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Cult of Toughness, Part XXVII

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Attackerman:

Rove says that getting rid of Rumsfeld — which, of course, the Bush administration ultimately did — would’ve “damaged the military’s faith in Bush as commander in chief.” Actually, you know what really did damage the military’s faith in Bush as commander in chief? Retaining Donald Rumsfeld in the face of failure after failure after failure.

There’s something really interesting to this; the uniformed military loathed Rumsfeld with wild abandon, a point which was certainly not lost on Rumsfeld (he cultivated and enjoyed their hate) or Rove. I suspect that the issue here wasn’t so much “the military will lose faith if we dump Rummy,” but rather “the military will interpret the dumping of Rummy as a sign of weakness.” This makes sense in context of the Bush/neocon vision of the world, in which the enemy (whether terrorist, Communist, or Democrat) only understands strength; I’m just mildly surprised that the Bush administration apparently viewed the uniformed military of the United States as an enemy to be intimidated.

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