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The Blue 'Sea Change' Continues

seachange.jpgThe 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!

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Comments (10)

Steve Crickmore:

Lee, yes they are experienced but there are certain caveats. Condi's deputy is the experienced John Negroponte, who entered the foreign service in 1960, and promoted for a short time it appears 'the Salvador Option' again when he was Iraqi ambassador from 2004 -2005. But he seems to have become a little more moderate of late and encouragingly has had a feud with Cheney..Then there is Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council and a Iran Contra neo con who is in charge of Middle East policy. Still it is better having Condi and her diplomats, with what influence they can bring to bear on the on the President, to try to match that of Cheney and Abrams..

Lee Ward:

The change towards diplomacy is what I'm welcoming... that's not to say they are the best people for the job -- but Connie seems to have gained some ground in the White House, and any forces which oppose Cheney are 'helping' in my view.


Oh Christ, Conventional Wisdom Alert.

Rice's immediate predecessor was Powell, who was too damn busy leaking to the WaPo and Robert Novak to be of any use.

Rice, otoh, keeps her damn mouth shut, hired the right people for the right jobs, and got down to work. That's how she beat Dick Cheney.

You can do a lot of things in D.C. when your President can count on you not to engage in hostile leaking and Poison Pen autobiographies.
It also helps not to talk about the "last throes" of the insurgency on national television and start becoming a problem for the boss. Especially when the insurgency is in the middle of a bombing campaign.

A lot of liberals think that Rice is incompetent, stupid, or a token. That's mostly gutter partisanship talking. But she'll end up being the last man standing, especially when she becomes Rudy Giuliani's vice-president.

Lee Ward:

CR as VP - funny stuff. Her lies will come back to haunt her, she hasn't a prayer.


"Rice, who has been President Bush's top foreign policy adviser since the 2000 campaign"

Hell, Lee, in 1999 & 2000 they gave Condolingus a giant bunch of bananas as training rewards and sent her off to tutor The Chimp in foreign affairs, primarily because the only foreign policy The Chimp had was ordering Chinese carry-out when he visited his dad in Beijing.

Lee Ward:


Lee Ward:

"We will see how she does over the next 16 months."

right - it looks like it is her turn at bat. I do however expect she'll only be given 6-12 months to produce meaningful results, if that much.

If there isn't significant diplomatic progress by Spring the election will drive the Republicans to produce results using their tried and true lie and invade method - and Iran will be next.

The GOP is perfectly happy to spend billions and sacrifice innocent citizens in an attempt to win another 4 years in the WH.


What distinguishes Secretary Rice from this guy?


You're not interested in qualifications; you desire a result, so argue for your desired result. And stop with the pretense of qualifications.



"Hell, Lee, in 1999 & 2000 they gave Condolingus..."

What happened to your stated aversion to foul language Lee?

That's close enough to count.

Guess you don't get deleted for saying what you agree with.

Lee Ward:

Foul language? There isn't any...

Does "Hell" offend you? It's in the bible, Marc. Are you offended by the bible?

And if you're referring to the contraction of Condoleezza and Cunnilingus to get "Condolingus" -- it's a made up word, Marc. It's only "bad" if you have a 14 year-old mentality.

I don't consider cunnilingus a bad word, Marc - and neither does my wife. And the Merriam-Webster dictionary doesn't either.

Be careful, Marc -- if you click on that link you'll see the words vulva and clitoris. Try to keep the giggling down to a minimum...

Why don't you take your juvenile trolling back to Wizbang, where Lorie Byrd and her gang actually do delete comments that disagree with their viewpoints, and leave the adults here alone.

Of course, making a nuisance of yourself around here with your trolling will get your comments deleted and could result in you being banned. Consider this a warning.

And feel free to disagree -- just stay respectful, watch your language, and stay on topic.



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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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