by Craig Dimitri

After the catastrophic losses sustained by the GOP on Tuesday, highly unpopular Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned his post on Wednesday afternoon.  Rumsfeld’s conduct of the war in Iraq had made him an extremely polarizing figure, and he becomes the first important Bush Administration figure to step down as a result of the fiasco.

This is a classic example, as the old saying goes, of closing the barn door after the horse (or, perhaps more aptly, the Democratic donkey) has escaped.  President Bush inexplicably stated – just prior to Tuesday’s elections, that voters could count on both Rumsfeld (whom the President can fire) and Vice President Dick Cheney (whom he cannot) being around until Bush leaves office on January 20, 2009.  Both Rumsfeld and Cheney are roundly disliked by the public, and it would seem odd to remind the electorate that two of the most controversial figures in the Bush Administration would still be around for another two years.

Given that Rumsfeld is now gone already, Bush could have just as easily fired him prior to the election – had he done so, the GOP might very well have held onto the Senate, as well as saving a handful of Republican House members , who lost very narrowly.  (Democrats certainly would have still won an easy majority, but the GOP needs every seat it can get at this point.) 

MSNBC Story – 

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