A double thumping

Mike Gallagher
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Posted: Nov 10, 2006 12:00 AM
A double thumping

Like many Americans, I’m really angry. It was bad enough to watch Republicans fall like dominoes this week. Hearing liberal Democrats claim that the election was all about the war when they didn’t offer a single alternative plan was infuriating.

But receiving the knock-out punch of Donald Rumsfeld being fired the day after the Democratic Party windfall election is making a lot of us about as mad as we’ve been in a long, long time.

I’m doing my best to try and understand what message my president is trying to send us. Last week, he told reporters that the Defense Secretary would be in place until the very final day of the president’s term. Turns out, that wasn’t true at all – we now know that President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld made the decision “a few weeks ago.” Yesterday, the president admitted to lying to the reporters with a mischievous grin. While I’m not going to shed any tears for some Associated Press reporter being given wrong information, I wonder why a simple “no comment” wouldn’t have been a better answer last week. At least we would have been spared watching this honorable man try and explain why he didn’t tell the truth.

And I suppose people can understand how reluctant the president was to appear to make Rumseld’s dismissal look like a political move. But isn’t firing him the day after the mid-term election just as political? Let’s face it; President Bush is giving Democrats just what they demanded: Don Rumsfeld’s head on a platter.

It’s disgusting.

I guess I just don’t understand politics. I try too hard to establish right from wrong. I want to hold true to my values and principles. I don’t understand why President Bush or Karl Rove would give a rat’s rear end about what Democrats would think about the decision to go in another direction with the Secretary of Defense.

And here’s the reason for my anger: If the decision to remove Rumsfeld came a few weeks ago, I wonder how many Republicans would have been able to hold on to their jobs if he had left then?

Every single poll suggested that the GOP would lose the House and maybe the Senate. They were right. As this campaign season was nearing the election, our president decided it was time for another Defense Secretary. Fine. So how about throwing a lifeline to George Allen or Rick Santorum? If this election was, indeed, about America’s dissatisfaction with the direction of the war, don’t you think that a number of these razor-thin victories by Democrats might have gone the other way if Rumsfeld had stepped down a few weeks ago?

Of course they would have. It couldn’t have hurt. Instead, we’re now left with a bunch of good Republicans like J.D. Hayworth being voted out of office and Rumsfeld being sent packing the day after the mid-term anyway.

I support and admire George W. Bush. I support this war and frankly, don’t think the mid-term was about dissatisfaction with this effort. Conservatives feel abandoned over issues like illegal immigration and out-of-control spending.

And I feel abandoned by my party when I see a defense secretary thrown out to the curb the day after the Democrats’ “thumping.”

We all worked too hard during this campaign season to see this happen and not feel angry. The stakes are high, the downside too great.

Now we’ll be treated to a couple of years of gloating Democrats who will raise our taxes, give amnesty to illegals, and, God forbid, wave the white flag of surrender in Iraq.

I know that many of my colleagues are putting up a brave front. They’re spinning this by suggesting that this will all energize the base. Trust me; what they’re saying privately is not quite what they’re saying publicly.

And I, for one, won’t play that game.

We blew it. And I’m furious.

I know I’m not alone.