Bush Bipartisanship and the Reality-Based Community
From Joshua Micah Marshall's shop, Talking Points Memo:
Yup, that didn't last long. The new era of "bipartisanship" in Washington ended promptly at 1:22 EST Thursday -- when the White House sent John Bolton's nomination as UN ambassador back to the Senate. After seeing the nomination fail twice before, the White House hopes to push Bolton through a lame-duck Senate before the Democratic majority takes office in January.
As Steve Clemons noted, the White House made the move a mere 14 minutes after President Bush and Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi concluded their remarks to the press following a lunch meeting purportedly focused on how to work together. Thankfully, defeated Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee signaled that he would continue to oppose Bolton, dooming the nomination for a third time.
Meanwhile, it started to dawn on much of Washington that the President's nomination of Bob Gates to replace Don Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense would have to make it through a Democratic-controlled Senate, a prospect the President himself did not seem to be considering when he offered the job to Gates on the Sunday before the mid-term elections. Suddenly, the ghosts of the Iran-contra scandal had returned.
As one TPM reader noted, "Who better to mend fences with a newly empowered Congress than someone whose claim to fame is involvement in a secret operation specifically forbidden by Congress?" -- TPM Reader DK
And a rumor that Bob Gates belongs to the reality-based community:
The Talent Show: Maybe Robert Gates Isn't So Bad After All: More interesting, however, is the note that accompanied the forwarded letter....
Dear Fellow Aggies (and some who aren't Aggies but will find this interesting),
By now, you've probably heard that Donald Rumsfeld has resigned as Secretary of Defense. (Thank God!) Also, you may have heard that Bush has nominated Robert Gates to be Rumsfeld's replacement. Gates is a former head of the CIA and, for the past two years, has been president of Texas A&M.
Below is an email forwarded to me by __, professor at A&M. Those of you who went to A&M might remember _ as a highly intelligent, fiercely liberal prof who loved to stir things up and encourage his students to challenge the status quo and stand up for what is right.
About a year ago, I was in College Station and visited _ for a few drinks. He told me then of his admiration of Gates, despite some initial apprehension due to Gates' background, and for what Gates was doing for A&M. He also said that at a recent faculty party, Gates told him that he thought that Bush was the worst president we'd ever had...