Thursday, December 16, 2004

The anti-Rumsfeld chorus grows

I've called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation as secretary of defense several times, most recently last week. Now, finally, it looks like some congressional Republicans may agree with me.

U.S. Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., joined the growing number of GOP leaders attacking Rumsfeld when he told members of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday that he thinks the defense secretary does not listen enough to soldiers and should be replaced within the next year. Lott, as you know, is the former Senate majority leader, and his opinion still carries a considerable amount of weight on Capitol Hill.

Lott is the third Republican senator this week to issue a public statement condemning Rumsfeld. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., got the ball rolling Monday by criticizing Rumsfeld's failure to send more soldiers to Iraq, and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, complained in a letter Wednesday that Rumsfeld has done too little to try to get armored vehicles to American troops in war zones. Also, two Democratic senators -- Joe Biden of Delaware and Jon Corzine of New Jersey -- have been vocal recently in calling for Rumsfeld's resignation.

Will President Bush force Rumsfeld out of the Pentagon any time soon? It's unlikely, but these developments would certainly provide him some political cover if he chose to do so.

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