Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rumsfeld targeted in midterm election fight

· Democrats seek vote of no confidence in politician
· Strategy comes as Bush defends Iraq policy

Oliver Burkeman in New York
Saturday September 2, 2006
The Guardian

The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who has so far survived mounting calls for his resignation over Iraq, is to be pitched into the centre of the American midterm election fight by Democrats who are convinced that he is the Bush administration's achilles heel.

Senior Democratic members of Congress say they will seek a no-confidence vote in Mr Rumsfeld, who is under fire for a speech this week in which he compared opponents of the Iraq war to those who supported the appeasement of Adolf Hitler before the second world war.

Rahm Emanuel, a high-profile member of the House of Representatives, plans to introduce the motion in the presence of 12 retired generals and other officers, who have lent the weight of their military experience to the campaign to force the defence secretary's resignation.

Democratic senators are discussing a similar move. Such a vote could not compel Mr Rumsfeld to quit, but it would be highly embarrassing to the governing party.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's stewardship of this effort is a failure, and he has let down our armed forces," Mr Emanuel told the Washington Post.

The Democrats are mounting an attempt to seize control of Congress in November's midterm elections by engaging the Republicans on their turf - national security and defence issues.

The strategy comes in response to a new effort by George Bush and Mr Rumsfeld to defend the administration's foreign policy record. In a string of speeches this week the president has sought to bundle Iraq and Afghanistan with crises over Iran and Lebanon, describing current events as "the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century".

story here

Dems "engaging the Republicans on their turf"... IS ABOUT TIME!