He hasn't managed to sink any lower than being fired, er, "resigning" from the Bush Crime Syndicate, but a story unearthed from last November's The New Yorker shows one of his oldest friends wondering if he had been wrong about his friend Don all along. Kenneth Adelman, of the Defense Policy Board (to which Rumsfeld appointed him), opened up to reporter Jeffrey Goldberg:
A few days later, Rumsfeld was out. Adelman is, apparently, still in. “I’m heartsick about the whole matter,” he said. He does not know what to make of the disintegration of Rumsfeld’s career and reputation. “How could this happen to someone so good, so competent?” he said. “This war made me doubt the past. Was I wrong all those years, or was he just better back then? The Donald Rumsfeld of today is not the Donald Rumsfeld I knew, but maybe I was wrong about the old Donald Rumsfeld. It’s a terrible way to end a career. It’s hard to remember, but he was once the future.”
Ahh... Just bask in that first line... "A few days later, Rumsfeld was out..." This is delicious because, in the story reported by Goldberg, he (Rumsfeld) was in the middle of assclownishly trying to get his "friend" to resign rather than be fired since his "friend" was being "negative" on the "successful" Iraq War.
The article isn't that long, but it provides some refreshing pathos in the showing of the incredible bathos generated by the Bush Crime Syndicate being given its comeuppance only a few paragraphs later.
It is a small victory, and actually one already stale in terms of real effect (Rummy's gone but the war goes on), but this article is worth coldly basking in the embarrassing of Rummy, truly an asshat if there ever was one. You can only feel schadenfreude for someone like this:
"'I suggested that we were losing the war,' Adelman said... '...it looked like we needed a Plan B. I said, 'What’s the alternative? Because what we’re doing now is just losing...' ...Rumsfeld didn’t take to the message well. 'He was in deep denial—deep, deep denial. And then he did a strange thing. He did fifteen or twenty minutes of posing questions to himself, and then answering them.'"
It's nice (read: horrifying) to know that Rummy uses this method* with his friends, and not just the American Public and the Press and Congres that he wishes would just kiss his ass and be thankful for the opportunity.
Ahhhh... it is very cold in space, Rummy. No doubt he's somewhere swimming in a pile of gold coins à la Scrooge McDuck, but if somehow, he finds himself alone on a street corner in the dead of winter, he can just burn his 1977 Presidential Medal of Freedom to keep warm -- hell, maybe the White House gave him a box of them on the way out, they seem to have enough to go around to award all of the incompetence among their cronies (and boy, is there a lot). Not that I'm hoping he finds himself alone on a street corner in the dead of winter -- I figure, while we're dreaming, he may as well have one foot in Antarctica and one in the Gobi.
Money shot: "Are there still Taliban around? You bet. Are they occupying safe havens in Afghanistan and other places, correction in Pakistan and other places? Certainly they are. Is the violence up? Yes. Does the violence tend to be up during the summer and spring, summer, and fall months? Yes it does. And it tends to decline during the winter period. Does that represent failed policy? I don't know, I would say not. I think you've got an awful lot of very talented people engaged in this, and the decisions that are being made are being made with great care after a great deal of consideration. Are there setbacks? Yes. Are there things that people can't anticipate? Yes. Does the enemy have a brain and continue to make adjustments on the ground, requiring our forces to continue to make adjustments? You bet. Is that going to continue to be the case? I think so. Is this problem going to get solved in the near term about this violence struggle against extremism? No, I don't believe it is."