Friday, June 08, 2007

A divisive ordeal

Secretary of War Robert Gates had made a momentous decision: saying that “a divisive ordeal at this point is not in the interests of the country or of our military services, our men and women in uniform,” he has decided to replace the alliterative Peter Pace as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff because his confirmation hearings would have been “contentious” and “backward-looking.” So the divisive ordeal Gates wished to spare our men and women in uniform was... the sight on C-SPAN of Pace being asked some questions about his previous job performance, possibly in a harsh tone of voice. His replacement is, Reader points out in comments, the alliterative Michael Mullen.

Gates makes it clear that he thinks Pace the better man for the job, and that it is solely the contentious hearings at which he balked. Not the vote, which he knows he’d win. He also said he made his decision after he was warned about the hearings being all contentious-y by senators. Of course it’s obvious that the Democrats would be a problem, and I’m sure the prospect of listening to Joe Biden go on and on makes us all feel tired, but I suspect what Gates was told that made him bail on Pace was that the Republican senators weren’t prepared to cheer-lead for him this time.

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