Michael Brown Is (Mostly) Gone; Now, What About Rumsfeld?
At last, President Bush has been prevailed upon to remove the inept Michael Brown from most of his post-hurricane responsibilities at FEMA and put a seasoned Coast Guard admiral in charge. He acted, because even leaders of his own party in Congress told him he had to.
Brown, who lied on his job resumee, was the official who, days after the hurricane, still said he had not heard about the squalid conditions at the New Orleans Convention Center.
But the hurricane is not the only major event to have taxed the Bush Administration to and beyond the breaking point. There is also the war in Iraq.
There, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had a plan for conducting the original attack, but in the two years since has not seemed to have a clue on how to stem the insurgency and put Iraq back on its feet. About 140,000 American troops are bogged down in Iraq, and the casualty toll is mounting toward 2,000 dead.
It's been obvious for some time that Rumsfeld, past 70, is as unfit to run the continuing war effort as Brown was to run the disaster effort. There needs to be a new Secretary of Defense and a new war plan with at least a chance of success.
George W. Bush is not the first second term President to run into difficulties. Even the redoutable Ronald Reagan ran into Iran-Contra, ran into a need to change top aides. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt tried a court packing scheme in his second term and had to make big changes before he ran for a third term.
So, Bush needs to rethink matters. Obviously, the hurricane is going to be a major preoccupation for the Administration for a long time to come, and Iraq is not going to go away. In both matters, new people have to take charge, and it is Bush's task to find them.
Who said, incidentally that the press had lost its way and was growing too soft on top governmental authorit? Aside from the Fox News Network, the press has been showing commendable vigor in telling us what is wrong down in New Orleans and in Baghdad. They can't a government make, but at least press criticisms can make away for essential changes.