The historic 2006 election which swept Democrats into power in both the House and the Senate continues to have ripple effects in the Executive branch as well.
The neo-conservative warmongers are finally seeing the writing on the wall (as is literally illustrated in Paul Hooson's post below) and are catching the early train out of Washington.
And we're now seeing a re-emergence of diplomacy in these last, dying days of Republicans rule as well -- a change that was triggered by the '06 elections -- and it's a change that clearly demonstrates that the transition of power to a Democratic, diplomatic approach to foreign relations is continuing. The Associated Press weighs in thusly:
Senior career diplomats are retaking control of key elements of U.S. foreign policy and have begun to assert significant influence as the Bush administration enters its waning months eager to salvage a legacy marred by the Iraq war.
Since assuming the helm at the State Department in 2005, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has installed veteran foreign service officers with more than 200 years of collective diplomatic experience in seven critical posts from the Middle East to South Asia and the Far East.
By contrast, their immediate predecessors had just 72 years of combined experience and five of them were Republican political operatives with limited or no background in diplomacy, according to an Associated Press survey of senior agency appointees.
In the Bush White House the State Department continually lost out in the ideological struggle to Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Bolton, and the rest of the war-loving hawks but recently, especially since the 2006 election, we've seen slow but steady signs of a power shift that is setting the stage for a new era in US foreign relations. An era that is marked by a return to diplomacy.
While the departure of prominent conservative hawks, including Donald H. Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz from the Pentagon and John Bolton from the State Department, is well-documented, the quiet climb to influence of Rice's choices for top jobs has been less public even as they have started to steer new courses.
As the administration winds down, Rice, who has been President Bush's top foreign policy adviser since the 2000 campaign, has entrusted them with the hands-on, day-to-day running of U.S. diplomacy in the most volatile regions and nations of the world[...]
The diplomatic success at neutralizing the nuclear threat in North Korea is an exemplar that can be used in Iran as well, and it came about only after a huge domestic and international outcry against Bush's saber-rattling tactics and cowboy politics that pushed the North Korea crisis dangerously close to a mushroom cloud. At this point, this close to the 2008 elections, the GOP can ill-afford another near-disaster like the 2006 NoKo showdown.
This Blue Sea Change, further marked on the day after the 2006 elections with the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, continues to sweep through Washington. The fact that the White House isn't trumpeting these changes should surprise no one. It's a tacit admission of six years of foreign relations failures, and that hand writing is on the wall for all to see.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!