The jury is still out but my perception is that Sec. Gates has been the absolute best Secretary of Defense under a Democrat administration in my life time. That isn’t actually fair and more than a bit backhanded just to make a point. I am on record somewhere here admitting to being a Rumsfeld fan but I do fully expect to be able to give a much more positive assessment of the current Secretary’s job performance (against the proper backdrop of his current boss’s pathetic agenda, of course) when a complete accounting can be viewed at the end of his tenure. I suspect that will be soon…and that probably isn’t good.
For the record, I suspect the only cabinet member that wants out more than Mr. Gates is Sec. Clinton. Forgetting for a moment my extremely poor political forecasting record, I’ll throw out the bold statement that they will both be gone before the mid-term elections. He will be out first because I sense he is guided more by principles and self respect…both will dictate a carefully orchestrated exit the Friday before Labor Day weekend. She is in a bit tighter spot because her only driving focus is the exact opposite – Democrat party credibility. But, I digress.
The real point here is to come back to an issue raised back in late 2008 (1) when the Office of the President Elect (that still makes me giggle) asked Sec. Gates to stay on. Updating my comments from that time with more quick wiki-research, a nominal Republican or better has manned the office for the last thirteen-plus years, twenty five of the last twenty nine years, and thirty three of the last forty one years. Going back any further gets too close to a McNamara-induced cussing fit – see McMasters’ “Dereliction of Duty” – so I’ll stop. As I said then, that’s “two generations without much of a sign of leadership or the pipeline of knowledge and credibility required” for effective leadership in national defense.
I do not bring this up because I have some great insight into a totally vacant Democrat bullpen. I truly do not know what the names may be that populate that obviously neglected pipeline on the left. Not a single name comes to mind that would demand instant credibility on the world stage, or within that department for that matter, when Mr. Gates chooses to exit. As bad as that sounds, I am tempted to suggest I must be wrong but evidently the last two Democrat presidents found it lacking also. I am not encouraged.
Even worse – and yes the following was originally written long before numerous other progressive threats to the republic fully emerged – is the corrosive effects this situation has on the mechanisms used to choose and guide our government that keep this free society more or less dynamically stable. As I wrote then:
It is also not healthy for the republic to allow one party to so totally abdicate its responsibility to the most critical function of the Federal Government. When they are allowed to cater so fully to (and fuel the creation of more of) their leftist elements while not even giving the pretense of being well rounded on national defense it greatly distorts the electoral process and perpetuates more of the same.
So there’s the rub. There is never a good time to have weak leadership at DoD but this is certainly one of the worst imaginable. Unfortunately, it is also well past time for Republicans to stop providing “loaner” national defense leadership. The responsible party must insist that the Democrats develop a respectable and overt plank on this front and begin cultivating a legitimate “pipeline” of potential department heads.
Or we could just stop electing Democrat presidents.
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?