Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Super (thanks for asking)

So, word has come that Robert Gates has agreed to continue on as Defense secretary. Well, that bites. No real change in the military, then. How long will he stay on? Don't ask, don't tell.


USwest said...

I don't think that bites. I think it is appropriate at this point. Make the Bush appointee deal with the withdraw. it was a Bush war after all. Better to have Republican appointee managing that then get the Democrats blamed for pulling out all wrong.

I don't think Gates has done a bad job. Way better than Rummy. And he gets the need to integrate nation building into the military code. He understands that new wars will require this. Also, I think the military has been jerked around but good over the last 8 years. They need stability to rebuild.

Spotted Handfish said...

Is there that much criticism of Gates? I got the impression that he has been doing a good job of supporting the actual war effort. He has certainly been pushing the military to focus on what is needed (hence the current strong push to only buy lead-in parts for five F-22's as opposed to 20 as mandated by Congress). The stability is a bonus I'd have thought.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I don't think Obama will get any points if he leaves a Republican in charge and that Republican screws up. That's a failure in leadership.

My criticism of Gates is that he's a Bush appointee. To me, this is strong evidence that he's not the best person for the job. I also don't like the suggestion that Obama can't find anyone else better.

My only hope is that Obama does intend to appoint someone in 18 months time who will clean house at DoD, but he doesn't want to do that now in his first hundred days because that would spend political capital and might interfere with withdrawal from Iraq.

Spotted Handfish said...

So there is no chance that Bush may have done something right? To me I would have thought retaining someone who has been in the job only briefly to avoid churning, who is doing a good job by all accounts that I've seen, and doing this regardless of their political affiliations. I doubt there is anyone better: he has two years more experience in the job than most.

Maybe Obama is showing leadership by choosing not to replace Gates simply for the sake of replacing him. Maybe Obama, as part of his Change platform, wants to avoid the tit-for-tat partisanship that you are suggesting, LTG.

USwest said...

Yeah, I agree with Spotted Handfish. I don't think partisanship is a good argument in this case.

Again, the military needs stability after the rough ride it's been on, and Obama needs to gain its trust. Leaving Gates in for a year or two is a wise move. Iraq is just now at the point where we are scheduling a pull out. Now is not a good time to shake things up too much.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The same argument could have been made for keeping Rummy, right?

USWest said...

No, the same argument can't be made about Rummy because Rummy was a total failure for all sorts of reasons. Gates has not been a total failure. From all that I see and hear, the military is satisfied with him and they have been jerked around enough for the time being. The fact that you aren't getting retired generals running to the press bitching about the Sec of Def is a very good sign.