.


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Democrats and Republicans have always displayed the same overblown reactions to "scandals" like this.

At 7:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this all that the media has on Rummy?

At least when Der Schlickmeister was in office, he was able to provide us with legitimate reasons (weekly, just about) for his own ouster, and occasionally, his accomplices in The Media would crawl out from under his desk to run stories about it!

Where would I be without Katie Couric?


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